In Defense of 'Time' Magazine's Call to Ban the Word 'Feminist'

TIME magazine has unveiled its fourth annual word banishment poll, and one controversial entry on the list has the Internet up in arms, because zomg womyn!

In addition to such cultural blights like "bae" and "obvi," the obviously misogynistic staff over at TIME had the audacity to include the word "feminist" on the list of words they'd like to ban in 2014. Cue blogger rage now.

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Can I please preface everything else I'm about to say by telling you that this seems to be a genius marketing ploy that now has the mag trending in the top news stories of the day? Well done, TIME, well done.

In describing why they'd like to ban the word feminist, they wrote, "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."

Good point. It seems as though all you have to do these days to be pro-woman and a warrior in the war for gender equality is to declare yourself a feminist. Even the cool guys are doing it.

But the everyday heroes of feminism don't need to label themselves as such.

A real feminist doesn't have to declare him or herself. This person needs to do nothing but say, "Hey, that's not cool, man," when his buddies at the bar start talking about how far they think the chick in the red dress over there will go on the first date.

Female feminists in the workplace don't need to wear a sticker declaring that they support equal pay for women; they need to confidently ask for that raise they know they deserve.

Feminists who stay home with the children don't need a support group; they need to embrace the wonderful choice they've made to give their time and talent to an oftentimes thankless job of mopping up crumbs and goo we don't even want to know the origins of.

The real issue isn't banning feminism; it's banning a term that people sometimes hide behind to declare their own righteousness -- without actually doing anything to make the world a place where a top female executive doesn't have to worry about discrimination because she has a picture of her kids on her mahogany desk.

Do you think the word "feminist" should be banned?

 

Image via Steve wilson/Flickr

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