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Why We Write Womxn

Why We Write Womxn

At the Deaconess Community’s 2016 assembly, we voted to become a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) community.

Included in that vote was the decision to open our doors to female-identifying people. The spelling of “women” and “woman” originate from Old English, where “man” was used as a gender fluid pronoun much like “one” and “they” have turned into today.

While dictionaries do not officially recognize the spelling (Google labels “womxn” as nonstandard), it’s often used to promote inclusivity among cis- and transgender women. By avoiding the “-men” or “-man” suffixes, people who use alternate spellings of the word “women” aim to achieve female independence from patriarchal linguistic norms.

Changing our own community’s spelling of the word is a visible signal to the trans community, and the whole LGBTQIA+ community, that we are not just saying we are welcoming and affirming of female-identifying people, we are actively working to shift the way we behave and communicate to show that welcome and affirmation of all who may be called to seek out the Deaconess Community as a safe place to be who God has created and called them to be.

Our common call to diakonia helps us to make this move as a way to be accountable to those we serve, and those called to serve as part of our community.

Thanks be to God that we are transforming as a community to live into the transformative nature of the Spirit’s calling!

Gender Justice: Why it Matters

Click above to watch Sr. Liz Colver, talk with Sr. Clare Josef-Maier, and Aubrey Thonvold, executive director of ReconcilingWorks.