“Sisterhood is powerful, but not easy:” Conflict, American imperialism, and splintering at the 1971 Vancouver Indochinese Women’s Conference

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-02-21
Identifier: 
etd10666
Keywords: 
Women’s liberation
Vancouver
Conflict
Imperialism
Sisterhood
Canadian nationalism
Abstract: 

From April 1 to 6 over six-hundred North American women met with six Indochinese delegates during the 1971 Vancouver Indochinese Women’s Conference to discuss anti-war activism and build an anti-war and anti-imperial global sisterhood. Rather than bring women together, the struggle for sisterhood divided women, inciting conflict and confrontation throughout various stages of conference planning as well as during various plenary sessions. In chapter one I argue that the VIWC was an exercise of American imperialism on Canadian soil. Because of American imperialist attitudes, many Canadian women found sisterhood with those of their own national identity. In chapter two I argue that despite the rhetoric around unity and sisterhood, the VIWC actually accelerated splintering amongst participating women’s groups. This should not be seen as a failure; rather it was indicative of change both at the conference and within the women’s movement in general.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Elise Chenier
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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