The Wellcome Collection, a museum and library in London, has caused consternation by using the word womxn instead of women in a Twitter message promoting one of its events.
Typeset women back into history with #Daylighting our four-day programme of letter printing presses, zine workshops, discussions on how womxn can challenge existing archives, wikipedia 101 & more. 18-21 Oct. Explore the programme: https://t.co/jt7HitkDaA #free pic.twitter.com/uWTpEhhhwK
— Wellcome Collection (@ExploreWellcome) October 6, 2018
It said it was using the mutant spelling because ‘we feel that it is important to create a space/venue that includes diverse perspectives’. No, me neither.
The BBC quotes Dr Clara Bradbury-Rance, fellow of King’s College London, as saying 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’.
It adds: ‘The word is also supposed to be inclusive of trans women, and some non-binary people.
‘But how is it pronounced? “I’ve heard womxn pronounced in lots of different ways. I’ve heard some pronounce it ‘wo-minx’,” Dr Bradbury-Rance says.’
One can only wonder, have these strangx pxople got nothing bxtter to do with their timx?
And how can Dr Clara allow herself to be described with such a masculine title? Fellow? King’s College? Time, surely, to give the patriarchy a kick in the txsticles.