There are lots of bad words. Words that have always been bad, words that have turned bad over time and bad words that are part of our everyday vernacular. And then there are the words used solely against women. Words like ‘Feminazi’.
I can’t even begin to imagine what went through the mind of the man who coined that term, or the minds of the people who throw the word around like it’s nothing.
I think we can all agree that the holocaust was the single, worst thing that has ever happened. During that period six million Jews were killed by the Nazis simply because they had been brought up with a different belief system. Intersectional feminism, on the other hand, aims to embrace all cultures, religions and races and put an end to discrimination. Feminists believe in an equal society. They strive for a world where men and women, whether gay, straight, black, white or any other variation of other, have the same opportunities. The two words are the epitome of oxymoronic, yet somehow they’ve been married together in yet another attempt to denigrate women.
People might argue that a ‘Feminazi’ only defines a certain kind of feminist. One who believes only in the progress of women, regardless of the impact on men, and in effect has gone full-circle and ended up in misandry. That’s not how the word is used though. It’s bandied about left right and centre and thrown haphazardly toward any woman who dare so much as demand respect. A quick google image search would have you believe the difference is simply that a feminist is someone who is still on a man’s sexual radar. ‘Feminazis’ by comparison are depicted as too old to be sexy, too masculine or else too stereotypically lesbian.
This week, a white, male Facebook friend posted a status complaining about the ‘Feminazis’ making Trump’s election all about women. Forgive us for being concerned that the next President of the United States is an alleged sex offender. Excuse us for wondering what his win will mean for millions of women across America in terms of Planned Parenthood. I’m so sorry that I’m angry about the fact that a man who boasts that he can ‘grab them [unconsenting women] by the pussy’ is now the US president-elect.
I’m sure any woman who posted a status along these lines is well aware of the impacts Trump’s presidency will have on LGBTQ+, ethnic minorities, those with disabilities and (ahem) straight white males too, but didn’t feel they had to mention every single thought process in their internet rantings. I’m doubly sure that they didn’t think their Facebook posts would be considered tantamount to mass genocide.
Words like ‘Feminazi’ are used to undermine women. A simple way of silencing us. Making us feel like nags, harridans, bitter, twisted, unreasonable man-haters. Nasty women, to quote Donald himself. But seriously, there’s nothing unreasonable about asking for respect. Nothing bitter about speaking out about an issue. Nothing nasty about being a strong woman, especially one who cares for the welfare of other strong women. And in case you were wondering, one hundred percent nothing comparable to the unspeakable actions of the Nazis.
You know what, I’ll happily be a nasty woman or that angry feminist girl, but please quit it with the ‘Feminazi’ thing. It really is one step too far.