Pink Shirts & Pariahs: Anti-Bullying Discourse in the CMHR

By Jade DeFehr*


The popular anti-bullying campaign, Pink Shirt Day, has spread throughout Canadian schools over the past decade, with students and teachers collectively wearing pink one day a year. I propose that we shift our language and approach from anti-bullying to anti-oppression in order to expose the intimate effects of power relations and to uproot the multiple, intersecting dynamics that often lead to bullying. 

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Sources Consulted

  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights. CMHR. Mobile app. Tristan Interactive Inc. Vers. 1.9. Apple App Store.
  • Hunt, Sarah, and Cindy Holmes. “Everyday Decolonization: Living a Decolonizing Queer Politics.” Journal of Lesbian Studies, vol. 19, no. 2, 2015, pp. 154–72.
  • “The International Day of Pink.” Day of Pink, Day of Pink.
  • “Leading a Colourful Campaign.” Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg.
  • Meyer, Doug. “The Gentle Neoliberalism of Modern Anti-Bullying Texts: Surveillance, Intervention, and Bystanders in Contemporary Bullying Discourse.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, vol. 13, no. 4, 27 May 2016, pp. 356–70.
  • “Our Mission.” Pink Shirt Day. 13 Feb. 2018.
  • Pink Shirt Day, Pink Shirt Day. 13 Feb. 2018.
  • Ritchie, Nicole Anne. “Queering Museums: Questions of Space, Affect, and the (Non)Normative.” University of Toronto, 2015.
  • Robert, Nicole. “Getting Intersectional in Museums.” Museums & Social Issues, vol. 9, no. 1, 2014, pp. 24–33.
  • Tyburczy, Jennifer. “All Museums Are Sex Museums.” Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display, Uof Chicago P, 2016, pp. 1–37.
  • Vaid-Menon, Alok. “Femme in Public.” 14 Mar. 2018, Winnipeg, The Park Theatre.
  • Vaid-Menon, Alok. “The Loneliness of Being Yourself.” ALOK, 3 Jan. 2018.

Sound Credits
Voice: Jade DeFehr

  • “backgroundmusic1.wav” by Julia Dyck.
  • “Childrens’ Classroom.” Freesound, uploaded by abcopen, 2 October 2012,
  • “Chalk on Chalkboard.” Freesound, uploaded by fattirewhitey, 24 February 2015,
  • “Kids chatter Primary School Birmingham UK.” Freesound, uploaded by sbyandiji, 5 February 2014,
  • “School bell.” Freesound, uploaded by 13FPanska_Stranska_Michaela, 29 January 2017,

Image credit
This image, taken by Jade DeFehr, is of the “Leading a Colourful Campaign” exhibit in the gallery Actions Count.

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*Imagined, designed, recorded, and edited by Jade DeFehr. Mastered by Julia Dyck.