Calling someone a feminazi is derogatory, both to women and the victims of Holocaust.
Every movement has always had its unique problems throughout history. Capitalism might have led to mass production of goods, but it has led to exploitation of labour force. In the same way, feminism is surely not spared from its separate issues that require attention.
Here are some of the few problems feminism suffers from:
1. Feminism suffers from “white hegemony”, and has thoroughly rejected women of colour. Women of colour, especially from nations that have faced colonization, have had different experiences, and “white feminism” never records their interpretation of the word/theory.
2. It doesn’t always consider class and caste divide. Liberation for a woman almost always depends on the background she comes from. A Dalit woman will not have as many opportunities as an upper-caste woman. Feminism sometimes turns a blind eye towards caste differences, especially.
3. It sometimes turns into an entire men-bashing activity.
Now, a “feminazi” belongs to the third category. She is technically a “man-hating”, chauvinistic woman who believes that women should occupy the forefront.
This is not feminism. Feminism attempts to dismantle patriarchy and not change the roles within the system. Supposed “feminazism”is just patriarchy with roles reversed. How can it then come under this umbrella-term of feminism?
Nazis and Feminism
According to Gloria Steinem, by using the term “feminazi” we are associating feminism with Nazism.
We all know that there was nothing remotely feministic about the Nazis. Under the fascist regime, Nazis wanted women to bear more kids so that they can continue the “pure” Aryan race. As a result, the identity of German women was reduced to reproductive machines. The harsh propaganda confined women to only household work.
Apart from that, Nazis followed a brutal policy against women in concentration camps. Those who were Jewish, Romanian and physically disabled (even non-Jewish) were intentionally forced into hard labour even during pregnancies, therefore causing their deaths. Added to that, women were subjects of widespread sterilization experiments.
What is feministic about their policies? Hitler declared abortion a crime against the state (a crime against the STATE!) and there was a huge crackdown on family planning clinics.
Nazism developed against strong feminist movements in Germany. Many German feminists like Helene Stocker had to flee Nazi Germany because they were incessantly being threatened by the patriarchy looming, after it had combined itself with jingoism.
The word “feminazism” does not even recognize women as equal, so how can you say it seeks to establish the superiority of women?
Let’s just stop this insular, demeaning word here and now.
Insulting a painful history
Nazi is not a word you can throw around for anything that seems radical. There is a vast difference between radical polices and militant ones. Hitler’s militant fascism caused a mass genocide to create “living spaces” for the German population. If you read any Holocaust literature, you will understand that the term “Nazi” carries an entire burden of pain for specific communities (both Jewish and non-Jewish). There’s a history of suffering.
You are insulting a history by using the term Nazis for anyone. Remember, for the victims of this mass pogrom, the word “Nazi” has an entirely different meaning.
Nazis were not only “haters”. They were executioners of an entire race of people. And what are you associating the suffix -nazi with? A person who hates one gender? Really? Is that justified? Can it be justified?
The internet can be dangerous sometimes. You never know that with harmless and fun terms like YOLO, NSFW, unfriend, there is an entire galaxy of the most crass and insensitive terms – feminazi being one of many.
The main motive behind the floating of such lingo was to discourage women from expressing their opinions, can be called the ugliest face of “mansplaining”. A woman speaking passionately about rights can be shut up by shooting this abuse right at her. It is a convenient escape from understanding the perils of patriarchy.
We had underestimated the power of a false hyperbole. It is important for everyone to understand the history of a word, and not blindly follow everything trending on the internet as legitimate. It is important because our species hit a new low when Oxford English Dictionary had decided to include this word in its 2016 revision.
And by the way, a woman who hates a man has a word for itself – misandrist. Please update yourself. Please sensitize yourself. Please sanitize your thoughts.
Image Credits: Google Images