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Marilou Tanguay

Marilou Tanguay

The Hilda Neatby Prize French Article


Marilou Tanguay. « La page féminine du Devoir, un « espace public alternatif » ? Une étude de cas des mécanismes d’exclusion et de contrôle du « féminin » et du « féminisme » dans le quotidien (1965-1975) », Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, volume 72, numéro 3, hiver 2019, p. 29-59.

As a particular chapter in the history of the press, the women’s pages of the major dailies have often been associated with a kind of journalistic ghetto in which fashion, cooking and childcare themes dominate. For this reason, they have been conceived as a discursive forum for the reproduction of gender roles. By studying the women’s page of the newspaper Le Devoir from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Marilou Tanguay reveals a more complex reality. She observes how, in these years of the re-emergence of the feminist movement, this forum made it possible to inform women readers about various issues such as abortion, the place of women in politics, unequal access to higher education and discrimination in the job market. Thus, within this “alternative discursive space”, certain central demands of the women’s movement could be transmitted. The disappearance of the women’s page in 1971, in the very name of the obsolescence of such segregation, led to a paradoxical decrease in the space given to feminist issues in the newspaper. According to Tanguay, the phenomenon attests to the strong persistence of a masculine and sexist culture within the media sphere. Of this rich contribution, the jury particularly appreciated the solidity of the demonstration, the vigour of the argument and the attention paid to the issues of intersectionality.

 Special Mention

Daniel Poitras. « Mettre en scène l’exclusion de l’histoire. Les femmes à l’université et le concours Miss Quartier Latin (1950-1963) », Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, volume 72, numéro 3, hiver 2019, p. 41-71.

The jury awarded a “special mention” to Daniel Poitras for this study of cultural history that stands out for its originality and sophistication. Re-reading against the grain the sources of the student movement produced by its male leaders, this article features the participants of the annual “Miss Latin Quarter” contest. The author uses this carnival event, inaugurated at Université Montréal in 1950, to observe the tensions introduced in student culture by the new influx of women into the university ranks. In a metonymic way, the competition reveals a whole symbolic order in transformation. The repeated efforts of the organizers to re-establish gender roles in this Mecca of knowledge undoubtedly signaled the anguish associated with a loss of privilege. While the analysis focuses on the symbolic violence implied by this annual ritual, it also detects the efforts of resistance and subversion by participants seeking to break free, to a greater or lesser extent, from the normative discourses held against them. One of the qualities of the article is certainly that it mobilizes the grid for the analysis of regimes of historicity for the benefit of gender history; the borrowing allows us to shed more light on the way in which female students – rhetorically assimilated to the eternal feminine – were kept away from making history.