Her Campus American takes pride in our use of gender-inclusive language. We aim to promote gender inclusivity and diversity in our organization and hope to educate, inform, and improve the journalistic use of gender-inclusive language.
“Her Campus” was created and continues to maintain the position of being a space for young women to create, share, and collaborate. Her Campus Media’s mission statement is to “empower young women with the tools, passion, confidence, and training they need to succeed, no matter what they dream of doing.” However, with our name itself, we acknowledge that our publication has been put into a gender-conforming box and the implications for this are that we have been positioned as a space for cis-women.
The binary that has been placed on us as an organization due to the implication of our name does not reflect the goals or the values of Her Campus at American. We should have never been just a “women’s space”, but we are taking responsibility for that aspect of our past and the national organization that we are a part of. At AU’s chapter of Her Campus we seek to fully embrace the lens of intersectionality. We acknowledge those who do not fall into gender binaries, and we strive to be inclusive to all who lack representation.
Her Campus American embraces the diversity, intersectionality, and identities of everyone who wants to be involved. We also seek to tell diverse narratives through our writing and other content. In recognizing our limitations and the changes we need to make, we are going to stop using the term “womxn” in our writing and other content. We are invested in interrogating all forms of sexism and misogyny, not just sexism toward cis-women and we hope this change reflects that. The idea that “womxn” is meant to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women essentially implies that the word “women” does not include trans and nonbinary women in the first place.
How Should Writers Use Gender Inclusive Language?
In article writing, when referring to experiences that we think that women “typically” experience (pregnancy, menstruation, birth control, discrimination, etc.), it is imperative to describe the experience rather than the person/gender that “typically” experiences it.
We recognize the good intentions of our use of the term “womxn” but language, terminology, and thoughts can change and transform. While our use of this term was meant to be inclusive, we recognize that it is not one that we should be using in our efforts towards inclusivity and will therefore no longer use the term, effective immediately. The most important part is that we listen to and understand those who are affected by this term: trans women, non-binary people, and women of color. If they say it is time for change, it is time for change.
Photos: Her Campus Media