Casting “feminist” off the Island


By Dave Andrusko

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

We are posting only a handful of NRL News Today stories today because we were in the 11th hour of producing the digital edition of National Right to Life News. That 34-page online issue went live earlier this afternoon.

But I found the following so cute I had to say a few words.

I have to give it to TIME magazine’s Katy Steinmetz. She had to know the Sisterhood would hammer her for the sin of opening up the possibility that the word “feminist” could be spoofed and mocked. But she did anyway.

What am I alluding to? TIME asked its readers what word is so stupid, content free, or just annoying that it ought to cast into the outer darkness?

Actually, they didn’t put it that way. In fact, Steinmetz’s description of what she was looking for is far superior. It’s the kind of word, she says, that

If you hear that word one more time, you will definitely cringe. You may exhale pointedly. And you might even seek out the nearest the pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids. What word is this? You tell us.

Most of the options were contemporary slang, meaning I didn’t have a clue what they meant. (Steinmetz’s helpfully included a kind of hip thesaurus-like explanation of them.)

Not only was “feminist” #1 to be booted off the Island, it was #1 by a mile. Almost half, a whopping 48%, chose feminist.

In a distant second place was “bae.” Bae? “The short answer,” Steinmetz writes, is “Though this word was used in the 1500s to refer to sheep sounds, today bae is used as a term of endearment, often referring to your boyfriend or girlfriend.”

Cecile  Richards

Cecile Richards

But only 13% thought bae should be the word banished in 2015. Because “feminist” so dominated the responses, no other word garnered more than 4%.

The usual tiresome suspects—Cecile Richards, Amy Poehler, got their knickers in a knot. How dare you….what? Make fun of “feminist?”

The best (because it was so preposterously silly and self-referential) response I read came from a guy—Dave McGinn, writing for the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

Looking down at his nose at Steinmetz, McGinn sniffs

In previous years, the poll has voted to banish words and terms that arguably don’t make us any smarter, or help much in the way of cultural conversations – OMG, YOLO, twerk. This time around, intelligence doesn’t seem like much of a factor.

Honestly, I am not making this up. He actually wrote …”intelligence doesn’t seem like much of a factor,” which clearly applies more to his hoity-toity column than it does to TIME’s choice of words for its fourth annual word banishment poll.

Anyway, I mention it only because—although there are plenty of pro-life feminists who make a compelling case that real feminists protect unborn babies—“feminist” remains synonymous with lock-step pro-abortionism.

I think it’s fair to conclude that nearly half the readers think “feminists” take themselves way too seriously.