Streaming platform Twitch has returned to the conventional spelling for “women” after its social media post hailing “Womxn’s History Month” – avoiding any “gender-binary language” – backfired and angered critics on all sides.
Though the company took to Twitter on Monday to inform users that “March is Womxn’s History Month,” using an alternative styling of “women” in a bid to include non-binary gender identities, it made an abrupt about-face just a few hours later, announcing that it would revert back to the standard spelling.
“While we originally wanted to use a word that acknowledges the shortcoming of gender-binary language, after hearing directly from you, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Twitch, we will be using the spelling ‘women’ moving forward,” the platform said in a tweet, adding that the company is “still learning.”
We want to assure you that we have, and will continue to, work with the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re still learning. Our good intentions don’t always equate to positive impact, but we’re committed to growing from these experiences, doing better, and ensuring we’re inclusive to all.
We want to assure you that we have, and will continue to, work with the LGBTQIA+ community. We're still learning. Our good intentions don't always equate to positive impact, but we're committed to growing from these experiences, doing better, and ensuring we're inclusive to all.
— Twitch (@Twitch) March 2, 2021
It isn’t clear what prompted the sudden reversal, but the company’s initial, now-deleted post quickly triggered backlash, including from those identifying as transgender. Some argued that few actually refer to themselves as “womxn” and that the term instead makes “most trans women feel othered” rather than included.
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“No one who’s a woman wants to be called a womxn just like no Latinos want to be called Latinx. White liberals know what’s best for us tho,” wrote trans YouTuber Blaire White, referring to another attempt to de-genderize the words “Latino” and “Latina” favored by many American progressives.
No one who's a woman wants to be called a womxn just like no Latinos want to be called Latinx. White liberals know what's best for us tho~
— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) March 1, 2021
Hey, Twitch. New partner here! I wanted to write something thoughtful to explain why this tweet was a bit of a misfire, but nobody said it better than @Liv_Agar – please read, understand, and apply! pic.twitter.com/RQieBTyWBR
— Sanjati 🔮🎮 is a TWITCH PARTNER! (@stefsanjati) March 1, 2021
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