In response to rapid and unsettling social, economic, and climate changes, fearmongering now features as a main component of public life. Right-wing nationalist populism has become a hallmark of politics around the world. No less so in Quebec. Alexa Conradi has made it her life’s work to understand and to generate thoughtful debate about this worrisome trend. As the first President of Québec solidaire and the president of Canada’s largest feminist organisation, the Fédération des femmes du Québec, Conradi refused to shy away from difficult issues: the Charter of Quebec Values, religion and Islam, sovereignty, rape culture and violence against women, extractive industries and the treatment of Indigenous women, austerity policy and the growing gap between rich and poor. This determination to address uncomfortable subjects has made Conradi—an anglo-Montrealer—a sometimes controversial leader. In Fear, Love, and Liberation in Contemporary Quebec, Conradi invites us to take off our rose-coloured glasses and to examine Quebec’s treatment of women with more honesty. Through her personal reflections on Quebec politics and culture, she dispels the myth that gender equality has been achieved and paves the way for a more critical understanding of what remains to be done.
Alexa Conradi is an award-winning author, speaker, trainer, and feminist activist. From 2006 to 2009 she served as the first elected president of Québec solidaire and from 2009 to2015 she was president of Canada’s largest feminist organisation, the Fédération des femmes du Québec. Born in Indiana, Catherine Browne grew up in Montreal. She has a degree in history from the Université de Provence. A professional translator since the 1980s, for the past fifteen years she has conducted guided tours designed to provide Montrealers with new ways of thinking about their city’s past and present.
“It’s a brave person who dares to shine a light into the corners of Quebec society, uncovering contradictions and flaws that so many would rather deny exist. Feminist and activist Alexa Conradi has never been one to shy away from difficult topics. The anglophone Quebecer, who learned to love and live comfortably with the other solitude, is sure to make some readers angry with this well-written, thoroughly documented book.”
–Sue Montgomery, Mayor of CDN-NDG, Montreal and co-creator of #BeenRapedNeverReported