“Filipinx” is trending on Twitter today, July 26, as disagreements against the use of this term resurfaced online after Comic-Con International, a US-based annual entertainment event, used it in a tweet. Such an event was not the first time, and here’s why Filipinos should continue calling out this practice.
Last 2020, the dictionary website Dictionary.com updated thousands of its entries, which included the terms “Filipinx” and “Pinxy”. They defined these words as “of or relating to natives or inhabitants of the Philippines.” They linked it to “Latinx”, explaining that Spanish and other Romance languages have “gendered grammar.” According to them, the use of -x instead of -o/-a is meant for inclusivity as it recognizes people whose gender identities are nonbinary, INQUIRER.net reported.
In a column piece by John Toledo written in the same year, he debunked the use of the mentioned terms for inclusivity’s sake with two counter-arguments. First, this word created by “Filipino-American digital natives” supports the power of the American establishments to name identities based on their sensibilities–which is counterproductive to the aim of Philippine independence. Moreover, “Filipino” was already gender-neutral, as it instilled a “collective consciousness that ties [the Filipinos to their] fellow Filipinos by mere ethnicity.”
Despite the many expressions of disagreement since the coining of this term, just last January 22, the American food magazine Bon Appétit used it in an Instagram post. After receiving backlash, they edited the “Filipinx meal” into “Filipino meal”. And now another American body Comic-Con International had joined the negligent use of the term, and Filipinos aren’t about to just let it slide.
In the tweet posted last July 22, the mentioned organization’s official account repeatedly used the word discussed in a photo caption. “The Filipinx Voices in Pop Culture was a fun and educational all Filipinx panel discussing Filipinx influences behind your favorite media!” they wrote.
The Filipinx Voices in Pop Culture was a fun and educational all Filipinx panel discussing Filipinx influences behind your favorite media! 📸 Edward S. pic.twitter.com/OOgLFKp2pf
— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) July 22, 2022
The keyword “Filipinx” started trending on the platform as Filipino Twitter users expressed their disapproval of another foreign body’s use of the controversial term.
The other case of a food magazine correcting their use of the word after various complaints showed that constantly going against this inappropriate word could work. It might work again this time and hopefully spark an even more powerful outcome of never seeing the term be used again. As Toledo asked in the column piece mentioned, “What could be more gender-neutral than the Philippine languages themselves spoken by our fellow Filipinos?”
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