Actor James Dreyfus whines his predictive text keeps suggesting ‘womxn’. It backfires spectacularly
British actor James Dreyfus embarrassed himself after whining about his phone’s predictive text suggesting “womxn”.
Dreyfus, whose Twitter bio says “not ‘cis'”, took to Twitter last Saturday (23 January) to decry his iPhone’s predictive text function.
He shared a screenshot of his Messages app that shows him typing “wom” – with his phone anticipating either the word “womxn” or “women”.
“Was trying to type the word ‘WOMAN’,” Dreyfus, 52, tweeted, “autocorrect provided me with these options. I s**t you not.”
Was trying to type the word ‘WOMAN”…autocorrect provided me with these options. I shit you not. 🤦🏻 pic.twitter.com/ukeSz7BNKG
— James Dreyfus 🟥🍷🚬 (@DreyfusJames) January 23, 2021
An alternative spelling of women, womxn “stems from a longstanding objection to the word woman as it comes from man, and the linguistic roots of the word mean that it really does come from the word man,” according to King’s College London fellow Dr Clara Bradbury-Rance, via the BBC.
It is also considered by some to be a signal of trans- and non-binary-inclusivity, an interpretation which has coalesced with some decrying the term as offensive. Others, however, find it simply unnecessary as a tool for inclusion, being that trans women are women.
Dreyfus has previously called womxn an “insult”, using the term in at least two tweets. His offence this time was down to his belief that he had “never typed that particular word”, which Twitter users soon pointed out wasn’t true.
Just for a little perspective before everyone loses their minds over predictive text… it’s personalised to you… pic.twitter.com/astgWuHQJI
— CLATTERHOUSE THEATRE (@C_H_Theatre) January 23, 2021
You have, though. pic.twitter.com/YvCm1MuTfy
— Ian Rennie (@theangelremiel) January 23, 2021
According to Apple’s guide to predictive text, the function relies on past conversations, the user’s own writing style as well as websites that the user visits on Apple’s web browser Safari to offer suggested words.
James Dreyfus once tried to lecture Stella Creasy on misogyny.
The blunder comes after James Dreyfus sparred with Labour MP and vocal trans ally Stella Creasy in December. The two traded barbs after Creasy described the moment a stranger mistook her daughter for a boy simply because she wasn’t wearing pink.
Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, explained why she found the situation misogynistic. Dreyfus disagreed, insisting that as a “gay man […] I have as much right to comment as you”.
“Protect women’s and girl’s space [sic] and rights,” he added. “There. I said it. And I’ll keep saying it.”
Creasy effortlessly hit back: “There is a point here about protecting the freedoms of women and the lived experience of misogyny you seem determined to miss so extraordinarily.”