Professor Judith Taylor on the #MeToo Movement

Professor Judith Taylor published an article on discussing the impact of the #MeToo movement on the average workplace. She presents eight strategies we can utilize in our every day lives to address and/or prevent toxic work environments.

Judith Taylor is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, jointly appointed to the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Her research focuses on feminist activism, neighbourhood community organizing, and social change making within public institutions

We have posted a short excerpt below. The full article is available on

How do the great majority of working women reckon with #MeToo when there will be no confrontation, revelation or watershed moment for them?

Academics, journalists, teachers, social workers and psychologists have experienced a notable outpouring of questions and concerns, but this is not a professional moment, this is a people’s moment to decide what is no longer OK, partly because it’s illegal, partly because it violates workplace policy and mostly because harassment is soul-killing.

While researchers have shown formal reporting mechanisms to be often disappointing, other scholars show that everyday referencing of social movements, and allying with them, makes women feel stronger and more capable of refusing sexism.

The #MeToo movement won’t make a tsunami level wave in every place of work. But with small gestures, we can remove the sandbags from the thresholds of our doors, open the windows and invite something of the force of that water to trickle in. Inviting the water in while small may feel more energizing than wondering whether, and when, it might come.

Read the full article here. 

U of T Sociologists discuss the Toronto Yonge and Finch van attack

Professors Judith Taylor and Jooyoung Lee spoke on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paiken to discuss the possible motivations behind the Toronto van attack and the role of toxic masculinity in violent acts.

In the half-hour segment, Professors Taylor and Lee join also with Osgoode Hall’s Jamil Jivani in their discussion with Steve Paiken.

The video of the segment titled, “When Mayhem Comes to Town” is available online here at the TVO website.

Professor Taylor has also spoken with CBC and with CTV and Professor Lee was interviewed and cited by Global News regarding the van attack in Toronto earlier this week.

Continuing coverage: Professor Judith Taylor in Macleans Magazine and Sociology Professor and Vice Provost, Students Sandy Welsh in U of T News re the Vigil on Sunday at Mel Lastman square.

Professor Judith Taylor speaks about International Women’s Day

Professor Judith Taylor spoke recently on CTV and on CP24 about the resurgence of feminism and protests around the world to mark International Women’s Day. Professor Taylor is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies with teaching responsibilities at the St. George campus. Her research focuses on feminist movements around the world. Surveying the movement now, Professor Taylor is confident in its sustainability, saying in the CTV interview that the movement is “very, very sustainable.”

Watch video of the CTV interview.

Watch video of the CP24 interview.




Professors Judith Taylor and Ellen Berrey discuss the legacy and resurgence of feminism amid plans for 2018 Women’s Marches in Canada

Professors Judith Taylor and Ellen Berrey from U of T St. George’s Sociology Department were recently featured in an article in Toronto’s Metro News. The article highlights the legacy of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and plans for further marches in 2018 in countries including Canada. Professor Taylor and Professor Berrey are featured in the article discussing what these marches and other recent movements can mean for feminism and social change.

Professor Taylor researches social movements and feminist activism. Professor Berrey’s research studies the effect of law, organizational practice, and culture on inequality. We have posted an excerpt of the article below.

‘Going to see a massive change:’ Women’s Marches planned across Canada for 2018

From the Women’s March to #MeToo, 2017 was a year for women fighting back. They’ll keep marching in 2018.

May Warren | Wed Dec 27 2017

…Women around the world are preparing to march again. There will be marches all over Canada, including in Toronto on Jan. 20, said Sara Bingham, one of two executive directors for Women’s March Canada. Marches are also planned across the U.S., including a signature one in Las Vegas, Nevada — a swing state that will be influential in the 2018 mid-term elections.

“The theme around the world is looking back, marching forward,” said Bingham.

They’ll be reaching out to local groups to get a diverse crowd, she added, a response to criticism the first time around that organizers and marchers were mainly white women.

Judith Taylor, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, sees a resurgence of feminism that builds on the work prior generations have done.

“I do think we’re going to see a massive change,” Taylor said, adding she believes the “cultural explosion” will filter down from elites like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his actress accusers.

“That dialogue then translates into a shift in consciousness, a shift in what’s possible to say in your place of work, whether you’re paid by the hour or you’re a professional.”…

…Ellen Berrey, also an assistant professor in the department of sociology at U of T, sees clear links between Trump, who has bragged on tape about sexual assault, the Women’s March and #MeToo. But she’s not sure if this year’s news stories will lead to lasting impacts, especially for low-income women and women of colour.

“Is this going to become like, this thing that happened at the end of 2017, or is this a deeper sea change?” she asks.

Berrey said one of the paths to change, as well as revamping human-resources systems so they don’t protect employers, is to get more women in positions of political power…


Read the full article here.

Professor Judith Taylor speaks on CTV News about the movement to wear black at the 75th Golden Globes

The recent 75th Golden Globes Awards Show was used as a platform for individuals in Hollywood and film to demonstrate their solidarity with victims of sexual assault within the industry, by wearing black to the ceremony. University of Toronto’s Sociology Professor Judith Taylor was featured on CTV News discussing the movement and its implications for feminism and antiracism.

Professor Taylor is a Professor of Sociology at the U of T St. George Campus. She is jointly appointed to the Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T. Her research interests include social movements, feminist activism, neighbourhood community organizing, and social change making within public institutions.

Watch the interview here.


Professors Judith Taylor and Josée Johnston consider Hugh Hefner’s cultural impact

Judith TaylorProfessors Judith Taylor and Josée Johnston recently published an article in The Conversation discussing the late Hugh Hefner’s influence on beauty, sexuality, and the objectification of women in the media. Professor Taylor is a faculty member in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies and teaches at the St. George campus. Professor Johnston is a faculty member in Sociology at the UTM campus. Both have done collaborative research on gender, beauty norms and popular culture. We have posted a short excerpt of the longer piece here.

Hugh Hefner’s legacy: Narrow visions of sex and beauty

With the death of Hugh Hefner, the architect of the Playboy empire, comes tributes and stories of his life. One wonders about his origin story, the price of his mansion and why he loved to wear pajamas. Hefner’s death gives us reason to revisit the debate about whether Playboy made room for sexual expression and free speech — or whether it ushered in a pitiful era of objectification of women with still-lingering effects.

What can we say about Hefner’s impact on sexual culture? Did his empire broaden the sexual landscape in the U.S. and abroad? As researchers who look at popular culture, gender and women’s sense of value and sexual selfhood, we assert that Hefner’s effects have been detrimental.

Most centrally, Hefner defined sexuality solely as men’s desire, in which women aim to achieve physical attractiveness as a life project. In this definition, women can consider themselves sexually successful if, and only if, they are desirable to men (or “f*ckable”, as noted by female comedians like Amy Schumer, Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

Playboy culture advocated objectification rather than reciprocity, without democratizing heterosexuality and asking men to cultivate, earn and fail at desirability, as women do.

Read the full article here.