Hostility, Harassment, and Violence: On the Limits of ‘Free Speech’ for Minority Feminist Scholars


  • Robyn Bourgeois Brock University


Indigenous feminism, power, privilege, silencing, suppression, violence in the academy, weaponizing freedom of speech


Following the rich tradition of Indigenous and Black feminists and authors, this article makes use of storytelling to explore the limits of freedom of speech in the academy for feminist scholars belonging to socially marginalized groups and, particularly, Indigenous feminist scholars. Through autoethnography, I expose the ways that freedom of speech was been weaponized against me by people with power to silence and suppress my freedom of speech. Moreover, I draw attention to the ways this has been done to me in order to secure the freedom of speech of other dominant and powerful people. This paper concludes with some recommendations about disrupting this violence and better supporting feminist scholars from minority groups.


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Author Biography

Robyn Bourgeois, Brock University

Robyn Bourgeois is a mixed-race nêhiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) currently residing in Haudenosaunee/Anishinaabe territory. She is an associate professor in the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University where her work focuses on violence against Indigenous women and girls and other forms of gender-based violence.






Special Section: Speaking Freely and Freedom of Speech