An Explanation of Our Choice to Use the Term “Womxn” Now Instead of Women
You have likely noticed that recently we have started to use the term womxn, using an x instead of an ‘a’ or an ‘e’. So no longer using women or woman. We have done a lot of research on this topic and put a LOT of thought into this decision and feel it’s the right thing to do. Here’s why.
What is Womxn?
First off, let’s define the term womxn.
Definition: The term Womxn is an alternative term for the English language word women which has been occasionally in use since 2015 to explicitly include non-cisgender women. It has been used in a similar manner as womyn and wimmin, as a rejection of the English-only etymology of 'woman' from Old English wifmon. Wikipedia
On the blume.com site, the Blume Team describes it like this:
"The term “womxn” is inclusive to trans womxn, womxn of colour, and basically reclaims the word “woMAN” for us to own and redefine. Strong, independent, diverse: ”womxn” is inclusive. Womxn is empowering."
So What Does This Mean?
Simply put, for us at Mateus Studios, we want to be inclusive of anyone that self identifies as a woman. We want to make sure we have open arms in our studio to celebrate not only cis gendered women (women who identify as their naturally born gender) but also for non-binary women (those who identify neither as a man or woman - genderfluid). We want to take an intersectional approach.
What is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality Definition: It's used to refer to the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups. Merriam-Webster.com
Who Uses Womxn and Why?
In the Colorado Springs Indy, Allissa Smith writes, "When we consider LGBTQ and women’s issues, we want to believe we’re all united in cause. Feminism has become increasingly intersectional in its third wave, prioritizing not just the needs of straight, cisgender (identifying as the gender they were assigned at birth) white women, but the needs of the marginalized: LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people of color. Unfortunately, no matter how “woke” we think we are as a movement, feminists aren’t immune to infighting and gatekeeping." https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/why-we-use-the-word-womxn/Content?oid=19884026
Saavriti Verma of the She The People website explains, "Womxn bashes patriarchy, it includes identities that are looked down upon. It promises inclusivity and independence. It broadens the scope of womanhood.”
Their article explains why we should welcome the term womxn with open arms. You can read it in full here: https://www.shethepeople.tv/home-top-video/use-word-womxn-women/
A Decision for Mateus Studios
And now we at Mateus Studios have decided to use the term womxn too. With our mission of uplifting womxn, ALL womxn, and in today’s ever-evolving climate, we felt it was time. We know we will make mistakes with language along our journey. We also know that some may not understand, or agree with us, on our choices to evolve in this way. But, we also know we are ok with both making mistakes and making people go hmmmm?
The biggest thing for us is to strive for inclusion and to always keep learning how to show up as the humans we strive to be, even if we stumble along the way. If there is anything we have learned in our studio, it’s that the expression of being a woman varies greatly. For that reason, womxn feels right for us. We want our Vancouver Boudoir studio to always be growing and evolving. Thank you for being here with us as we all do this together.
We hope you join us in celebrating ALL Womxn!
~Michele & the Mateus Studios team!
Michele Mateus is a Vancouver Boudoir & Portrait Photographer located in Coquitlam, BC. Hair & Makeup By Jenny Valla.
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