WOMEN, Not Womxn

April 6, 2021 - WSS Staff

Over the past several weeks, the staff and students involved in Women*s Student Services have engaged in an ongoing dialogue about spelling of the word WOMEN. We have listened to students, talked with our campus partners, and conducted our own research using online resources. Based on what we’ve heard through this feedback, we’ve determined we are no longer using an “X” in the word women. The word women is inclusive of all who identify as women. No modification of the word (by adding an “X”) is needed and no “alternative spelling” is required to make the word inclusive of trans women. 

 This article from the Daily Illini has a good overview of the rationale. In short (quoting from the article) “the origins of adding ‘x’ or ‘y’ in the word ‘women’ come from trans-exclusionary radical feminists who believe women are only women if they are born female.” Further, the conversation spans beyond the needs of white, cis women and the centering of white women in feminist spaces. We agree with M.S. in the article who stated “modification of the word women is not inclusive or effective as a feminist practice.”