X Blog Post Illustration

Why X? Because we want to become Xtinct

Date: September 15, 2021

By: Jen Gilhoi

Women are at the heart and soul of this new venture called AddWomxn. We are excellent communicators when we come together to nurture and empower each other. Our hope is that someday AddWomxn will be obsolete (or rather, Xtinct) because a mindset of abundance – in the workplace, in our communities – has affected change.

Already as AddWomxn, people immersive in all cultures have seen us. Something transformative happens when we receive kind, contextual and educational feedback from others (thank you, The Coven, AddWomxn Ally, we see you). We listen, become more informed through conversations, remain uncomfortable as needed, and explore. This is an essential part of the way we intend to lift everyone up. Even men (more on that later).

AddWomxn’s vision is to advance creativity and diversity.   The “X” in our brand visually represents how we are at the intersection of conversations that need to be inclusive and move creativity and diversity forward. The “X” is silent in pronunciation, meaning “womxn” is simply pronounced, “women.” It also represents the intersectionality of a vast number of identities that include gender, sex and race. When you see the “X” in logo and trademarked format, it lends itself to the ambiguous pronunciation and causes the reader to pause. It’s the ultimate conversation starter to share AddWomxn’s purpose and then, importantly, listen to the response.

As AddWomxn and host of inclusive conversations you can bet we’re paying attention to language as it is changing at a rapid pace right now. Speaking in an inclusive way can feel like a mouthful, albeit an essential one, as additional identities weigh in and broaden and specify terms all at once. What was once LGBT is LGBTQIAS2S+ and groups identified separately like Black people or Indigenous people roll off the tongue as a collective BIPOC now (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). These are examples of how language and labels are currently prime for more evolution.

Take for example, womxn, a word considered in 2017 to be “a powerful, increasingly popular label, encompassing a broader range of gender identities than ‘woman’… a nontraditional spelling for people whose gender identity doesn’t fit in the traditional boxes.” “Womxn” received backlash from the trans community in 2018, stating that women already includes trans women. On that clear directive and outside of AddWomxn branding, our conversational spoken and written word uses “women” inclusively of trans women and any person who identifies as a woman in terms of gender. (Note: gender is a culturally invented and much more complex concept, which is so eloquently touched on in Amanda Montell’s book, Wordslut. Thank you, Amanda!)

Immersing ourselves in understanding new language, slang, terminology, labels, and story is part of AddWomxn’s work in our communities. Montell notes, “Language change is frequently a sign of bigger social changes, which makes people anxious.” Remaining at the intersection of all of these ideas as we move toward AddWomxn’s healthy Xtinction is critical, especially when it’s uncomfortable. It is how our future selves will look back on the work to see its impact and how it will continue to model a better way forward. In the interim we are the solid bridge between corporate culture that falls short of true equity (even when well intentioned) and amazing women in our community who deserve to rise and are absolutely ready to rise.