According to Time, a list of the most annoying words of 2014 wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of the word “feminist” – and the rest of the world (or at least the non-random poll participants) seem to agree. The magazine’s online poll asked visitors to rate the word of the year that should be banned (to accompany previous winners like “OMG” and “twerk”). Appearing alongside words like “basic” and “turnt,” “feminist” was described as follows:
feminist: 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.
Not only that, but currently feminist is winning with 45% of the votes, while the next leading answer, “bae,” only has 13%. All the other options have less than 4% each. Granted the sample is non-random, and the Internet is largely critical of feminists, but that number is large enough to give pause. I have my own thoughts about why this is the case, and I might write about them soon, but I’d first like to pose the question to the class: Why do you think people hate the word “feminist?”
Update: The answer seems to be 4Chan (Wow. What a surprise.). Even if the word wouldn’t be winning without 4Chan’s help, I think this question is still extremely relevant, as celebrities and college students alike claim they’re not feminists simply because they don’t know what it means.