Let's talk about the word womxn.
This podcast was originally called Extraordinary Ordinary Womxn. On the 26th April 2021 we rebranded to Extraordinary Ordinary You. This is why:
Up until recently I believed that 'womxn' was a more inclusive word than 'woman'. I used it with the hope of opening up conversations around gender, and signposting a safe space.
In sports and in the outdoors it seems that gender is still framed and categorised within a closed binary system: i.e. Women's and Men's sports teams, clubs, events, competitions and communities. Whereas to me I feel that gender sits more on a spectrum and outside of the binary. The use of the word 'womxn' felt like a way of making a nod to this.
I had also incorrectly thought that it could be used as a way to include non-binary folk.
The following thoughts are my own and I would really encourage you to open your own conversations, do your own Googling and ask your own questions.
I have reached out to members of our community, spoken to some incredible people, done a whole lot of research on the internet, and invested in books and further reading to help inform me.
I’d like to emphasise that no two people’s experiences are the same. Remember as you read this people have different opinions, thoughts, and preferences, no one person can speak on behalf of an entire community.
Through this research I've found both positive and negative views towards the word 'womxn'.
Here are some reasons I found why people might use it:
Because women's groups are not always safe spaces for trans and non-binary people, using the word ‘womxn’ can be intended as a way to signal that a space is actively inclusive
It can be a word that some people identify with and use for themselves - please consider this before telling people to stop using it
It can be a way of opening up a gendered space beyond the binary
It can start conversations around gender and inclusivity
Here are some ways the word 'womxn' can be harmful.
It can be used to 'other' trans women, suggesting that trans women are not women.
It can stop the visibility of non-binary folk - When we say 'womxn', instead of specific language such as 'women and non binary folk'
It can be misgendering. I have read a lot of posts from non-binary folk saying that the word 'womxn' doesn’t represent their gender.
There are also transphobic groups who dismiss the word ‘womxn’ because they only believe there are 2 genders. If you are changing your use of language or re-sharing posts please be aware of where messages originate from.
In light of this it was decided that the best course of action is to rename the podcast. We put it out to the community for suggestions and Extraordinary Ordinary You was the most popular available option.
Thank you so much to everyone for your support in this change.
Please be patient whilst we change the name of the podcast across locations.