Womxn – you may have come across this term over different platforms in recent times, but what exactly is ‘womxn’? How is it different from women? And why is it important to use ‘womxn’ instead of ‘women’? The use of certain words and limited pronouns often ends up excluding minority genders from the discourse. If we believe in equality of genders then we cannot overlook this exclusion. The word womxn is thus a step towards being more inclusive and rejecting the binary understanding of gender. Here’s what you should know about the term:
Womxn is the rejection of the patriarchal idea that the word ‘woman’ originates from the word ‘man’ and is a mere extension of it. The idea behind womxn is that gender is intersectional and goes beyond the inclusion of cis women. The term is used to include non-cisgender women such as transgender women, who have for long not been considered ‘real women’ or ‘women enough’. But the gender-fluid spelling of womxn explicitly includes trans women, femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer and non-binary individuals, black women, women of color, women with disabilities. Womxn is an attempt to include and represent all marginalised genders that have been denied representation for centuries.
When we use womxn we demand equal treatment for womxn and men alike and the word also promotes intersectional feminism.
Significance of the term :
Keeping in mind the fact that it is a movement to bring inclusivity in a world of age-old gender rigid norms, it becomes more significant than ever to use this term. It gives an ostracised section a representational space and opportunity to reclaim their identities.
The significance of its usage becomes more apparent because it addresses the years of struggles and oppression of different class, genders, race, color, sex and brings them under the broad umbrella of ‘womxn’.
Origin of womxn :
The term Womxn originated at the University of California, Davis, at the Womxn’s Resources and Research Center aims to achieve “a world in which people of all genders, specifically womxn, transgender, and people with marginalised genders – have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
When to use it?
There is no particular time or situation to use the word ‘womxn’. We can use it anytime and anywhere whenever we feel that there is a need to use it and have a more inclusive approach.
Who uses it mostly?
Womxn has been mostly used by the people belonging to the LGBT community and its allies but over time it’s usage has grown and these days it is increasingly used by people, organisations and universities to bring a change of thought. The University of California was the first university to use the word on its official website of Women’s Resources and Research Centre.
Why not give all womxn the respect and the representation that they deserve and which is rightfully theirs?
So if you believe in inclusivity and want to endorse it, you should start using it too.
Why an “x”?
“We intentionally spell some words with an “x” in order to recognize the agency of womxn, individually and collectively, and to challenge the notion that womxn are necessarily defined through their relation to men. This spelling is intended to honor anyone who has ever, ever will, or currently identifies as a womxn” – Women’s Resources and Research Center, University of California, Davis.
Since the very beginning, people belonging to marginalised genders have been subject to discrimination, exclusion simply for not “fitting in”, but this cannot continue. The society has no right to decide and choose which gender should behave in what way, we get to decide that.
It’s our right to be who we are and how we choose to express ourselves. Each one of us deserves the freedom to discover and explore our sexuality and preferences. To be ourselves without the fear of social judgment. Together we can make this change happen. Together we can build a future that is inclusive. Why not give all womxn the respect and the representation that they deserve and which is rightfully theirs?
Pallabi Dutta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.