Survey: What do you understand the term feminism to mean?

[This post was originally published in March 2010 on the website for the book Reclaiming The F Word, by myself and Kristin Aune. Since the website no longer exists, I thought I would publish it again here, with some minor edits.]

How do feminists explain what feminism is?

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The word cloud above was produced from the answers given to a major survey of 1265 UK feminists, as part of the research for our book Reclaiming The F Word.

One of our survey questions was “What do you understand the term feminism to mean?

This image represents the free text of the responses pasted into Tag Crowd.

One of my favourite responses was the person who wrote: “you’re pulling my leg? i haven’t the time to write this answer!”

Important points to note: The images represent the most frequent 50 words from the 824 respondents who answered this question online (we had 1265 survey responses in total and about two-thirds completed the survey online). Unfortunately we don’t currently have the funding to type up all of the free text responses that were submitted on paper, but the paper responses were counted in our main (statistical) survey results which are in our book.

I removed the word ‘feminism’ from the responses before processing it, since that’s what they were asked to define.

The new edition of Reclaiming The F Word with an updated Preface will be available in June 2013.

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