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WISA is now Womxn in Student Affairs

Womxn in Student Affairs
January 19, 2021

The WISA Leadership Team is excited to share that we are now the Womxn in Student Affairs Knowledge Community (spelled differently, but pronounced the same).

While that one small letter change from e to x might seem insignificant, we believe it’s very significant in advancing the vision and values of inclusion and intersectionality that we aspire to represent, for our members and all of NASPA. 

This decision was approved by the NASPA Board of Directors in response to a proposal which highlighted an extensive process of research, deliberation, member engagement, and collaboration with other KCs.  A majority of respondents in our recent member survey supported the proposed name change.

What does this change symbolize?  The historical foundations of the words female/woman/women stem from the root word male or man, thereby building on masculine terminology.  This spelling most consistently denotes cisgender identification or representation. The word womxn (used in both singular and plural forms), originates from a premise of expanding the gender identify lexicon to be more overtly inclusive of the trans, femme, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, genderfluid, and non-binary individuals that may incorporate womanhood into their life.

The WISA leadership team is committed to the ongoing work to demonstrate that this is more than a performative act, and that our intentional focus on issues of the intersection of identity will continue to demonstrate this.

What it doesn’t change - is the focus of the WISA KC on building community among womxn in student affairs and addressing essential issues on gender equality in our personal and professional lives.

Want more information? Check out:

Interesting Histories: Female-Male-Woman-Man 

Womyn, womxn, and women: What’s the difference?

The role of gender affirmation in psychological well-being among transgender women

Woman, womyn, and womxn: Students learn about intersectionality in womanhood