Name change: the Osgoode Women’s Caucus is now the Osgoode Feminist Collective (link is to their Facebook page). Lest you thought that younger women were avoiding the F word en masse, pending rebranding. Why do people think this?
OFC (love the new acronym almost as much as the new name? i do) announced their name change last week. If you know or are an alumna of this long lived and fierce organization, what do you think? Here are a few snippets from the announcement at last week’s feminist tea, with thanks to the current co chairs.
In our efforts to bring a feminist voice to Osgoode and the wider York Campus, Women’s Caucus attempts to work within an anti-oppressive framework. For the past couple of years, we have been discussing the direction of our group and how this relates to our name. We thought improvements could be made. We would like our name to be more reflective of the anti-oppressive politics and multiple feminisms that the our members embrace, as well as recognizing that feminism is practiced and welcoming to people of all genders.
We narrowed down our choices and recently asked our members to vote. As a result, we are happy to announce that with an overwhelming majority, we have decided to change our name to “Osgoode Feminist Collective.”
The October tradition of the Feminist Tea has celebrated person’s day. Some of you who know me may know that I’ve long had a problem with Person’s Day. See here for some past rants (i know – the money changed). The Osgoode Feminist Collective had a set of slides running in the background at the tea to consider the complicated meanings of Person’s Day. These remind me of my general preference for nuanced critical thought over ranting….
It’s been over 80 years since women in Canada were declared qualified persons, yet as the daughter of immigrant parents, it feels far less distant. The memory of my mother’s pride on her first day as an eligible voter, after 10 years of contributing to her Canadian community, is very close indeed. This memory is one that I reflect on and reminds me why the battle for equality is not yet over.
Persons Day reminds me that we are all complex beings, with complicated relationships to feminism and history. It reminds me of the importance of being able to talk about and through those complicated relationships in order for us to respectfully commemorate the hard work of the five women in Edwards. But also so that we recognize the many other racialized women who had been organizing around their rights as women and racialized persons then, and who continue to organize and advocate for their communities today.
Edwards is an example of how only 5 determined women were able to make such momentous changes, despite the great resistance they faced. Such examples of strength remain an encouragement for current battles.
My gratitude to the women of Women’s Caucus’ past and Osgoode Feminist Collective’s present and future and all the inspiration, knowledge and support they have given.