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Time magazine apologises for including 'feminist' on list of words to ban

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Time magazine has now apologised for including "feminist" in an article inviting readers to vote for a word to ban in 2015.

The magazine's editor Nancy Gibbs has posted a note at the top of the article explaining that its inclusion was regrettable.

TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.

  • Nancy Gibbs' editor's note

The list had drawn criticism earlier this week for its apparent trivialisation of the feminist movement, lining up as it was alongside internet slang like "om nom nom nom", "bae" and "said no one ever".

The magazine had justified the word's inclusion thus:

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.


Despite the apology, feminist still appears on the list, the winner (or loser) of which will be announced on Wednesday 19th November.

Reports earlier this week suggested that feminist led the poll of words to be banned with around 45 per cent of the vote - thanks in part to users of 4Chan and 9Gag.


More: Should we ban the word feminist next year, magazine actually asks

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