Feminism: The word of the year

Brunilde Fioravanti
Dicembre 13, 2017

In spot No. 2, is "complicit", which was Dictionary.com's 2017 Word of the Year. People from all walks of life - journalists, politicians, professors, housekeepers, field workers, assistants joined in on what became a global conversation about the injustices females especially face away from (and in front of) the public eye.

Editors at the dictionary made the announcement early Tuesday morning and explained on the dictionary's website that "feminism" was one of the top searched words in 2017 and had a 70 percent increase over 2016.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary declared "feminism" its word of the year after it ranked among the top-searched terms in 2017, showing a 70 percent increase over 2016.

Other words that made the top ten include "recuse", largely relating to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russian Federation investigation; "empathy;" "dotard", which North Korean President Kim Jong Un used to describe Trump; and "syzygy", a word that spiked after the solar eclipse.

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests". "But when we look back at the past 12 months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories".

Feminism spiked following news coverage of the Women's March on Washington, DC in January and other related marches held around the United States and internationally.

The dictionary's site elaborated on when "feminism" saw spikes in searches.

Several news events caused spikes in lookups, including the Women's March in late January, the release of The Handmaid's Tale and Wonder Woman.

There were also spikes toward the end of the year in conjunction with the myriad news reports surrounding sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and the popularity of the #MeToo hashtag. "The string of breaking news stories regarding the resignations, firings, or dismissals of men who have been charged with sexual harassment or assault has kept this story in the news", Merriam-Webster stated. Feminism is not anti-male.

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