Can We Not Ban The Word 'Feminist'? Thanks

Let's talk about 'TIME''s word banishment poll.

On Wednesday (November 12), TIME published its fourth annual "word banishment poll," in which they ask their readers to vote on which word they would like to ban from existence. One of the words this year is "feminist," which...


It is grouped alongside 14 other words -- like "bae," "basic," "sorry not sorry" and "kale" -- that are sure to make you "definitely cringe" and "exhale pointedly" upon hearing them, per the TIME writer's introduction.

Did you "definitely cringe" or "exhale pointedly" when Beyoncé flashed the word "FEMINIST" in giant block letters behind her at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards? I'd say my reaction was closer to "definitely gasped" or "fainted pointedly," but that's just me.

Related: Beyoncé Shuts Down "Women Against Feminism" With A Single Snap

The reason for the inclusion of "feminist" on the word banishment poll reads: "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."

This...makes no sense. Feminism is not some exclusive club that only a select few are permitted to speak of. Nor is there a "feminist" word count that, once exceeded, obliterates every gain women have achieved since the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Why pull a "You can't sit with us!" on someone who's just trying to grab a seat at the table? To paraphrase author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by way of Beyoncé's "***Flawless," if they believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, then there's no reason to get angry at their use of the word "feminist."

Related: Here's Why The Mature New 1989-Era Taylor Swift Is A Feminist Superhero

Even though TIME probably just included "feminist" on its word banishment poll to be clever or ironic or whatever, it was still, in the words of writer Roxane Gay, a "desperately irresponsible" decision to make. According to Jezebel, the trolls of 4Chan have since banded together to vote for "feminist" en masse, and the word is now leading the poll with 45% of the vote.

Like I said: ugh.

Related: Watch These Foul-Mouthed Little Princesses Drop Serious F-Bombs (And Truth Bombs) In The Name Of Feminism

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