The popular streaming platform Twitch says it will no longer use the word “womxn” after it was accused of not being inclusive of the LGBTQ community.
What they said: This week, the official Twitch account encouraged its followers to support female streamers on its platform in honor of Women’s History Month. In a seeming attempt to appease the push for gender-neutral language, the company referred to women as “womxn.”
“March is Womxn’s History Month. Join us in celebrating and supporting all the Womxn creating their own worlds, building their communities, and leading the way on Twitch,” Twitch wrote.
Critics slammed the company for using the term, arguing that it’s offensive to the transgender community. They claimed that “womxn” is used by feminists, as referred to as “TERFs,” or “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists,” who refuse to accept that transgender women are women.
“This needs to be said: ‘Womxn’ is a term made by terfs. Trans women are women. Folks is already gender neutral. Not everyone likes ‘folx’. Respect peoples wishes. Latine people have stated many times they don’t like the term ‘Latinx’. Don’t be performative,” one user said.
“Twitch, we won’t forget that you used a harmful term created by transphobes in a tweet you made. Trans women are women, not womxn,” responded another critic.
“I’m trans and ‘womxn’ is only used by people who try to tell me I’m not a ‘real woman.’ If you truly want to be inclusive of me and not purposely trying to other me, then you’ll stop doing this,” another user wrote. “If you want to do a Women’s History Month and wish for trans women to be included, please, just call us women. If your true intentions are to validate us, then don’t other us.”
Twitch deleted the post and said it will stop using the term “womxn.”
“While we originally wanted to use a word that acknowledges the shortcoming of gender-binary language, after hearing directly from you, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Twitch, we will be using the spelling ‘women’ moving forward.”
We want to assure you that we have, and will continue to, work with the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re still learning. Our good intentions don’t always equate to positive impact, but we’re committed to growing from these experiences, doing better, and ensuring we’re inclusive to all.
— Twitch (@Twitch) March 2, 2021
How we got here: The term woman emerged as an alternative to the spelling of “women” for those who claimed that the words “woman” or “women” are sexists because were derived from the “men” and “man” spellings.
Dictionary.com defines the term as “an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women.”
But while the term has been praised as more inclusive, and in spite of Dictionary.com’s definition, the transgender community claims “womxn” is used to exclude them.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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