Last month, our Women’s Night crew got their noggins together and decided it was time to re-name our workshop. We’re now called Womxn’s Night! This conversation was just one of many about representation and diversity at the Project, and the conversation is far from over. At The Bristol Bike Project, we’re committed to inclusivity, and we’re constantly reviewing our policies and practices to try to reflect this. We also know we don’t always get it right, which is why we’re open to constructive feedback about all the decisions that we make. So here’s why we’ve changed our name..
We use an ‘x’ in “womxn” to underscore inclusivity
Given the current social climate where some are being emboldened to overtly discriminate and publicly verbalise bigoted opinions, Womxn’s Night wants to make it absolutely clear that we explicitly include women of colour, trans women, femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer and non-binary folks and any other women who may feel discriminated against in some areas of feminism.
Is it our understanding that the x in womxn recognises that sadly not all women’s groups are inclusive. Although it is only a letter we hope it shows that we seek to be as inclusive as possible in keeping with our need to offer a space free from the influences of sexism and other forms of discrimination or exclusion. As a group we proudly stand up against racism, sexism and any discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.
So how do you pronounce it?
Nita Harker a co-organizer of the Seattle Womxn’s march sums it up quite nicely:
“I actually think the challenge—particularly that it is hard to pronounce in your mind as you read it, that it forces one to stop and think, that it is not just easy and nice and recognizable—is part of the point. To me, it represents the complexity of gender. And when you confront the word “womxn”, you have to confront that complexity“
Pronounce it the way you like there is no one way!
If you have ideas you want to share and want to get involved in the conversation, why not join our RAD (Representation and Diversity) Working Group? Email hello@thebristolbikeproject.