Word Nerd: 5 Internet Breaking Terms Every Feminist Needs to Know

14 Mar

In an article on feminist vocabulary, a reader commented that the subject matter had “obviously become too hyperacademicated.” This makes it sound like the words had both tonsillitis and pneumonia, and were in need of research drugs. The other interesting fact to note is this reader was using an imaginary word that he (or she) thought was real to dismiss academic terminology, with all the righteousness that he (or she) could summon.


While it might seem far-fetched, feminism, like every other discipline, does have its own way of saying things. And rightly so.

But this blog is not about those.

Here we have 5 words/phrases which came into existence somewhere between cubicles and coffee-shop conversations, trended as hashtags and memes, and were shots fired in the battle between the sexes. They’re funny, creative, and relevant. And we think you’ll get all of them!

1) Mansplaining: There’s explaining and then there’s mansplaining. Your computer suddenly freezes, and you turn to a male colleague in frustration, saying something like, ‘I wonder if it’s my RAM being defective,” and he replies, ‘Have you tried moving your mouse or pressing enter?’ It is assumed that as a woman, your knowledge about computers is likely limited.

Or, you’re a Professor of Economics, and someone from the History department makes sure you know who Adam Smith is, just in case your gender makes you forgetful of the basics.

2) #NotAllMen: For the internet, feminism is a gift that keeps on giving. Especially when it comes to social media trends. #NotAllMen is the plaintive cry of a man defending his gender every time women point out sexist behavior. As this article discusses, when the trend first emerged, it was irritating, but is now kind of funny.

3) Not My Nigel: The stock typical defense women make of the men in their lives – fathers, brothers, partners, sons or even friends, when discussing observations and explanations of sexist behavior. “Not my Nigel, he’s never made me change the way I do my hair, or commented on a lady’s driving skills.” Alright sister, if you say so!

4) Cookies, anyone?: So, for men who not only believe women should be allowed to make their own choices, but also declare it proudly, there are cookies. These cookies, however, aren’t made of dough and chocolate chips and sugar, only sarcasm.
What else can you dole out to someone who has managed to recognize that women are human beings too?

5)  Lean In: This phrase is a book title, hashtag, and movement all in one. The book was authored by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, and has spawned the movement, and the hashtag. It means everything women need to do at the workplace, to assert their presence, and earn what they deserve – whether it’s positions, respect or paychecks.

Any more you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

by: Skendha Singh

No comments yet

Leave a Reply