Melissa Ochoa, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at St. Louis University, has urged fellow progressives to stop using “Latinx,” arguing the gender-inclusive term is oppressive.
Ochoa noted in an essay published in early September by The Conversation that “Latinx,” which has been adopted by progressives as an alternative to the gendered words “Latino” or “Latina,” is used by less than 5% of Hispanic Americans as a self-descriptor.
- “When I first heard ‘Latinx’ in 2017, I thought it was progressive and inclusive, but I quickly realized how problematic it was,” she wrote.
- “Individuals who self-identify as Latinx or are aware of the term are most likely to be U.S.-born, young adults from 18 to 29 years old. They are predominately English-speakers and have some college education,” she argued. “In other words, the most marginalized communities do not use Latinx. Scholars, in my view, should never impose social identities onto groups that do not self-identify that way.”
- Ochoa’s proposed that inclusivity advocates instead use the term, “Latine,” which is fashionable among some Latin American activists and conforms better to Spanish morphology.