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Feminazi is a derogatory term used against feminists to remove power and dismiss them as irrational, ill-guided and dangerous militants. The term was coined by Tom Hazlett and popularized by the racist, misogynist, anti-intellectual radio-talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.
The implications of the term are that feminist critiques of society are akin to Nazism: that is, that feminism is an intolerant extremist movement seeking an oppressive regime, particularly one that is anti-free speech. See political correctness. It is also used to pollute the word 'feminism' itself.
This term is most often used by people who are unaware of their own privilege or by those who feel that their privilege is natural (see Men Are Just Like That). This term is also used as a tool to move the responsibility and power of social progress away from feminists, who in many people's minds are mainly women, and into the hands of anti-feminists, who in many people's minds are mainly men. Using the term thus reinforces the belief that women have no real power and cannot garner social change for themselves, implying that their social role is better suited to that of a sex object (see Sexualized Environment) and other powerless positions.
At worst the term is used as a tool to completely dismiss feminist demands and issues, akin to covering ones ears and yelling, "I can't hear you- la la la". At best it's used to normalize the current cultural climate and to say that there are no real feminist concerns because the status quo is not really sexist.
Given the evils of the Nazi regime in Germany and throughout Europe, the application of the term "Nazi" to feminists is upsetting to feminists who are being portrayed as evil, to Holocaust victims and survivors and their families whose experience is being trivialised for anti-feminist point-scoring, and of course to people who are both feminist and affected by the Holocaust.
Further reading Edit
- Aren’t you all just a bunch of "feminazis"? at Finally Feminism 101