Parental, teacher and student feedback was said to have led the Toronto District School Board to reverse course on its decision to end free access to women’s studies.
In April, the board voted to end the semester option for female students, requiring that they now enroll in “rigorous courses aligned with the women’s studies philosophy framework,” like those that cover “Modernism, feminist theory, Indigenous feminism, and Black feminist thought.”
The decision received criticism from students, including petitioners who pointed out that it would prevent an many from continuing their college course work at the university level.
The board’s vice-chairwoman told Canada’s CBC News that “there wasn’t unanimity among faculty and even the trustees around having this option,” which apparently led the board to reverse course on the “bold move.”
In light of this recent decision, I’d like to offer an alternative suggestion to the board.
I suggest that the board continue to offer women’s studies as a viable option, just as it currently does, and they end the semester course option at the end of the semester. Instead, offer a “Bennigan’s Feminist of the Year” contest to any graduating senior who has participated in the semester course.
I’ve long advocated for a woman’s studies as a viable option for students and a different approach for teachers, so I understand and fully embrace this proposal.
Students can now complete the semester course and be entered into the contest for the yearly winner. The student who is most deserving could win $1,000, a trip to Niagara Falls, and many a happy dance at their graduation.
I could certainly see these students having a lot of fun with the study of feminism— I might even join in on the fun.