Twitch has responded to community backlash after it unveiled its Women’s History Month, but spelled every instance of the word “woman” or “women” as “womxn.” The streaming service clearly felt that the latter term would be seen as more inclusive, but that is not the case.
Fans quickly pointed out that womxn is not the inclusive term that Twitch believed. Many people replied to Twitch’s announcement to point out that trans women are women – not womxn – and non-binary people are non-binary – also not womxn.
To its credit, however, Twitch changed the misguided wording, deleting their tweets and editing the blog post to use the words “woman” and “women.” The streaming service also tweeted out an apology. “While we originally wanted to use a word that acknowledges the shortcoming of gender-binary language,” Twitch writes in a tweet, “after hearing directly from you, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Twitch, we will be using the spelling ‘women’ moving forward.”
Twitch also assured people that it was “will continue to work with” the LGBTQIA+ community, however some people remain sceptical about how much Twitch worked with LGBTQIA+ people before making decisions regarding Women’s History Month.
here's an idea, hire trans and nonbinary people and then LISTEN to them : )
— katthew (@shutup) March 2, 2021
Just a reminder:
"Womxn" isn't all that great of a term
Trans Women are Women. Not a special kind of woman. And non-binary folks aren't women either. Using womxn to mean "not male" is kind of….not great
— Amanda, Who Shakes the World 🏳️⚧️ (@AmandaTNStevens) March 1, 2021
Twitch’s rebranded Women’s History Month will still go ahead this month, showcasing women’s channels every day of March. You can check out exactly whose channels will be featured on Twitch’s updated blog.
Twitch promises to “foster diversity and support streamers who identify as women,” but it will have to do better in the future by talking to a more diverse team when producing future events such as this. While its apology and changes are welcome, the platform needs to start getting things right the first time around to be truly inclusive for minority streamers.