Creating an asinine word which sounds like a loveseat I purchased from IKEA is offensive and dumb.
I read the words, and in a mix of disbelief and shock, I stopped and read them again. Nope, I saw them right the first time: "Female Masturbation Has A Brand Spankin' (And Sparkly) New Name."
The topic of the article has been covered by various other outlets, but the widespread reports on it wasn't the problem; the problem was the topic itself.
Last year, Sweden decided they — as a country — needed to initiate a more open dialogue about female masturbation. Hell yeah, I thought, but then I kept reading.
My enthusiasm quickly turned to anger because the result of this push wasn't a blunt conversation, sexual education (not the type you have in high school, but a real and honest conversation), or an online #MasturbationMovement.
It was "klittra," a Frankensteinian combination of the Swedish words "clitoris" and "glitter".
Umm, excuse me?
Let's get something straight: masturbation is not a "dirty" word.
(Spoiler alert: I masturbate. The word itself is not the problem, as the pre-existing Swedish word, onanera, is gender-neutral, though it's worth noting that the origins of this word are male).
It's a normal part of both male and female lives; unfortunately, most women don't speak about it because the connotations surrounding "female masturbation" are, in many circles, negative.
I've heard female masturbation being referred to as both beautiful and slutty, and everything in-between. Creating some asinine word which sounds like a loveseat I once purchased from IKEA isn't going to solve this problem. Plus, who the hell wants glitter near their snatch?
We aren't referring to other actions in his strange manner, such as, "Honey, can you drive the car?" "No, but I can sunshine-steer." It sounds stupid, not to mention it's offensive and degrading.
So, why are talking about masturbation in this manner?
Let's talk about masturbation, not "Klittra," for what it is — it's an act of self-gratification.
Regardless of who does it or how they do it, the intended result is pleasure. Period.
Creating this type of language will only further disenfranchise women, and relating female sexuality to objects commonly associated with first grade art class will, undoubtedly, do more harm than good.
While I applaud Sweden for a truly well-intentioned movement, changing the lexicon is only going to further complicate this issue and make masturbation even more taboo. Let's just call it what it is: masturbation.
Let's claim the word as ours, too.
And the only way to do that, and change its meaning and perception, is to have a meaningful, empowering, and glitter-free conversation.
This article was originally published at Sunshine Spoils Milk. Reprinted with permission from the author.