'Feminism' Ranks As Top Search Word In 2017, According To Mirriam-Webster Dictionary

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It's official: leading US dictionary Merriam-Webster says that its 2017 word of the year is 'feminism'. Peter Sokolowski, Mirriam-Webster's editor-at-large said that people searching for the word was up 70 percent. "The word was in the air", said Sokolowski. 

Described as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes” by the dictionary, the word 'feminism also means “organised activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”.

Other contenders for 2017’s prize were “complicit” (which was widely used in the Trump/Russia scandal) and “dotard” (which is the adjective Kim Jong-un used to describe the US president).

The word 'feminism' got a huge boost with the November 21 Women's March in DC and around the world. With Women's Marches all over America, the event is considered to be the largest activism march ever.

Just when searches were perhaps slowing down, the #metoo movement began, which put 'feminism' once again on the front burner, boosted yet again by TIME magazine's person of the year award as 'The Silence Breakers'. 

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Republican women do not strongly identify with the word 'feminist' and Mirriam-Webster says Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also gave searches a boost.  The Washington Post clarifies:

“It’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly is very pro-abortion, and I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion. So, there’s an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices…. I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances,” Conway said during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Maryland last February.

In fact, feminism is not pro-abortion, but a core belief is the women have a right to control our own bodies and that opposition to a right to birth control, for example,  is now unconstitutional. Feminism does emphasize body autonomy within a range of sensible restrictions. 

Alison Brie Talks GLOW Nude Scenes, Lensed By Txema Yeste For The Edit December 14, 2017

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Alison Brie Talks GLOW Nude Scenes, Lensed By Txema Yeste For The Edit December 14, 2017

Actor Alison Brie was jumping for joy on Wednesday night's Jimmy Fallon show. The 34-year-old Community actor celebrated news of her Golden Globe nomination for her female wrestling Netflix show GLOW. 

Brie is styled here by Tracy Taylor in dark, romantic looks lensed by Txema Yeste for The Edit Magazine December 14, 2017. Brie is interviewed by Jennifer Dickinson for 'Best in Show. Looking back Alison Brie says she was very pleased with hos her nude scenes in GLOW were handled. 

Eye: Jessica Chastain Tells ES Magazine She Will No Longer Be Paid A Third Less Than Men, Praises Salma Hayek

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Actor Jessica Chastain covers the December 1, 2017 issue of London's Evening Standard ES Magazine. Styled by Nicky Yates in ruffled, ruched and pleated looks from Alessandra Rich, Gucci, Givenchy, Prada and more, the 'Molly's Game' star is lensed by Camilla Armbrust

Chastain's rep has confirmed that she is one of the growing list of female actors confirming that they will be wearing black to the 2018 Golden Globes, as a symbol of protest against harassment in Hollywood. There are murmurings that the all-black protest will continue throughout the awards season. In addition, the female actors say they will not discuss the typical "who are you wearing?" red-carpet question and will insist that questions be focused on activism and a range of societal and cultural topics heavy on women's rights in America and around the world. 

Charlottesville Car Killer James Alex Fields Jr. Charged With First Degree Murder

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Self-professed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with first-degree murder Thursday, after being jailed on lesser charges since the Aug. 12 for the death of Charlottesville protester Heather D. Heyer

Fields had been charged with second-degree murder, punishable by five to 40 years in prison. WaPo writes:

Authorities had initially said that 19 people were injured, in addition to Heyer, when Fields allegedly rammed his 2010 Dodge Challenger into another vehicle on purpose on a crowded street. But testimony at the preliminary hearing revealed that there were many more victims. Besides first-degree murder, Fields, who lived in Ohio before his arrest, is charged with eight counts of “aggravated malicious wounding,” meaning that at least eight of the 35 people who were hurt suffered what Virginia law describes as “permanent and significant physical impairment," writes the New York Times

Stars Align In Alabama: Emmett Till; Four Birmingham, Alabama Church-Going Girls; Doug Jones; Dana Schutz & Racial Reconciliation

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Stars Align In Alabama: Emmett Till; Four Birmingham, Alabama Church-Going Girls; Doug Jones; Dana Schutz & Racial Reconciliation

Nigerian-born, Huntsville-raised, U of Alabama grad Toyin Ojih Odutola first got the attention of Voguemagazine when the poet Claudia Rankine published as essay in Aperture magazine, "A New Grammar for Blackness'. 

A year later, Toyin Ojih Odutola has mounted a solo show 'To Wander Determined' at the Whitney Museum in New York. Upon entering the show, visitors see a letter written by Odutola in the persona of the 'Deputy Private Secretary' for two aristocratic families in Lagos. 

artNet writes: "For Ojih Odutola, their images form a corrective to a Eurocentric art history that thinks of both court portraiture and genre paintings as belonging to a primarily white world, with black characters as footnotes—cast as servants, slaves, or left out completely.."

The topic of black identity, colonialism, and cultural appropriation have lived front and center in our national -- and international -- dialogue in 2017.