Feminism since 2004
A sociologist and I were recently talking about events that have affected discussions about feminism. I went over to Google Trends to check out what people have been searching for and when peaks have appeared.
In the graphic, feminism is blue, feminist is red and meninist is yellow. Happily meninist is tiny. You see a bunch of dips because of the seasons — basically, no one does anything in the summer.
The most recent peak was in March 2016. That’s a time when various prominent celebrities have been talking about feminism. I would also note that a lot of these articles were positive, which is nice for those of us who remember when the terms underwent pejoration. Back in March these were the breakout search terms:
And these were the top terms in March over all:
You’ll note that meninist begins after a peak for feminism/feminist in October/November 2014. What was happening with feminist/feminism back then? I haven’t tried to prove any correlations, but my hypothesis from going back in the news is that these events were important for consciousness raising:
- A reaction to feminist being on Time’s “words to ban” list (more trolling :/ so it’s probably related to GamerGate)
- An extension of conversations from Emma Watson’s UN speech
Finally, what about that super-peak in April 2004? I’m much less sure what to attribute that for and a quick glance at the past news highlights isn’t making it obvious to me. My best guess is that this is a data sparsity issue — Google News only started two years prior (it didn’t get officially released til 2006). But maybe you can think of another hypothesis — let me know what it is!