Time Apologizes For Including 'Feminist' In List Of Words To Ban In 2015

11/17/2014 11:15 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Time magazine has apologized for including the word "feminist" in a readers' poll of terms to ban in 2015.

The original post, which was published Nov. 12 and featured other "cringe" words like "bae," "basic" and "kale," was amended Sunday to include a note from managing editor Nancy Gibbs.

"TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban," the note read. "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."

Though the poll briefly explained that "feminist" was included because it's become a "thing" that every celebrity has to "state their position on," the apology follows days of public outcry criticizing Time for attempting to ban a word meant to uplift and empower women.

"I keep trying to imagine a universe in which too many public figures declaring themselves feminists would be a bad thing," Roxane Gay wrote for the Washington Post on Friday. "This would have to be a universe where 'the issues,' as the poll vaguely mentions, no longer exist -- one where women enjoy unlegislated reproductive freedom and have easy, affordable access to birth control."

In Slate, Amanda Marcotte called it "ugly and mean" to suggest that women should be embarrassed for identifying as feminists. Referring to Time as "the magazine your grandparents read," Boston.com's Roberto Scalese equated the publication's banishment poll to "book burning." And The Huffington Post's Emma Gray wrote that the idea of a well respected publication like Time including the word "feminist" in their poll was "unfathomable."

"The only upside of such an ill-advised poll is that it gives us a chance to remember how powerful and impactful the label of 'feminist' really is," wrote Gray. "Even if it was feasible to 'ban' the word 'feminist' -- which, in the world of ladyblogs and Twitter feminism, it's certainly not -- doing so, in essence, would erase the existence of a decades-long social movement."

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