Marks & Spencer’s uses Womanism to Sell Knickers: Or, why Google is your friend

Here’s a hint to all those folks working in advertising: before you launch a new campaign, you should probably google just to make sure that new word you’re “inventing” doesn’t already mean something else. It’s really not that hard: go to and type in the word. Then hit search. 

This simple piece of information prevents all kinds of embarrassing booboos: say, for instance, using the term “womanism” to describe your company.

You could even go straight to Wikipedia and type in, for instance, womanism and discover that it’s already an actual thing.

Even if you don’t have a history of tokenism when employing non-white women in your advertising campaigns, it’s probably best to stay from using a term that’s existed for a couple of hundred years but whose current definition involves the acknowledgment of the erasure of women of colour from mainstream 1st and 2nd wave feminism. Not to mention their current marginalisation from media representations of feminism [see: Guardian’s coverage of UK Feminista Summer School which focuses only on white woman as if no women of colour were involved].

Really, it’s not that hard to double check to see if you’re making a huge fuck-up in your new campaign. Surely, there’s an unpaid intern running about with a smart phone who could check for you if you’re too busy being a super-important advertiser to check whether or not you’re supporting the White Supremacy. 

And, Vagenda, whilst I thank you for raising awareness of this disgraceful event, I do think the swipe at intersectional feminism was a tad unnecessary.

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