To be great is to be misunderstood. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wish to change my original sentiment that the feminazi discussion is disinteresting and that other topics should have all the focus. Those things shouldn’t be ignored, but they don’t necessarily detract from this debate’s importance. Although I still stand by my original remark that it’s getting out of control. But as that old saying goes, if you can’t beat em’, join em’, right?
The dictionary definition, which has been referenced so many times, lists feminazi as a derogatory slang word invented/made popular by shock jock conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. I told Liz that when Brian used the word, however derogatory it may be, it still conveyed all the meaning he wished to convey given his context.
Then Liz hit me with a bomb.
“Ok so the ‘N-word’ is technically just a derogatory word for black person but that doesn’t mean we should use it.”
And then it hit me. I saw how I should have been framing the argument all along. Does the term feminazi in fact carry the same weight as the “n-word”? And that, my friends, is a harder question to answer.
During World War II, thousands of Americans died to put an end to Hitler’s Nazi regime. In addition to our nation’s sacrifice, untold millions more died world wide, both civilian and military. To call someone a Nazi obviously carries serious overtones, and I would argue that it would hush a crowded room if any of us delivered it as an obscene moniker towards someone else.
So combining the innocuous label of feminist with the much harsher Nazi to create the slang “feminazi” is arguably just as derogatory as calling someone a Nazi, or, as with the original analogy, the “n-word.”
All of this is further intensified by the fact that Liz is a feminist. I don’t think I’d appreciate my views being compared with Naziism, no matter what the context.
So what is the answer? What’s the moral, so to speak? I don’t really know. Calling someone or comparing someone’s views to Naziism is disrespectful and an ineffective means of arguing. But then again Liz did call Brian a dictator with her “look in the mirror” comment. So maybe both sides need to cool off and stop with the personal attacks. And maybe this can stand as a lesson to conservatives on the usefulness of PC. Or maybe, just maybe, we debate, you decide. Although that seems an awful cliché thing to say…