Few universities in London proposed to change woman to ‘womxn’. Voice of London tested reaction.
“What does the X stand for, and do people really understand the message behind it?” Asked Carl Timehin, a Student Union representative of the University of Westminster.
Student at two London universities have changed the way of spelling woman/women to ‘womxn’ to be more inclusive. The Voice of London asks students about their opinions on it.
At Goldsmiths College, University of London, its Student Union has adopted the spelling in its publications and social media accounts. The word ‘womxn’ has been used throughout the last two weeks to promote events such as ‘Womxn’s Netball’.
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Say cheese! 📸@doshula (centre, bottom of this snap) is captain of Goldsmiths netball club… and here she is with the gang! Mary says there are loads of benefits to being fit and active which is why she’s shouting out about our #ThisGirlCan Womxn’s Netball session tonight… take a look here ➡ https://bit.ly/2QFdyjA ‘I love the many benefits that participating in sport can add to your lifestyle, such as making new friends and making you healthier and fitter,’ says Mary. ‘Most importantly, I use sport as my stress reliever so it balances out those really busy days. Just give it a go. You can do it. There’s something for everyone!’ #FitGotReal
A spokeswoman for the Goldsmiths Student Union told London Evening Standard: “Womxn is used to demonstrate our commitment to inclusiveness. No student has complained about its use. ”
Womxn in Physics Society at King’s College London is also using the word. The society was founded “to raise awareness and try and think of alternative ways to combat the gender inequality faced in Physics.”
Interestingly, King’s College London has two physics societies, one is called KCL Women in Physics and the other is Womxn in Physics.
The Womxn in Physics Society at King’s College London did not reply to CNN for its request for comments.
KCL's Womxn in Physics Society did not respond to CNN's request for comment. Why do you suppose that is? If they feel strongly enough about this to willfully use that asinine word, you'd think they'd be eager to speak to world media.
— Seth Powell (@sethjpowell) November 28, 2018
The public reacts heavily on the use about the term.
I agree…as a trans woman, calling me a woman is fine (and correct). Whereas I do find it offensive to call me something a majority of society sees as weird, and not even a legitimate word (womxn) in the name of supposedly "including" me in group I already am rightly a part of.
— TigerLily (@DippityDoGal) November 14, 2018
I’m a woman. We have enough taken from us. Let us keep our gender. If you want to call yourself man, woman, bi, gay, trans, a pumpkin, I don’t mind. But do not edit and erase women. We women are quite happy with it. #Womxn is the Brexit of feminism – it’s a mess no one wants
— 🇪🇺 Becx 🏴 #PeoplesVote 🇪🇺 (@missfoggtravels) October 11, 2018
Voice of London has done a street vox pop, click below to hear more.
Ho Yu, a recent graduate from King’s College London and is currently works in magazine industry, told Voice of London: “Name is just something for you to pronounce. Changing to X can be individual, original. ”
Highlighting a few university students’ uses of the word, Niklas, a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics, told Voice of London: “You could also interpret it another way round – why is the word man associate with the word woman? ”.
“If I see it on social media, I would just be confused.”
Timehin added: “I don’t think an X will have a real impact. What is the meaning and the significant of an X, why can’t they choose another alpha letter? ”
The word ‘womxn’ on Urban Dictionary is explained as “a spelling of ‘women’ that is a more inclusive, progressive term that not only sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced, but to also show that womxn are not the extension of men but their own free and separate entities.”
Historically, ‘womyn’ and alternative spellings of “woman” has been associated with nonstandard spelling for speech and regional dialects.
Words: Min Zhu | Subbing: Leyi Chen
Feature Image Credit: Unsplash Image