This may be old news to some, but this past week TIME magazine release a poll, “Which Word Should be Banned in 2015?”
The fourth annual banishment poll written by Katy Steinmetz asked readers to vote a word offends so much, so deeply it will prompt you to, “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your eardrums like straws through plastic lids”. With that lovely imagery to illustrate the amount of disdain for said word to be annexed from the English language with previous year’s words being OMG, YOLO and twerk, TIME released this year’s candidates.
Obvi, when perusing this list of possible terms up for execution, there are a number you can trace their lineage directly to the Interwebs, popular songs, and marketing campaigns. These despicable suspects were chosen to conjure the ire of those who wish to create some kind of standard for language and to suss out those utterances to be dumped post-haste with, “no salvation nor return.”
Maybe I could point out the mild irony of a publication calling for censorship? Perhaps I should note that some of these, “words” are in fact, phrases? But hey, I don’t to knit pick. I guess I could discuss the idea that the English language, since it has been recorded has been constantly evolving and if it didn’t, thou wouldst speaketh thusly, or…whatever. Or, possibly there is something larger, more immediately pressing about this article that I should call attention to?
Oh, think I found it—one of the vigorously and passionately chosen words to be abolished from our every day speech: feminist.
The sound wisdom and reasoning behind this choice:
“You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”
First of all, why you trying to take my Susie B parade away from me?! It’s literally the only time where it’s socially acceptable for me to wear my lady cravat and drink malt liquor from a mason jar in public.
I just want one fucking day where I can get turnt on equality.
A resounding, “What The Actual Fuck?” exploded in reaction to the inclusion of this term in the poll, with many calling shame upon the house of TIME. There was a general call to disrupt this kind of casual misogyny, and the outrage was noted by the editors at Time with a note updated on the top of the list on November 12th,
TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.
This “apology” is listed on the top the list on the website and for a second when reading it I thought, “Yeah okay Nancy, even though your justification is bullshit and reeks of privilege and ignorance, thanks for apologizing bae.”
But then, as I looked down the list—I assumed was now edited—and was momentarily distracted by the question that if, “kale” was banished what would we than call kale, because I mean the plant still exists right? Maybe something like, ugly-health-plant, wrinkled-fountain-of-youth-thing, or yucky-good-for-you-leaves, or I’m-better-than-you-om-nom-nom-nom? Okay, so some of those still need some work.
And wouldn’t you believe it, even after this apology, “feminist” is still on the motha fucking list!
So basically ‘Nuance Nancy’ was all, “sorry not sorry” crying crocodile tears on November 12th when they detailed that the results would be posted on the 19th. Do you honestly not have the technology to just take it off?
“Feminist” actually ended up being the word most voted for. Now, this could be due to trolling by 4chan, as some suggest, but why was it alright for a major publication to feel like it was okay to ban this word?
Going back to the reasoning Time lists to get rid of this term, that you have “no problem with feminism” but can’t stand the word feminist, is a really fucking stupid thing to say.
It’s like, “I have no problem with freedom, but I don’t like the word free” –said no one ever.
By having a problem with people using this word with pride and affection strongly suggests that you DO you DO have a problem with it.
You have a such a enormous problem with it that the idea that “every” (But feminism is for EVERYONE that’s what makes it so GREAAAT) famous folk is proclaiming themselves as a feminist, and you’re so tired of constantly hearing these beautiful celebrities espousing the idea that we are equal and that we shouldn’t treat girls or women differently simply because of your sex is so assaulting that you’re done with the word all together, and it also makes you sound like an ASSHOLE.
I don’t see any urgent call to shut up celebrities when they’re selling us perfume, soft drinks, phones, or shoes, but as soon as they start to articulate an identity that could perhaps do some good for the cultural awareness of issues—then you be all ugh, stap it!
I guess there are no “feminist tampons” or “misogyny free moisturizer” for these people to peddle. Maybe this is the problem? This seems to confuse. The discerning few step back, but wait—this is just about boosting your popularity, right? Why is feminism so popular. Get it outta ma face. Time suggests we should just stop using this word and start talking about the issues, then everything will sort itself out. Right. Because taking away a term for a person to identify with a certain cause, credo, belief, or institution is the first building block for that particular ideology to thrive, right?
I believe that feminism and feminist are tricky words, labels that are misunderstood, misused, and as we can see, maligned. It’s not something you can cover quickly and in no uncertain terms.
To simply call for the doing away with this term, instead of say, using your position as an editor or journalist for a national magazine to discuss the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, class, and cultural background and how feminism or being a “feminist” operates differently within these frames, or the problem with creating an umbrella term for a complex and complicated movement? I mean, as an influencer, you do have some power to start a discussion, yaasssss?
I don’t mean to be bossy, or be accused of bullying here, but this is a big fucking deal. . The consequences of suggesting that this is futile word that is something to be shuffled off is a basic* affront for all those trying to articulate a way to say equal rights for all.
I am a feminist (if you haven’t guessed).
To me, it means that everyone is privy to the same rights and privileges as anyone else. These equalities include and are not limited to: equal pay for equal work, freedom from harassment or discrimination, control over ones own body and choices, the right to vote, drive, proper education, resources, unbiased healthcare, the ability to move throughout the world without the threat of danger due simply to the way one chooses to look and act, freedom from unwanted objectification, the right to sexual expression.
As a feminist, I believe all of these rights belong to all genders, sexualities, races, and cultures, so why should I stop calling myself one?
*I don’t think I used this one right. The “basic bitch” thing escapes me.