“Feminazi”: “a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur” (Limbaugh).

Yeah, that’s plausible.

See also: This just in! I think I’m a “feminazi” *

There is nothing new about the term “feminazi”; there is something very new in what it can do. It originated in the 90s, with the shock-jock Rush Limbaugh (though he claimed it came from an academic, Thomas Hazlett) using it to describe, in his improbable phrasing, “a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur”. It didn’t really catch on in the noughties, this being an unobservable category. More broadly, the word was meant to indicate women who shut down their opponents with authoritarian orthodoxies, against which ramparts an ordinary interlocutor had no hope. And, more recently, this is how it has surfaced, a word around which people – Men’s Rights Activists (or MRAs) – can mobilise when they feel that a feminist has gone too far. Typically, this mobilisation would happen on social media, but that it is gaining traction in the mainstream media is illustrated this week by the case of our designated lady-neo-fascist, Charlotte Proudman.

[…] Once you are a known feminazi, there is no limit to the amount of opprobrium that will come your way. “It was designed to be scary, pour encourager les autres,” says Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman, and periodically a feminazi herself (as decreed by Twitter).Feminazi is not in itself a hurtful word, since it conveys, above all, the traits of its user, which mainly cluster around a lack of intellectual sophistication. “Obviously,” says Lewis, “the idea of conflating a liberation movement with Nazism is just deeply ignorant. It’s self-undermining, because it’s so over the top.”

Laura Bates concurs: “It’s a desperate attempt to demonise us, and it’s frustrating, because if it wasn’t such an offensive word, you could actually start to embrace it and own it.” And yet, of course, because the insult isn’t just to feminists, but also to the victims of totalitarianism past and present, it’s not something feminism can simply decide to own.

It also has the tang of that self-congratulating “clever” wordplay (Tony B.Liar, Camoron, Nu Liebore, ConDemNation, Nobama) that doesn’t work and isn’t playful, with a tin ear for the fact that jokes with language have to be undertaken at blood temperature, otherwise they’re not funny (this isn’t true of all humour. Other jokes can be rigid and cold, and are better for it; just not punning).

Source and rest: Feminazi: the go-to term for trolls out to silence women (Zoe Williams)


p class="wordpresspost">(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

today in misogyny: "feminazi": the go-to term for trolls out to silence women