I’ll give Rush Limbaugh one thing, he’s good at meme-generation. Though he says his friend at the Cato institute coined the word, “feminazi” sure has caught on over the last 20 years. “Feminazi” is, of course a ridiculous auto-Godwinning slur to throw around but it represents something much more widespread: the fact that the straw feminist is what so many people see as the “real” feminist.

It’s an old joke that anything someone says that follows ” I’m not a racist, but…” is always going to be horribly racist. How often do you hear people, especially women say “I’m not a feminist, but…” and then say something that is, frankly, feminist? When did being a feminist become the moral equivalent, in some people’s minds, of racism and homophobia? What’s next? “I don’t hate feminists, some of my best friends are feminists.”

Why have anti-feminist forces been so successful in the last few decades at demonizing the movement for female equality? Should feminists copy liberals and come up with or re-purpose another word? In a world where feminism is “the f-word”, what is the value in labeling ourselves as feminists?

 

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3 Comments

DavrosLivesMarch 20, 2012 2:01 pm

I actually had to explain to my liberal, intelligent, 24 yo sister why feminism isn’t a bad thing. Seriously. I honestly couldn’t believe it when she said that she rolled her eyes when someone said she was a feminist.

She had, in her head, the straw-feminist; someone who hated men, and used words like herstory and womyn, and thought all sex was rape, etc. After we talked for a while, she realized that she already was a feminist. Because feminism is pretty much the default for many, if not most, liberals. They might just not realize it…

BlurvMarch 26, 2012 5:52 pm

Like many movements, feminism is frequently identified with a small and vocal minority who fit certain expectations. If someone fits the predetermined image of “raging feminist” or whatever you want to call the stereotype they’re also easier to remember. The loudest or most hyperbolic often get the most attention because of the tone of their voice. The same can be said with the atheist community. Even Rush himself gets the attention because of his tone of voice and the platform he has to shout it from. Don’t get me wrong though, I detest Rush, as I feel most sane minded people should.

MisterWoodlesMarch 27, 2012 8:11 am

The natural enemy of the “feminazi” is the “mosovietgynist”. Wouldn’t you agree?

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