Dear Butch womyn, GNC womyn, detransitioned womyn, and any female struggling to accept herself and thrive in this hostile world:
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are perfect. You are feminine by nature of your female reality, and need not embellish nor shrink in order to be so. I see you. I feel you in my heart. I hope some day to meet your gaze and in that instant we will both know that there is strength and solidarity in the way we exist and take up space. I want us to hold each other sacred and dear, because there is nothing more powerful than the sisterhood we all share.
In this clip from the 2006 BBC documentary Lefties: Angry Wimmin
Second Wave Feminists mention the use of the feminist hand symbol representing the vulva or vagina and provide explanations for a form of feminist linguistic protest that was based on de-centering men from women resulting in alternative spellings such as wimmin, wombyn (in reference to women’s wombs), or womyn. They also mention the change behind historybeing altered into herstoryand changes in expressions that turns, “Oh, God!” into “Oh, Goddess!”. The point is the removal of male-centeredness or androcentrism from everyday language.
Susan Hemmings: “There were women, at the time, who felt that the word ‘woman’ or ‘women’ actually contained the word ‘man’ and ‘men’ and therefore should be changed. They felt that the language was so male-dominated so they started to spell women differently: w-i-Double-M (mm)-i-n for example to completely get rid of the word ‘man’ inside that.”
Femi Otitoju: “The last thing you wanted right in the very core of your identity was the word ‘man’, excuse me, that just so completely had to go. So, we explored all kinds of exciting things. We talked about ourselves as ‘wimmin’ – w-i-Double-M (mm)-i-n, or ‘wombyn’ which is w-o-m-b-y-n. Sometimes we left the B out and it was w-o-m-y-n. But it was all about us, keep the focus here, keep the focus female. Keep the focus feminine.”
Kirsten Hearne: “[ - What was the B doing in there?] Womb. So, it was womb-yn. So, we turned ‘women’, w-o-m-e-n, into w-o-m-b, womb-yn, [womb]-y-n. I thought that was rather clever actually.”
Man used to be a gender neutral term and there was a preface to man for both “woman” and “man” until about the 13th century when this all changed. Interesting.
So while at one point woman was not, actually, an extension of man, it wound up that way. So is it worthwhile to take issue with the word or to “let it go”? Additionally, the popular re-write “wimmin” is the German word for woman.