This week, Pew Research released a study on the use of the non-binary non-word Latinx that confirms what we’ve already known to be true: that the term, despite being shoved down the throat of the Hispanic community, has no acceptance within.
As a refresher, take a look at Univision’s obnoxious explainer for the term.
JORGE RAMOS: Are you Latinx? Over the past few years, a new word has been gaining traction
Among young Latinos in the United States- Latinx. For some, it’s a symbol of inclusion. For others, (a symbol) of rebellion. For many, this is still a confusing issue, What does it mean, exactly, and who is Latinx? Miriam Arias tells us.
MIRIAM ARIAS: Latinx. It is not a typographical error. It’s that relatively new word that we hear from celebrities, and even politicians in the United States. It is a term that rejects the gender binary system. For some, it’s no longer just about female or male, but about inclusion. The word already has 350,000 tags on Instagram.
Who can be Latinx? Men and women, heterosexuals, members of the LGBTQ community. Those who identify as nonbinary. This describes persons whose gender identity is not exclusively female or male. All persons coming from (with origins in) Latin America.
Several celebrities have decided to raise their children without gender stereotypes. When did (the term “Latinx”) begin to be used? In 2004. But, according to Google Trends, it gained traction in June 2016, the same month as the massacre (at) Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. It has also become a feininst issue. In English, both adjectives and plural pronouns are genderless. However, they are (gendered) in Spanish.
Why use the letter X? It’s seen as a political symbol, and as one of rebellion. The term’s influence continues to grow, (and is) being adopted by other groups. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary officially designated “Latinx” as a word. But the Royal Spanish Academy has not.
Notice that Jorge Ramos, trying his hardest to sell the term, claimed that the “new word has been gaining traction”, and the video states that the "term's influence continues to grow."
Pew Research, however, would like to inform you that that what has taken place is, in fact, the opposite of traction:
More recently, a new, gender-neutral, pan-ethnic label, Latinx, has emerged as an alternative that is used by some news and entertainment outlets, corporations, local governments and universities to describe the nation’s Hispanic population.
However, for the population it is meant to describe, only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard of the term Latinx, and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves, according to a nationally representative, bilingual survey of U.S. Hispanic adults conducted in December 2019 by Pew Research Center.
Despite "news and entertainment outlets, corporations, local governments and universities" trying to shove the term down the community's throat, Latinx is still at 23% recognition and 3% usage. Were it not for those interventions, the term would remain confined to academia. The study found what we’ve long known to be true: that very few people within the community are actually aware of the term, and that even fewer use the term.
There are many reasons to reject this term but, as our friend Giancarlo Sopo points out, chief among them is its wholesale attempt to bastardize (and ultimately erase) the Spanish language:
Ultimately, what Hispanic Americans who take pride in our heritage see in “Latinx” is progressive preening attempting to solve a nonexistent problem at the expense of a beautiful language that Chicanos and other Latinos endured corporal punishment and bigotry to defend. Liberals should also realize it is impossible to reconcile their professed values — like multiculturalism, education and pronoun autonomy — with the peculiar strain of 2019 progressivism that seeks to radically change our language, disregards linguistic practices, and disavows our right to determine how we are described.
Ultimately, what Pew Research quantifies is what we've long known to be true: Latinx is an academic term more popular among woke anglos in media, politics, and entertainment than among the community it claims to encompass. And that far from being embracing the term, Latinos actually reject Latinx.