- Several colleges and universities are choosing to celebrate “Womxn’s History Month” to recognize women, transgender and non-binary individuals.
- The term “womxn” is a spin-off of the word “woman” to “avoid the suggestion of sexism” and “to be inclusive of trans women and nonbinary people,” according to Dictionary.com.
- “It’s more virtue-signaling to appease the woke crowd on college campuses,” Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Several colleges across the country are opting to ditch the word “women” during Women’s History Month in place of a broader term to include non-binary individuals.
Several colleges and universities are rebranding the celebratory month as “Womxn’s History Month” to recognize women and members of the LGBTQ community who identify as transgender or non-binary. The University of Richmond’s Westhampton College, Rider University, California State University, San Bernardino, San José State University, University of Missouri – Saint Louis (UMSL), John Jay College of Criminal Justice and San Joaquin Delta College all include the expansive term on their event websites.
“Womxn” is an all-inclusive term used “as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the spelling sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans women and nonbinary people,” according to Dictionary.com.
Rider University, located in New Jersey, swapped the word to “respect the dynamic and fluid nature of gender identity and expression and to be inclusive of all people who identify as women in today’s times,” its website reads. California State University, San Bernardino writes that it “intentionally spell[s] womxn with an X as an objection to the patriarchal idea that womxn are an extension to men and the inclusion of all womxn go beyond just cis-women.”
“It’s more virtue-signaling to appease the woke crowd on college campuses,” Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If students and universities were as concerned with core academics as they are with erasing the word women, Americans might not be as skeptical as they’ve become of the value of a college degree.”
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) March 1, 2023
The University of Richmond will recognize the “incredible advocacy, leadership, scholarship, and creative work of all women and gender-expansive individuals at the University of Richmond and in the greater Richmond community,” according to its website, while the San José State University Gender Equity Center will recognize “Womxn’s Herstory Month” to celebrate “womxn’s contributions to herstory, culture and society.”
Carrie Lukas, Independent Women’s Forum president, told the DCNF that changing the term “woman” is “problematic” and a “threat.”
“Language matters, and this idea of not allowing there to be a word that just represents … biological women is really troubling,” she said. “I think it’s a bad trend that we’ve seen in this trying to change what language means.”
UMSL raffled off prizes from “womxn owned businesses so come celebrate the success of womxn,” its website reads. Rider University held a “Who Runs The World? Womxn!” event on March 8 to “learn more about womxn’s rights and the importance of it today,” according to its schedule, as well as an athletics event that will feature an alumna to “provide remarks about her/their time at the university and lessons she/they learned that have helped her/them excel in life and her/their career.”
“Women in general … our instinct is to be kind and inclusive,” Lukas said. “We don’t want to hurt people’s feelings … we’ve sympathized with marginalized communities, but I do think this is time for women to stand up and recognize that it is a problem and it is okay to care about biological women’s unique needs and to recognize that there are times when … there’s a tension here.”
She explained that there is a cost that women pay when men who identify as women are permitted to join women’s sports teams, be in women’s prisons or use women-only facilities.
“I think it’s simply wrong and we need to speak out on behalf of women who are vulnerable, physically vulnerable,” Lukas continued. “It’s women who are losing their opportunities. It’s women who are losing their privacy, and that’s a real problem. Safety is being sacrificed.”
University of Richmond, Rider University, California State University, San Bernardino, San José State University, University of Missouri – Saint Louis (UMSL), John Jay College of Criminal Justice and San Joaquin Delta College did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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