This Glossary provides a central place to find the meaning of key terms in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) work and to access resources for further learning. It will grow and change as the GBV field does. If you find a term should be added or revised, please contact us at vawln@uwo.ca

You can view the terms associated with a letter by selecting the letter below. Crossed out letters do not have any terms. You can also click here for a PDF of all the included terms.



“A process that keeps groups or individual from having access to all or part of the social, economic, cultural and political institutions of society. That is, these individuals or groups are on the “margins” of society.” [1]

“Marginalization can occur as a result of several factors, alone or in combination. These factors might include, but are not limited to, poverty, race, gender, discrimination, a lack of education and training, or disadvantaged geographic or social location.” [2]


[1] Springtide Resources. (2008). An Integrated Anti-Oppression Framework for Reviewing and Developing Policy: A Toolkit for Community Service Organizations. Retrieved from http://www.springtideresources.org/sites/all/files/Anti-Oppression_Framework_Community_Org_Toolkit.pdf

[2] Stoetzer, O. R., & Schaefer, R. T. (1996). Sociology an Introduction, 1st Canadian edition Richard T. Schaefer(1st ed.). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.


“Masculinities refer to the culturally constructed social norms for behavior, comportment, and characteristics assigned to men and boys. Scholars talk about multiple masculinities instead of a singular masculinity because the category varies according to context, culture, geographic location, and historical period.” [1]

Hypermasculinity refers to “the overexpression of male stereotypes, including callous attitudes towards women, the valorization of violence as an expression of manliness, and danger-seeking behaviours.” [2]

Learn More:


[1] Dragiewicz, M. (2008). “Masculinities” in Encyclopedia of interpersonal violence. Renzetti, C. M., & Edleson, J. L. (eds.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc, 2. doi: 10.4135/9781412963923. Retrieved from http://sk.sagepub.com/reference/violence/n301.xml

[2] Church-Duplessis, V., Evans, S., Hulays, H., et. al. (2017). Drawing the line on sexual violence: A guide for Ontario educators.  White Ribbon. P. 137.  Retrieved from https://www.dtl.whiteribbon.ca/secondary-guide


Although “matriarchy” is broadly defined as a system in which authority is held by a mother or female elder, [1] it is not simply a reversal or “mirror” image of “patriarchy.” [2]

Rather, “matriarchies are mother-centred societies, they are based on maternal values: care-taking, nurturing, motherliness, which holds for everybody: for mothers and those who are not mothers, for women and men alike.” [3]


[1] Encyclopæaedia Britannica. (n.d.). Matriarchy. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/matriarchy

[2] Marsden, H. (2018). International Women’s Day: What are matriarchies, and where are they now? Independent. 8 March 2018. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/international-womens-day-matriarchy-matriarchal-society-women-feminism-culture-matrilineal-elephant-a8243046.html

[3] Goettner-Abendroth, H. (2009). Matriarchy. International Academy HAGIA. Retrieved from http://www.hagia.de/en/matriarchy/

Media Violence

“Media violence has been defined as ‘visual portrayals of acts of physical aggression by one human or human-like character against another,’” but it may also exist in music and text as well (e.g. the internet or literary sources). [1]

“Acts of violence that are witnessed or virtually perpetrated through various forms of media including television, movies, video games, music and internet. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.” [2]

“Exposure to media violence is most likely one facet of a complex set of interacting variables that increase the probability of problem behaviours and related concerns.” [3]


Huesmann (2007), quoted in Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. (2016). Social Learning, the Media and Violence.  Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Literature Reviews. Vol. 5, Chap. 10. Retrieved From http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/professionals/oyap/roots/volume5/chapter10_media_violence.aspx

[2] American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Media Violence. Pediatrics,108(5). doi:10.1542/peds.108.5.1222

[3] Broll, R., Crooks,  C., Burns, S., et  al. (2013). Parental Monitoring, Media Literacy, and Media Violence: A Preliminary Evluation of the Fourt R Parent Media Violence Workshop. International Journal of Child, Youth, & Family Studies.  Vol . 4,  no. 2. Pp. 301-319.  Retrieved from   https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/ijcyfs/article/view/11602



“The Métis emerged as a distinct people or nation in the historic Northwest during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. This area is known as the ‘historic Métis Nation Homeland,’ which includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States.

This historic Métis Nation had recognized Aboriginal title, which the Government of Canada attempted to extinguish through the issuance of ‘scrip’ and land grants in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The Métis National Council consequently adopted the following definition of ‘Métis’ in 2002:

‘Métis’ means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.” [1]


[1] Métis National Council. (n.d.). Métis nation citizenship. Métis Nation. Retrieved from https://www.metisnation.ca/index.php/who-are-the-metis/citizenship

#MeToo Movement

Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement in 2006.

“In October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo made headlines internationally, prompting women from around the world to publicly share their experiences of sexual assault or harassment. The #MeToo Movement has been called a watershed moment in the advancement of gender equality, giving a powerful platform to women and demonstrating the extent of sexual assault and harassment across society. In Canada, the Movement has had implications not only for survivors, but also for support service providers, educators, law enforcement, employers, and the government. The #MeToo Movement has prompted women across Canada to share experiences of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination in a rage of fields including politics, theatre, journalism, music, comedy, sports, food and wine, and the airline industry… Participants called for meaningful change in the behaviours that surround sexual assault and harassment and advocated for improved services for survivors of sexual violence.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Canadian Women's Foundation. (2016). The #MeToo movement in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianwomen.org/the-facts/the-metoo-movement-in-canada


“The brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, and sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group.” [1]

Gender-based microaggressions are “the intentional and unintentional slights, insults, and invalidations based on gender and most frequently targeting women.” [2]


[1] Sue, D. W., & Spanierman, L. (2020). Microaggressions in everyday life (Second edition.). (pp.5). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

[2] Gartner, R. E. (2019). From Gender Microaggressions to Sexual Assault: Measure Development and Preliminary Trends among Undergraduate Women. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4283396m


Misogynoir was coined by Moya Bailey to describe “the particular brand of hatred directed at black women in American visual & popular culture.” [1] “The term is a combination of misogyny, the hatred of women, and noir, which means black but also carries film and media connotations. It is the particular amalgamation of anti-Black racism and misogyny in popular media and culture that targets Black trans and cis women. Representational images contribute to negative societal perceptions about Black women, which can precipitate racist gendered violence that harms health and can even result in death.” [2]

Learn More:


[1] Bailey, M. (2010, March). They aren't talking about me. Crunk Feminist Collective. Retrieved from http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2010/03/14/they-arent-talking-about-me/

[2] Bailey, M. (2016). Misogynoir in medical media: On Caster Semenya and R. Kelly. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 2(2), 1-31. doi:10.28968/cftt.v2i2.28800. Retrieved from https://catalystjournal.org/index.php/catalyst/article/view/28800


Misogyny is "primarily a property of social environments in which women are liable to encounter hostility due to the enforcement and policing of patriarchal norms and expectations – often, though not exclusively, insofar as they violate patriarchal law and order. Misogyny hence functions to enforce and police women’s subordination and to upload male dominance, against the backdrop of other intersecting systems of oppression and vulnerability, dominance and disadvantage, as well as disparate material resource, enabling and constraining social structures, institutions, bureaucratic mechanisms, and so on.”

Learn More:


[1] Manne, K. (2018). Down girl: The logic of misogyny. New York: Oxford University Press.