The Merriam-Webster word of the year has been announced — and it’s extremely fitting: feminism.
“Feminism” was the one word that was looked up the most throughout the year. The media coverage of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. (and other related marches around the country and the world) had much to do with the rising popularity of the term. More recently, feminism has remained an overarching theme of the year because of the widely-discussed #MeToo campaign and accounts of sexual assault.
“No one word can ever encapsulate all the news, events, or stories of a given year—particularly a year with so much news and so many stories,” the announcement states. “But when a single word is looked up in great volume, and also stands out as one associated with several different important stories, we can learn something about ourselves through the prism of vocabulary.”
Twitter was particularly amused by the choice of the graphic associated with the tweet sent out by Merriam-Webster. The tweet was accompanied by a GIF of Moira (a character played by Sameera Wiley) from the Handmade’s Tale glaring and shaking her head at a white woman.
Many felt as if this was a petty nod towards the distinction between white feminism and intersectional feminism.
Even pettier? Two of the other notable words are “complicit” and “empathy.” All three of the top words are definitely ideas people need to think through the rest of the year, and the years to come.