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Time magazine apologized for suggesting that the word “feminist” be banned. In a Nov. 12 article, Time had asked readers “Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?”

According to Time, it was the fourth time the magazine called for readers to vote on words that need to stop being used.  Other suggested words for banning included: bae, basic, influencer, kale and literally.

Time argued “feminist” should be banned because it’s an overused label.

“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?” Time wrote. “Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”

Editors Nancy Gibbs posted an editor’s note apologizing for the lack of “nuance” in including feminist. She wrote:

“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.”

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Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist, responded to the poll in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. “The list is supposed to be funny, but it is largely a policing of the vernacular of anyone who isn’t a white, heterosexual man,” she wrote.

She went on,

“Of all the words that should be spoken more, ‘feminist’ should be at the top of the list. Why don’t we ban “feminazi”? Better yet: Get rid of “bitch,” “slut” and “whore.” Ban racial and homophobic slurs. Those are actual issues.”

iMediaEthics is writing to Time for comment.

Hat Tip: Jay Rosen

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