The word was a top lookup throughout the year, showing a 70% increase over 2016. It also saw several spikes in lookups that corresponded to various news reports and events during the year. The general rise in lookups tells us that many people are interested in this word; specific spikes give us insight into some of the reasons why.
In the last weeks of January, feminism spiked following news coverage of the Women's March on Washington, DC (and other related marches held around the country and internationally), and follow-up discussions regarding whether the march was feminist, and what kind of feminism was represented by organizers and attendees. The word was in the air.