A few of you have noticed my subtle use of the term ‘womxn’ to replace ‘woman’ in some of my posts. Although this may look like a typo, the term ‘womxn’ has a simple explanation. I used it to get you lot talking and asking about it…. looks like it worked!
It is argued by academics and feminists across the globe that ‘man’ is the default; this is evident in phrases such as ‘mankind’ and ‘manmade’. It has been discussed that the word ‘woman’ is an adaptation of the word ‘man’; in reality it is nothing more than ‘man’ with a prefix. This is also the case with ‘male’ and ‘female’. ‘Male’ is the default and therefore dominant term and ‘female’ is just an adaptation of that. When you go deeper into this issue, it is evident that the male version is the default in most cases. For example ‘actor/actress’ and ‘waiter/waitress’.
‘Womxn’ was created to separate the word from its male default, and thus break ties with its patriarchal roots. Ebony Miranda (organiser of the Women’s March in Seattle) proposed ditching term ‘woman’ and replacing it with ‘womxn’ explaining her understanding of the word was: “women and those affected by misogyny, or women-related issues.” More recently it is used as an inclusive term and to strike a conversation. Which it clearly has! It is a progressive term which recognises that women are not just an extension of men and it brings light to the the struggles and prejudices women have faced. I also understand it as a term which includes everyone who identifies as a woman.
It cannot be disputed that feminism is becoming more and more intersectional as time progresses (yay!). This word hopes to shift away from feminists who don’t fight for rights of marginalised people (ew) of which ‘womxn’ attempts to accommodate. Language is such a powerful tool, so surely we should use it as inclusively as possible. However, this word has not been so popular with everyone. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet but I don’t see any harm in it if it makes people feel happy! What do you think? Leave me a comment!