June 12, 2014

Next up? GUTS talks about sex in issue 3.

Conceptions of bodies, sexuality, and desire have been rallying points for feminist activism, research, and advocacy in different historical moments. Looking back to the 1970s, advocates of the Canadian women’s movement made courageous and influential efforts to secure safe access to abortion clinics, to establish supportive women’s shelters and rape crisis centres, and to better understand women’s reproductive and sexual health. The effects of this movement on Canadian society are undeniable. Take, for example, the Abortion Caravan (1969-70), a national feminist protest that mobilized over 500 activists from all over the country to demand that the government amend its abortion policy. Although abortion was not removed from Canada’s criminal code until 1988, the Caravan brought women’s reproductive rights to the forefront of the country’s consciousness. Coinciding with the Western world’s sexual liberation movement, second wave feminism in Canada made space for conversations about women’s sexuality beyond the bedroom.

Despite clear advances made by early forms of feminist organizing and advocacy in Canada, female and queer bodies remain contested terrain in government social policy: provincially funded abortions are increasingly inaccessible, sex workers face anti-prostitution legislation, and women’s shelters, rape crisis centres, and women’s rights advocacy groups are invariably strapped for cash. All-too-frequent instances of sexual objectification of and violence against women today indicate that sex remains relevant to feminist analysis. And yet, despite the importance of sex to feminism in popular sex-positive discourses, women’s struggles are too often configured as isolated matters, rather than symptoms of a larger patriarchal structure.

For this issue, we set out to demystify sexuality while attending to the ways sexual liberation has evolved into a new brand of feminism that promotes sex as a means of achieving selfhood and financial independence. Pop-feminist discussions of sexuality are too often reduced to a crude consumerist notion of individuality, measured by one’s purchasing power and an ability to sleep with whomever one wants. Although sex positivism once provided a clear avenue toward instituting social and political change, its contemporary manifestation in today’s fabulous, independent, sexually liberated feminist icons only serves to conceal gendered and racialized forms of oppression that continue to inform our daily realities.

Our sex issue invites contributors to recover the politics of bodies, sexuality, and desire.
Potential topics for submissions might include:

  • Abortion and reproductive rights
  • Critiques of monogamy
  • Non-heteronormative sexuality and love
  • The romanticization of two-spirited sexuality
  • Asexuality
  • Polyamorous culture
  • Sex-work activism in Canada
  • The contemporary anti-porn movement
  • Feminist porn (does it exist?)
  • Rape culture, consent, and sexual violence
  • Violence against and the disappearance of Indigenous women
  • Online dating and post-physical relationships
  • Disability and sex
  • Beauty, consumerism, and self-marketing in a neoliberal economy
  • Erotic fanfiction and feminine forms of escape

Submission Guidelines:

GUTS accepts personal and journalistic essays; poetry and fiction; reviews of books, TV, music, and film; creative interviews and conversations. GUTS also accepts images and videos relevant to our theme.

Please submit a short proposal (150-300 words) describing your project no later than July 15, 2014 to

Final submissions (500-4000 words) will be due on September 1, 2014.

For further information about the submission guidelines, please email us at





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