Merriam-Webster names ‘feminism’ as word of 2017


Annie Marsh

TAKING A STAND. Thousands gathered in Cincinnati’s Washington Park on Sat., Jan. 21 for the Women’s March. The nationwide event sparked a year in which feminism was the central focus of most news stories and conversations. “I feel it is important that women feel comfortable using their voice, and the growth of feminism is helping people start those conversations,” said Thea Ferdinand, 12. Photo courtesy of Annie Marsh.

Looking back upon the year, many recall Donald Trump’s inauguration, the birth of Beyonce’s twins, and the death of Vine (RIP).

Also, more and more women are coming forward with stories of sexual assault using the hashtag “Me Too.”

They have accused politicians like Roy Moore and prominent figures in the media like Matt Lauer, and the worlds of Washington and Hollywood are being exposed to reveal the abuses of power that occur behind the scenes.

Incidents of sexual harassment have occurred in the workplace for decades, but now women’s stories are finally falling on receptive ears.

With the triumph of Trump, a man proclaiming to have grabbed women, and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, feminism has been at the tip of everyone’s tongues and keyboards.

“In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70 percent over 2016 on and spiked several times after key events,” according to Business Insider.

The increase in searches must mean that people have gained a better understanding of feminism, right?

Not quite.

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the “theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

However, individuals such as Kellyanne Conway claim that “it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly seems to be very pro-abortion.”

While it is true that many feminists support women having complete control of their bodies, the entire concept of feminism centers around equality and in no way enforces the idea that women are superior.

SHS’ He for She club and students’ participation in Cincinnati’s Women’s March in January exemplify the widespread support for feminism in its truest form.

Feminists believe that all genders deserve to have a voice, and feminism’s prominence in 2017 is just the beginning of achieving that goal.