The Impact of Slang on Feminism Through the Internet

Definition: "an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech" (Merriam Webster, 2021)

The introduction of the internet to the world has completely changed society by providing dozens of new services that allow us to communicate, share and consume media, and learn. This web of communication has created a platform where feminists can speak to a wider audience than they would have been unable to reach without the use of the internet. This has allowed the feminist movement a chance to make advances in society through the sharing of ideas and information: However, this ability to reach a wider audience also has come with a price. The ability to be able to reach so many individuals has also resulted in the movement reaching those who are against the movement which in turn has resulted in a new form of backlash forming against feminism. This new form of backlash that has formed through the internet is the use of slang terms or "memes" used to discredit and mock the movement.  Even though the creation of the internet has had many positives for the feminist movement overall, it has also resulted in the very thing that hinders the movement. 

While going through the exhibit, the visitor can choose to move through the site at their own discretion to learn about the history and the linguistic aspects of these slang examples.


Social Justice Warriors and the Fight to be Heard: This section will be going over the recent surge in the slang term "social justice warrior" or SJW and the history of how this term came into being and how it gained the connotations it has today. The section will be going over some examples of how and when this term has been used and how the term has been attached to the feminist movement. 

The Snowflake: Being Special in the Digital World: This section will be focused on defining the slang term "snowflake" and the history of how the term came to be used today. This section will go into detail on what recent events have caused this term to become such a staple of social media and examples of how this term has been used against others. 

Being "Woke" Online and its Implications: The final section will be focused on breaking down the term "woke" and how the term has evolved over the last couple years. This section will be discussing the different meanings behind being "woke" and how the term has been popularized and examples of this term being used online. 



References: Dictionary, s.v. “slang,” accessed December 6, 2021,

Prev Next