Can We Just Abolish the Word 'Feminazi' Please?

by Emma Cueto

I don’t remember the first time I heard the word “feminazi,” whether it was in conversation or read online or maybe overheard somewhere. But I did know exactly what it meant when I heard it. No one needed to explain it.

Over the years, I've heard it a lot: "So tired of feminazi bulls**t." "Feminazis just need to shut the f**k up.""They're all just a bunch of feminazis." You'd think political issues like equal pay could be discussed on television without guys in my dorm taking issue, but apparently you'd be wrong. I've even had friends say, "Yeah, but that's just because you're a feminazi." (I mean, I called her an eco-terrorist, so I guess we're even.)

But joking aside, I am now calling for the word to be abolished, not because it is a favorite term used by people who want to make feminists out to be baby-killing extremists, though it is; not because it was popularized by Rush Limbaugh, though it was; not because it means women who are feminists must try to distance themselves from it, though they do; not because doing so discourages women from pushing boundaries and engaging in the sort of radical thinking that brought feminism into being in the first place, though it does.

No, feminazi needs to be abolished for a very simple reason: it makes no sense.

Let me repeat that: this word makes no sense.

Why? Because there are almost no two things in the history of humanity which are more opposed to one another than the ideals of feminism and Nazi Germany.

End of story, pack up your bags, go home.

In Nazi Germany, women were expected to keep house and raise children and nothing else. Women who were doctors or teachers or other professionals when the Nazi Party came to power were forced to give up their careers. Women who had more than eight children were given gold medals. The Nazi party’s constitution forbade women from holding any senior positions within the party. Nazi propaganda taught women that they were meant to be, in all things, subservient to men.

Even today, neo-Nazis haven’t changed their tune much. The American Nazi party (which gets lots of votes, I’m sure), states that “just as the man is the natural breadwinner and warrior, so the woman is the natural homemaker.” Yeah, they definitely have lots of feminists in their ranks.

So how is it possible that we all blithely accept this conflation of feminism and Nazism? Clearly, the time has come for this word to end. There are lots of criticisms to be made of feminism — its poor track record of including women of color, for instance — but similarity to Nazis is not one of them.