Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large, told the Associated Press that the company decided on the word "feminism" after online searches for the term spiked by 70 percent from the previous year.
Those spikes in interest were tied to several major events dealing with women's issues this year.
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Speaking at a conservative event, she said she found it hard for describe herself as a feminist because she was not "anti-male" and "pro-abortion". At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Conway said, "It's hard for me to call myself a feminist in a 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".
She said she was a "product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances", which she described as "conservative feminism".
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Topping the list this year, as reported by EW, is "feminism", which is believed to have been driven heavily by the Trump administration, as well as news coverage of the Women's March, and when Trump Administration advisor Kellyanne Conway revealed that she did not define herself as a feminist.
"As with other words that spiked this year, such as fact and complicit, the definition of feminism was itself the subject of the news story-an invitation for many people to look up the word", Merriam-Webster said in its analysis of the Word of the Year. Last year, the Oxford English dictionary chose "post-truth" as its word of 2016, and this year everyone's talking about feminism, apparently.
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