I’ve Got 99 Problems & “Feminazi” is Definitely One.

Our patriarchal society constantly uses certain words to shut women down. Women are called “bitches” or “bossy” while demonstrating assertiveness and leadership skills. We’re a “slut” when we say “yes”, and “friend-zoning” when we say “no”. And when we’re outspoken about feminism? We’re  a “feminazi”.

"Feminazi"

This is an excellent argument-winner I’m hearing more and more lately. What proves your point of view more than comparing a social activist you disagree with to a genocidal racist? Hitler totally wanted access to birth control and safe, legal abortions! It’s a little known fact that the Nazi party walked on Take Back the Night marches and volunteered for shelters for abused women. Advocating gender equality is essentially a war crime, anyway. So why bother having legitimate, thoughtful discourse backed with facts and examples of personal experiences when you can simply hurl this bad boy instead?

In all seriousness, this word is constructed to paint feminists as “extreme”, “violent”, “unreasonable”, and “hateful”. It doesn’t contribute to any kind of conversation. It’s used when the speaker cannot find anything better to say. Name-calling is only ever employed as a last resort. It’s just not good rhetoric. There are plenty of other strategically dismissive words used against women that are designed to put us on the defensive. In August 2012, Helen Lewis expressed on twitter that “The comments on any article on feminism justify feminism.” It’s often referred to as Lewis’ Law. I argue that a word like ‘feminazi’ justifies feminism in the same manner.

It’s also incredibly insensitive in several obvious ways. Although the Holocaust may seem like a piece of ancient past, there are still millions of people it affects today. Verbally diminishing something so devastating only perpetuates further violence and ignorance. The word “Nazi” should be exclusively used for actual Nazis.

MjAxMi05MjY2NWQ1MjljYmE4MTcw

This tactic isn’t just used to counter feminism. Ever heard the word “grammarnazi”? It’s just as unkind and inappropriate. Calling someone a “grammarnazi” may show that you are frustrated with them, but it lead anywhere positive. It isn’t a respectful way to approach someone. I’ve heard people call one another “cleaningnazi”, “hygenenazi”, “gamingnazi”, “honor code-nazi”, etc. Imagine how that word feels on the receiving end.

What are your experiences with this kind of insult? How do you respond?

Photo Credit: someecards.com

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “I’ve Got 99 Problems & “Feminazi” is Definitely One.

  1. It’s horrifying that anyone in today’s society would think that comparing genocide to the desire for equal rights is in any way, shape, or form okay. It’s fantastic that although you added a little humour, you got your point across loud and clear. If people like yourself continue to write about these issues, intelligent discussions will happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you are confused about the intended use of feminazi. It exists, like all the other -nazis you listed, to describe someone who has taken a certain ideology or task to the extreme. Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi is the perfect example of this. You are correct that feminazi is used to describe feminists as “extreme” and “hateful” because guess what, some feminists are extreme and hateful. People proclaiming that “all men are pigs and should die” certainly are batshit and should be mocked by all sides. Some people have spent far too long in the tumblr echo chamber and perceive a movement that was supposed to be about gender equality as a gender war.

    Like

What do you think? Please comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s