Time magazine released a poll this morning in their online newsfeed section that made the wider internet population cringe, inspiring a slew of pissed off tweets and “WTF?!” posts across social media. The poll playfully asks Time‘s readership to “channel” their inner intolerant, prescriptivist jerk and pick one word from a list of nominees to be “banned.”
The list of words nominated to be voted “off the island” is chock full of problematic candidates including “bae,” “basic,” and “turnt,” words that are generally understood to have been recently co-opted from black culture by white people. Time explains their logic for adding “turnt” to the list by (ironically) making use of another term the writer probably first heard from the mouth of Lil Jon: “It’s time for turnt to turn down.” While these nominations are definitely slippery, perhaps the writer is suggesting they are symbolic of people being generally frustrated with cultural exploitation. Maybe.
But what really pissed people off was Time‘s nomination of the word “feminism” for word execution. Observe how the author backs up this candidate’s worthiness for slaughter:
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.
In this view, it’s best that people stop declaring themselves “feminists” so much. Everyone should go back to not wanting to publicly speak up in support of women. Let’s fold back progress and once again declare “feminism” a dirty word. “Let’s stick to the issues,” which are decidedly not about the continuing exploitation and unequal status of women in this country and around the world.