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Feminazi is a term popularized by radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and in use since the early 1990s. It is a portmanteau of the nouns feminist and Nazi. The online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term as used in a "usually disparaging" manner, to describe "an extreme or militant feminist".[1]

The term is used pejoratively to describe feminists who are perceived as extreme.[1][2][3][4][5]

Etymology and usage[edit]

In his 1992 book The Way Things Ought to Be, Limbaugh credited his friend Tom Hazlett, professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, with coining the term.[6] In the book, Limbaugh also stated that the word refers to unspecified women whose goal is to allow as many abortions as possible, saying at one point that there were fewer than 25 "true feminazis" in the U.S.[7][8][9] Limbaugh has used the term to refer to members of the National Center for Women and Policing, the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women, and other organizations at the March for Women's Lives, a large pro-choice demonstration.[10][11]

In 2004, Limbaugh named feminist activists Gloria Steinem, Susan Sarandon, Christine Lahti, and Camryn Manheim as "famous feminazis."[10][6][9][third-party source needed] In 2005, Limbaugh said "I haven't used that term on this program in years. But it still gets to 'em, doesn't it? And you know why? Because it's right. Because it's accurate."[10] As of October 2012 Limbaugh was still using the word regularly on his show.[12][13]

Other political commentators have also made comparisons between militant feminism and totalitarian ideologies. In 1994, Camille Paglia described some feminist groups as "Stalinist" for engaging in what she describes as censorship and quashing of dissent.[14][15] In 1983, a year before Limbaugh debuted as a political talk-show host, anarchist Bob Black wrote an essay called "Feminism as Fascism".[16]

In 2012, Limbaugh sarcastically blamed "feminazis" as the cause of a decades-long trend of penis shrinking.[17][18]


In a 1996 interview, Gloria Steinem criticized Limbaugh's use of the term feminazi. According to Steinem, "Hitler came to power against the strong feminist movement in Germany, padlocked the family planning clinics, and declared abortion a crime against the state—all views that more closely resemble Rush Limbaugh's."[19] In her book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Steinem characterised the term as "cruel and ahistorical", and elaborated on the repression of feminism under Hitler, noting that many prominent German feminists like Helene Stöcker, Trude Weiss-Rosmarin and Clara Zetkin were forced to flee Nazi Germany while others were killed in concentration camps.[20]

John K. Wilson, in his book The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, cites Limbaugh's definition of the term as meaning "radical feminists whose objective is to see that there are as many abortions as possible" and says "by this definition, there are literally no feminazis."[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Online dictionary
  2. ^ Katz, Jackson (2006). The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and how All Men Can Help. Sourcebooks. p. 177. ISBN 9781402253768. So when Limbaugh stigmatizes feminists by calling them names like 'feminazi,' he is attacking those women who have been most successful... 
  3. ^ Ferree, Myra Max (2005-02-17). "Soft Repression: Ridicule, Stigma, and Ailencing in Gender-based Movements". In Myers, Daniel J.; Cress, Daniel M. Authority in Contention. Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change 25. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7623-1037-1. ISSN 0163-786X. Retrieved 2012-03-03. More recently, consider the term 'feminazi' that Rush Limbaugh coined to ridicule feminists... 
  4. ^ Linguistic politics and language usage in the debate on "Political Correctness" by Peter Skutta
  5. ^ "Angry Feminazis and Manhaters: How Women Develop Positive Feminist Identities in the Face of Stigma" by April Dye for the Association for Women in Psychology Abstract: "Popular culture often portrays feminists as 'feminazis'".
  6. ^ a b Rush H. Limbaugh, The Way Things Ought to Be, Pocket Books, 1992 p. 193
    "I prefer to call the most obnoxious feminists what they really are: feminazis. Tom Hazlett, a good friend who is an esteemed and highly regarded professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, coined the term to describe any female who is intolerant of any point of view that challenges militant feminism."
  7. ^ Limbaugh, Rush H., III (1992). "The Limbaugh Lexicon". The Way Things Ought to Be. Pocket Books. p. 296. Feminazi: Widely misunderstood by most to simply mean "feminist." Not so, boobala. A Feminazi is a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur. There are fewer than twenty-five known Feminazis in the United States. 
  8. ^ Britt Gillette, The Dittohead's Guide to Adult Beverages, Regnery Publishing, 2005, page xii
  9. ^ a b "Feminazi is an Accurate Term". The Rush Limbaugh Show. Premiere Radio Networks. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  10. ^ a b c The Rush Limbaugh Show, June 22, 2005: "In The Washington Post we get a little story: 'Tips for the Democrats, Hint: Next time don't compare anybody to Hitler.' And by the way, the only reason they're doing it is because Rush Limbaugh invented the term 'feminazi.' That's the sum total of the Washington Post story—Durbin did it because I popularized it first with 'feminazi.' I haven't used that term on this program in years. But it still gets to 'em, doesn't it? And you know why? [chuckles] Because it's right. Because it's accurate.
    The feminazis gathered in Washington on Sunday, about a half-million of them it says here, and it was the first big pro-abortion rally in 12 years....Now, let's go to the audiotape. Let's listen to some famous feminazis who were speaking yesterday at the pro-abort anti-Bush rally. In order, they are Gloria Steinem, Susan Sarandon, Christine Lahti and Camryn Manheim."
  11. ^ Wilson, John K. (March 1, 2011). "Bitches, Butt Boys, and Feminazis: Limbaugh's Sexism and Homophobia". The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh’s Assault on Reason. Macmillan. p. 56. ISBN 9780312612146. OL 24385112M. When asked in 1995 about the term "feminazi," he declared: "It's the way I look at the feminist movement." Limbaugh referred to the National Center for Women and Policing and the Feminist Majority Foundation as "feminazis." So it's not just twenty-five individuals, but every single feminist organization, its leaders, and millions upon millions of Americans with the same views whom Limbaugh compares to Nazis. 
  12. ^ The Rush Limbaugh Show, October 17, 2012.
  13. ^ Chandrasekhar, Indu (November 5, 2012). "Barack Obama, ladies man: why the President deserves women’s support". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Rodden, John. (2001) Performing the literary interview: how writers craft their public selves. University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 9780803239395, p. 169.
  15. ^ Paglia, Camille (1994). Vamps & Tramps. New York: Vintage Books. p. 189. ISBN 0679751203. 
  16. ^ Feminism as Fascism
  17. ^ Rush Limbaugh Blames 'Feminazis' For Study Finding About Shrinkage In Male Genitalia, Huffington Post.
  18. ^ "Limbaugh: Penises now ’10 percent smaller’ and shrinking because of ‘feminazis’" Raw Story.
  19. ^ Steinem, Gloria (1996). "Ask Gloria". Feminist.com. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Steinem, Gloria (October 15, 1995). "If Hitler Were Alive, Whose Side Would He Be On?". Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. New American Library. ISBN 978-0451139986. OL 18320559M. 
  21. ^ Wilson, John K. (2011). The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-312-61214-6. 

External links[edit]