TIME Magazine recently released a list of words they think should be banned in 2015. Most of them are overused Internet clichés and memes, like “YAASSS” and “#SorryNotSorry.” The exception to that trend is the word “feminism.” Readers of TIME (yeah, they apparently exist) have been asked to vote which one they’d ban. Not surprisingly, trolls from 4Chan are skewing the results. However, feminism shouldn’t even have been included in that list at all. Feminism isn’t a meme or passé joke. It’s a social and political movement that’s existed throughout the world before the word was ever uttered or written. Feminism in the United States has existed since the country’s inception. If news outlets like TIME would actually do their jobs, they’d ban the following phrases from being used by people in power.
1. “Men’s Rights Activist”
Congratulations! You did it! Men have more than their fair share of power since forever. Way to be. This isn’t a real movement. Men are not disempowered in our society. Men make more money than women, hold significantly more political positions, and make up the vast majority of Fortune 500 CEOs. It’s actually women, people of color, the LGBT community, immigrants, and pretty much everyone else besides straight, white, rich men who have systemically been oppressed throughout this country’s history.
2. “I’m not a scientist.”
Climate change denial needs to stop. Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now. Politicians, especially Republicans, shouldn’t get away with their anti-science policies because they use the cop out, “I’m not a scientist.” You don’t need to be. Virtually every scientist agrees that climate change is happening and harming our planet. Here are other fields where you hold no expertise but still vote on all the time: Health care, LGBT rights, women’s rights, voting rights, workers’ rights, education, taxes, war, and immigration to name a few.
3. “Voter fraud.”
It doesn’t exist. Voter suppression exists. Laws meant to stop voter fraud actually just make it harder for registered voters to cast a ballot.
4. “The gay agenda”
Do you really want to know what the gay agenda is? It’s not recruiting your dumb kid or shoving things down your throat. Well, unless you’re into that. It’s about equality. It’s about marrying the person you love. It’s at the very least about being able to walk down the street and not be murdered or harassed. We’d also like protections against housing and employment discrimination. Please?
5. “War on Christmas”
There’s no war on Christmas. No one is planting dirty bombs underneath the fake Santa at your local mall. What offends people is the thought that Christmas and the Christian religion are the only things people are celebrating. They’re not. America isn’t a Christian nation. We have separation of church and state, and our people have a wide range of religions. Just say “Happy holidays” and stuff your anger in a stocking – if you know what I mean.
6. “I’m not a feminist but…”
The only thing we need to ban about feminism is the negative connotation it holds in our society. If you believe in the full equality of women, then you’re a feminist. Your decoder ring is in the mail.