How ENF Got Its Name

When the founding members of ENF submitted their first expression of interest to CMHC, they realized they needed a name for their group.  They wanted the name to reflect their non-hierarchal and inclusive philosophy.  They also wanted it to say something about their belief that they could develop their own housing.

One night, Mia and April sat down on the floor of April’s living room, with a pot of tea on one side of them and a bottle of wine on the other, and with the help of both an English and French dictionary and a name book, came up with the name. 

April takes responsibility for the name chosen because she had grown up in a francophone community, and believed a French name would attempt to create something broader, representing the openness of the group.  At the same time April remembers, “It needed to say something about women, not about any individual woman, but about us women together.” 

“Among Us Women” in its translation “Entre Nous Femmes” seemed to reflect both potential and opportunity while reflecting the group’s philosophy and intent.

Over the years the name “Entre Nous Femmes” has generated many fascinating reactions, such as “Don’t you allow men?” or “Is it only for francophones?” or “Do you allow only French lesbians to live in your housing?”.

However, April sees these sorts of reactions as “people’s limitations to seeing the name, rather than using a broader vision to experience the name.” 

And besides, over the years, it has provided for the odd giggle, the value of which is immeasurable!