Oh for God's sake: Time magazine is doing its annual reader poll of words and phrases that should be "banned" from the English language, and alongside worthy contenders like "disrupt" and "said no one ever," they've included the word "feminist." And because this is the Internet, guess which word is winning?
Time is taking a hearty beating on Twitter for this year's version of the banned words poll, which right now shows "feminist" winning with 45 percent of the vote, well ahead of current second place contender "bae."
The blurb by reporter Katy Steinmetz making the case for banning "feminist" doesn't exactly reassure us:
You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let's stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.
Yes, why does everyone have to talk about feminism? Why can't we all just be feminists quietly? At home? Only very late at night when everybody's sleeping? Or like in our teeny tiniest voices? Or in a soundproof hyperbaric chamber, maybe, where it won't, like, bother anybody?
Ok, maybe that's not quite fair, but making a case for banning a word that refers to a mass social movement alongside the nonsense phrase "om nom nom" is pretty stupid. So stupid we suspected it's the work of 4Chan's /b/ board, and we were correct. Over at /b/, the Internet's home for barely potty-trained trolls, everyone's being encouraged to vote for "feminist," with one user declaring, brightly, "Let's trigger some bitches."
When the numbers started to drop, another user said, "We're back down to 38%, Pick up the slack guys."
So now that we've solved that mystery, how is the author of the poll responding to the controversy? Predictably, by saying that the furor over the poll was taking it "out of context."
Let's all do a better job anticipating obvious things before they bite us in the ass. Especially you, Time.
Update, 7:00 p.m.:
Looks like we can't pin this one on 4chan alone — a tipster points out that 9gag, another troll emporium, also decided to get in on the fun. Here's a screenshot he sent us:
Image via Getty