Women spent 2017 making their voices heard, which is why we shouldn’t be all that surprised that Merriam-Webster has chosen “feminism” as 2017’s Word of the Year.
Defined as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests," searches for the word “feminism” reached its peak in January 2017, which is when the Women’s March across the country took place. In a related area, searches for the #MeToo movement saw an increase as the news began being dominated by reports of sexual harassment allegations.
The word spiked in January after the Women's March in Washington which happened one day after President Trump's inauguration. Then, the word spiked again in February, after White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was hard for her to call herself a feminist because she said the word "implies anti-male sentiment" and "a pro-abortion outlook."