e-fucking-gads. It sounds like some sort of Dungeons and Dragons beast. Womyn, now that's a word that goes weird if you stare at it too long.

Hrmm, perhaps a womyn is something like a "faggit" or a "Strait", some sort of 8 legged woman, or a woman with a tail perhaps. If only we could catch one alive we could sell it for millions, we'd be rich!

As I cruise more here (this is a work in progress) I see that wimmin, womyn, wymyn are actually only "women" who cannot spell, hate vowels or hate men.

"Militant feminism" (direct quote), what an interesting concept. Let's be what we hate men for being.

And what is the deal with this whole "Riot Grrl" thing? Is this one person? In the last 15 minutes I have seen the words "riot" and "grrl" next to each other about 30 times on 20 different web sites referring to what seems to be different people. Is this some sort of young, militant, feminist, borg, hive mind movement?

Gryytyngs, I am RiotGrrl-xjz56-g, prepare to lysten to Any Dyfrynco.

All I can infer from all of this is that the vowels in all of these words keep disappearing to who knows where, and the text on the pages keeps getting bigger with more punctuation. So apparently the more militant you become the less you like the letters o and e; why I cannot even begin to guess.

At any rate, I can see a need to make a niche for your self, but some of this is just silly.

Some of my favorite quotes by wymnynmimyn...wymn-wymnn...by females on these sorts of pages include:

ELLBOGEN'S* GRRL PAGE (Womyn, women, and other species also welcome.)

Oh, the term Fe-Mail, that's cute.

XX marks the spot!

Anyway, you get the idea. I am all for equal rights, don't get me wrong, but the one example people keep giving is this "men get paid more than women" thing. That I am going to need to read more into. There was something like 2 women graduating from college for every man this year. If women are still getting shafted perhaps they should ask for a raise? If I wasn't happy with what I made that is what I would do, or work elsewhere. Then there is "men beat women", go look at www.abusedmen.com, women beat men too. Not comparably so, but they do, which is something no one talks about. How about women who completely and utterly mindfuck men? Never talk about that.

So we have myn and womyn fighting and oppressing each other and beating each other and getting paid more than each other. Are we projecting here? I mean really, if you want better myn, then perhaps the wymyn ought to raise them better. It's a fact that children are raised more by their mothers than their fathers. Women play more of an active roll in parenting rather than equal parenting which is unfortunate (sometimes due to deadbeat men, I am aware). Take advantage of it if you are so pissed and "genderfucked". I was raised by a single mother, she taught me to open doors (which I get yelled at for) and to pull out chairs (which I get glares for) and to not judge people by sex or appearance.

What happens the day that everything IS equal. Will they notice? No more benefit concerts and misspelling their name. I swear, without this huge menacing oppression, what will hold them together?

I am just failing to see what all this is about. The myn and I will be over here not understanding. RIOT BOIZ! WOOO! MYN POWYR@! That would get me shot at. God forbid.

I don't know, you tell me, bad idea, good idea; lets use a phrase made popular by the KKK and swap out white.

Is it "HIEL WYMNMN!" next or what? :P

Creepy shit.
Man originally meant person, and the word for a male person had a prefix as well, just like woman.

I know of no archaic English words for "man" or "person" that consist of "man" with a prefix. There's freke, gome, lede, segge, tulk, and so on - but nothing ending in "man" except "man(ne)."

"Man" (or "manne") has meant "man" for as long as it's meant anything. The male human being has always been normative, and the female has been exceptional - the human being with a difference, the womb-man.

This difference doesn't have to be derogatory. But in Western culture it has been; there's no point in denying that men have had the upper hand.

Whether you approve of "womyn" or not, there is a valid linguistic point behind it.

There is a tendency to poke fun at concepts and opinions that one either doesn't agree with or doesn't understand. This does not just occur on Everything, it occurs every day in real life.

Some women (mostly feminists, though not all feminists agree with this) find that the modern day application of the word woman causes a woman to be definined by her "not man" status. The use of the wo- before the man indicates a fundamental difference of the female sex from the male (the same is true of female/male, obviously), and causes women to be defined, first and foremost, by the their not-male sex.

There is a strong tradition in any movement that is trying to transform our reality of changing language. Semantics and the rules of discourse are fundamental tenets of the status quo. To be able to change the world, we have to change the way we think of it and, to do that, we have to have new words and phrases to express these thoughts of change.

"Womyn" are trying to do exactly that. When I say that, I don't mean the 13-year olds who put "Grrl Power" (although the Riot Grrl movement has a different spin and, if the phrase is meant that way, I have no expertise on the subject) or "Womyn rule" on their homepages. No, they very likely don't understand that they are trying to participate in a movement to change the world. But many others do understand (and, let's not forget, these girls could easily learn) that the words they use, the way that they speak has a profound effect on how we think about certain things.

You may or may not believe that this focus is justified ... you may think that the women who try to define themselves in a different way are ridiculous.

But there is a real reason for this change. If you don't agree with it ... fine ... but try to understand it.

The notion that feminists are trying to change the way we think about things by changing language is all well and good, I suppose. I quote directly from another node when I say, "To be able to change the world, we have to change the way we think of it." I'm fine with that, and I love attempting to solve problems by looking at them from a different perspective or putting a twist on them or spelling them differently.

Here is the problem with it, though, as I see it. Womyn isn't really a new word; it's a new spelling. We're not changing language when we spell words differently (1337 speak included); we're just ... spelling words differently. In conversation, we're not even really changing the way we think about woman, since one cannot discern differences in spelling through speech (I think). As an exercise, try saying the two words aloud, first "woman" and then "womyn". Use the word "womyn" in a conversation, and then ask your partner if they could tell that you were substituting "womyn" for "woman" in an attempt to change the way we think about gender relationships. If s/he could tell, then good for both of you; but I'm willing to bet that s/he did not notice that you were changing the way you (pl.) think about the world so that you (pl.) could change the world.

That's why I don't think "womyn" means anything. To reiterate, it's not really a new word, merely a new spelling. And as great as things are on paper, they often do not work out in the real world.

If spelling could change the world, I'd start referring to him as George W. Busch just to see if the newly-spelled president was any better than our currently-spelled president.

    (There) lived a family of bears ... together anthropomorphically in a little cottage as a nuclear family. They were very sorry about this, of course, since the nuclear family has traditionally served to enslave womyn, instill a self-righteous moralism in its members, and imprint rigid notions of heterosexualist roles onto the next generation. (They named) their offspring the non-gender-specific “Baby.”
    James Finn Garner,
    “Goldilocks ,“ Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, (1994).

When I first saw this word womyn there was lots of confusion, then a deep sigh of realization. Gone were my guilt-free days of eating Cool-Whip out of the tub in a chocolate induced bliss. Now they had reshuffled semantics to demonstrate compassion toward people who can’t spell.

I was wrong. This isn’t about spelling in the strictest sense, but more about how people view themselves in terms of societal values. Several studies by linguists have discovered that a good deal of the time many people think that using the word “men” refers to both genders. Since the idea of women as men’s possession is becoming more and more antiquated in first world countries a significant number of womym would like to change grammar that reflects a more modern image of their gender in today’s society by replacing the letter 'a' in the singular sense and 'e'for plural usage with the letter 'y.'

The word man evolved from Old English which was used to describe a man, mann, human being, or person. Sometime around the latter part of 1000 AD it gained the sense of "adult male." Later on people began to use wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear by the end of the 13th century and was replaced by man. Many think that woman means “of man.” arieh explains where the suggestion of this comes from, “People may think that woman means 'of man' because of Genesis 2. Of course, the words in question there are the Hebrew Ish and Ishah, not the English. And Ishah doesn't even mean 'from Ish.'" A little research into the etymology reveals that woman comes from Old English in the form of wimman and the plural wimmen. It began replacing the older Old English term wif sometime during the 17th century. Before that the archaic word quean was used to describe a "female human being."

Since America had no authoritative source that determined what vocabulary was acceptable Noah Webster published his first of dictionary in 1806. Many editions followed and were considered the authorities, prescribing the "correct" spelling and the "correct" meaning of words. By middle of the 20th century the unabridged Webster's Third International Dictionary was published and this particular kind of prescription came to an end as being the primary reason for a dictionary. Rather than telling readers what was "correct" and "incorrect" about language, dictionary editors "described" how the language was being used. By the early 1990s the Random House dictionary listed gender-neutral words like chairperson as well as gender specific ones such as herstory, and spellings like "womyn." This is what lexicographers call "word choice." As words begin to appear in the media they note down citations in the popular press like the example above. Political cartoons and advertisements are another source for citations. When a particular word appears in "reputable" papers dictionary editors will finally accept it.

The debate over this word is a lively one. Many camps claim it as their own and several think it quite clever to eliminate the male association and promote feminism or lesbianism in one fell swoop. Others say it’s mind-bogglingly childish and it makes their head hurt to think about it. Yet at the same time a number of people point out that this is another form of sexism. No matter what anyone’s preference is, only time will tell whether or not this word becomes a linguistic preference in the English language and the best way to find out is keep checking those dictionaries.


Online Etymological Dictionary:


Word Use and Abuse:

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