Since QFLIP’s founding in 2015 by Rachel Tung and Caroline Marful, the organisation has greatly evolved, and successive teams of wonderful people have worked to further the vision of a more diverse political sphere. We value our community and have always listened to feedback about how QFLIP can be a more inclusive and welcoming organisation. As our knowledge and understanding of gender and advocacy has evolved over the last seven years, what started off as a space to uplift women in the political sphere has turned into a broader movement.
Last year, as part of our efforts to recognise this shift, we began exploring a potential name change. Over the years, we have received feedback that the “female” can be seen as exclusionary, as it is now understood to reference a biological sex assignment rather than a gender identity. QFLIP’s usage of the term was not meant to be exclusionary, and as our understanding of language shifted, the 2021-22 Executive Team realised the importance of ensuring that our name fits with our values and mandate.
Over the last year we held consultations, both privately with experts in the fields of human rights, gender and politics, and LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy, and publicly with the QFLIP and Queen’s community. We received a wide range of responses, both for and against the name change, and took every single response to heart when making the final decision. We would like to thank all those who shared feedback with us for their time, especially acknowledging that for many, discussing these topics may be emotional and personal.
After reviewing all responses, it became clear that in order to be more inclusive and stay in line with our mandate, the term “female” should be removed from our organisation’s name. In efforts to incorporate the suggestions and feedback from our consultations, we are very excited to introduce you all to
Queen’s Feminist Leadership in Politics
We chose this name to both honour the work that has been done by past QFLIP Executive teams and to look forward towards a bright, inclusive future for QFLIP. In keeping our acronym the same, we will continue to appreciate and build on the leadership and spirit of our founders and all members of the QFLIP community that came before us. By replacing the term “female” with “feminist”, we hope that it is more clear that QFLIP’s mandate is not based on biology, but self-identity, intersectionality, and empowerment – a better reflection of what we have always been about.
We recognise that the feminist movement is complex and imperfect, but with our new name, we commit to promoting an inclusive and intersectional feminism that uplifts the diverse communities that have not always seen themselves reflected in the movement, including the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ communities. We begin with acknowledgement through the name change and will continue our efforts through tangible action.
We recognise that no name will be perfect. However, by using the term “feminist,” we hope to better reflect that QFLIP is not only for those born female, but for those who identify as women, do not benefit from patriarchy, or would like to be an ally to our mandate. Our feminism has and should continue to clearly be about deconstructing social constructions of gender and working towards equality for all. We know that a name change is just the first step, and we encourage our QFLIP community to hold us accountable in our efforts. Once again, we thank everyone who participated in our consultative process – with special mentions to The 519, Jermaine Marshall, and our QFLIP alumni family – and we look forward to the future of QFLIP.
Meera Mahadeo & Carolyn Svonkin (Co-Chairs 2021-2022)
Julia Baldassarra & Alinah Charania (Co-Chairs 2022-2023)