If only it were an attempt to get away from patriarchal language

The BBC is on the “womxn” issue.

Womxn – to the untrained eye it may look like a typo.

But when the Wellcome Collection – a museum and library in London – sent a tweet promoting an event using the word it led to a Twitter backlash from hundreds of women, and an apology from the organisation.

Like women, womxn refers to females, but it is an attempt to get away from patriarchal language.

The hell it is. That was “womyn,” which was floated decades ago and was largely ignored. No, this is not about getting away from patriarchal language, it’s about making women more “inclusive,” which is quite a different thing. It’s about “including” men in the category “women.” That’s not anti-patriarchal.

Dr Clara Bradbury-Rance, fellow at King’s College London, said the spelling “stems from a longstanding objection to the word woman as it comes from man, and the linguistic roots of the word mean that it really does come from the word man”.

No, that’s “womyn.” A third spelling just confuses the matter.

The word is also supposed to be inclusive of trans women, and some non-binary people.

Men, in other words. (“Women” already includes trans women according to the “trans women are women” doctrine, so a new word for women is not needed.)

But the term led hundreds of people, many women, to mock and criticise the Wellcome Collection.

Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman said the museum’s “new gender categories are ‘men’ and ‘other'”.

Suzie Leighton said she would not be referred to as a womxn until men became mxn.

So did a lot of us. The omission is pretty striking. Isn’t it just so odd how it’s always women who are told to move over and give way and share and change and tweak in order to accommodate others (i.e. men) and never men who are told to do all that to make room for women?

The Wellcome Collection said it used the word womxn “with the intention of being inclusive”.

One of the groups that the term was supposed to include was trans women. But campaign group Trans Media Watch said it would never use that term.

Chair Jennie Kermode said: “We would generally just write women in the usual way because we feel it’s important for people to recognise that trans women are women.”

See? What I said.

The Beeb apparently hasn’t seen the Her Stories one yet.

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