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November 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Alum Interviews Stokes on Banning Word ‘Feminist’

Ohio University alum Erica Euse ’12 interviewed Dr. Patricia Stokes for a article on “We Definitely Shouldn’t Ban ‘Feminist.’

Euse earned a B.S. in Journalism from the Scripps College of Communications and a Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Stokes is a Lecturer in the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies program at OHIO.

Time is currently conducting their fourth annual “word banishment poll,” focused on expelling annoying overused terms like bae, basic, and turnt. Sure, these words might make me want to “thrust chopsticks through my own eardrums” after hearing grown-ass people awkwardly try to work them into their everyday vernacular. But there is one word in the poll that doesn’t quite fall in line with the rest of this year’s choices or even previous winners like OMG, YOLO, and twerk. The word is feminist….

“The word feminist has a long history of being saddled with negative connotations: Rush Limbaugh’s complaints about feminazis, Pat Robertson’s claim that all feminists want to be witches and kill their children, and the widespread idea that feminists either are man haters or they want to create a world where women can press men,” said Patricia Stokes, a Women and Gender Studies Professor at Ohio University. “To have respected and beloved public figures such as Beyonce and Aziz Ansari calling themselves feminists can help us move beyond these silly yet harmful stereotypes.”…

And this isn’t the first instance in which Time has dissed feminism. In a 1998 cover story, the magazine famously questioned, “Is Feminism Dead?” In the piece, the author described the modern movement as, “silly… a popular culture insistent on offering images of grown single women as frazzled, self-absorbed girls.” Now they’ve set out to wipe the word from the modern lexicon at a time when 5 million women every year become victims of domestic violence and there is a 32-cent wage gap between males and females.

“It takes very little reflection to realize that feminism isn’t just the flavor of the month. It has been with us for over 200 years, and its work is still not completely done,” said Stokes….

“If feminism is going to advance and eliminate injustices, we need people who are willing to do the work, whether it’s lobbying or activism, or just publicly stating that they support the goals of feminism,” said Stokes. “Those people, whether they claim the term or not, are feminists. Most of them are not famous. But if having an Emma Watson causes a few ordinary people to think about where they stand on gender equality, I can only see that as a good thing.”

Read Euse’s entire column at



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