Gender and Language, Vol 5, No 1 (2011)

Snippa: A success story of feminist language planning

Karin Milles
Issued Date: 20 Jul 2011


Second wave feminist linguistics has investigated sexist language practices. In Sweden it has often been claimed there is no neutral word for girls’ genitals.
The article describes a feminist language reform aimed at establishing the word snippa as a neutral word for the female genitals. Snippa now seems to be one of the most common words to denote girls’ genitals, is included in dictionaries and used in printed books.
The article discusses what made this reform successful and also considers whether the word is really the neutral word feminists were asking for.
But despite the success of the reform, what to name the female genitalia is still being discussed. It is argued that these metalinguistic discussions are influenced by culturally constructed images of female sexuality, and part of the larger project of discussing and questioning images of female sexuality and women’s place in society.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.v5i1.89


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