The London-based Ted talk franchise is facing harsh criticism after using the term ‘womxn’ as a “progressive” spelling of women that is inclusive to non-cisgender women.
The organization announced their upcoming female centric event TEDxLondonWomxn on Twitter Friday. When one user asked what a ‘womxn’ was, organizers responded the word ‘womxn’ was not a typo.
Aside from blatantly endorsing a term that evokes direct association with the TEDx brand, the independent idea sharers are promoting ‘womxn’ as a word that “sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced.”
TEDxLondon also claims that ‘womxn’ is “more inclusive and progressive,” and is distinct from its predecessor because the term “explicitly includes non-cisgender women.”
TEDxLondonWomxn is coming back (virtually)! 💥
And we'd love you to share your ideas to help us to build our programme of events for this Autumn…
— TEDxLondon (@tedxlondon) September 4, 2020
Why we're using 'womxn'
No, that's not a typo: 'womxn' is a spelling of 'women' that's more inclusive and progressive. The term sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced, and explicitly includes non-cisgender women.
— TEDxLondon (@tedxlondon) September 5, 2020
Both women and non-cisgender women alike have taken to social media to call out TEDxLondon for trying to coin the term, which has been labeled misogynistic and offensive.
One woman who is not a womxn, tweeted: “I’m a woman, I’m not a womxn, I’m not a cis female or an individual with a cervix, I’m a WOMAN and I’m proud of it.”
@bindelj pointed out: “If offensive inclusivity dictates that women are now ‘womxn’ – then men must be ‘mxn.’
Another said the term “is like the pinnacle of progressivism turning around and hurting the very thing that it was trying to protect.”
@literllysofie tweeted: “since y’all wanna be “inclusive” of trans women by using dumb words like “womxn” I have now decided that all british women are now called w£men. Please support w£men in their historical struggle.”
When a user questioned if trans women would rather be called ‘women’ or ‘womxn,’ @IckyVickyEww replied, “Dude id rather be misgendered and called a guy over being called a “womxn.”
@hotcheetopunk stated: “If a cis person calls me womxn I will punch them in the face.”
Another hilariously wrote, “I type out womxn not because I’m progressive but because I misspell things.”
Lesbian pop culture website AfterEllen tweeted: “We will NEVER use the words “womxn” or “cis” or any other derogatory, insulting, abusive terms directed at females. Women are women.”