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Updated: AUGUST 14, 2020

Womxn is an alternative spelling for the common English words woman and women. Like these more common terms, womxn refers to people who identify as human adult females. The alternative spelling differentiates and separates womxn from man, as the term is not derived from man or containing man. It aims to be more inclusive of all womxn, including transgender, non-binary, and people of color.

The word womxn is primarily used in progressive circles including among intersectional feminists. It was first used between 2010 and 2015.

More About Womxn

As womxn does not include the word man or men, as woman and women do, some say it more completely represents the complexity of the gender. Womxn is not simply the opposite of man. In giving womxn their own identity, separate from men, the term aims to be less sexist than women. It suggests womxn have autonomy and can thrive on their own, without men’s assistance.

However, some critics of the term argue that woman and women are already inclusive terms. Many people of color, transgender, and nonbinary people happily identify as women. Some people also argue that the term womxn may offend the people it aims to include such as transgender and nonbinary people. In emphasizing the various types of womxn, it does not serve non-cisgender women who do not want to draw attention to their differences. It could even out people who are not ready to share their gender identities.

Some also say that the feminist term womyn already showed separation from men. However, some argue that term is now outdated as some people who used it discriminated against non-cisgender people.

The pronunciation of womxn is ambiguous. Some may say this is problematic for any term, but others disagree. Advocates argue the ambiguous pronunciation reflects the complexity of the gender this word represents. They also say that when pronunciation is unclear people must stop and think before they speak. People who use womxn welcome this moment of reflection on the word and, by extension, what it means.


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