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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2013 08:00 AM
Dela

I try not to but it happens and when it does it's NBD. Our kids know all those charming words (from us and others) and we're not making it a big secret or having kittens over it. DH and I told them they can say them as much as they want at home, but that because some other people are sensitive and feel that out of 450,000 words in the English language, these few somehow hold magical powers and are "bad," that it might not be a good idea to say them around others. They get it for the most part. So far no one's taken us up on the offer to use them casually at home, they just don't hold power since they don't shock us and it doesn't get attention. 

 

The only words I really reinforce them not to say or use EVER are racial and sexual (homophobic, anti-woman) slurs. I could hear a little kid spouting off the "f" word a lot easier than I could listen to them say, "that's gay," in terms of something they find stupid.

07-12-2013 02:32 PM
MamadeRumi

Before I had DS I knew two mamas-to-be who took totally different approaches to this. One found out she was pregnant and started coming up with alternative words, the other admitted that her foul mouth was "bigger than her" and she accepted it.  I made no decision one way or the other, and was shocked when, shortly after the birth of DS, I dropped something on my foot and heard myself say, "fudgesickles!"  Fudgesickles?  Really?  I've never said that. Never.  But now it has become a regular part of my vocabulary.  Which doesn't mean that I haven't accidentally taught my ds some other words.  One of his early favs was "darn, darn, darn" which came about after I dropped something, said, damn, and then caught myself and said, "I mean darn.  Darn, darn, darn."  DS found the repetition quite amusing.  More recently I was trying to fix a plumbing problem and though I knew he was around, I didn't realize how close he was, and I said Damn.  Ds, who turned out to be right behind me said, "why did you say damn?"  In a moment of panic I said, "no, I said darn."  He looked confused for a minute, then asked, "did you say damn and then say darn?"  He obviously knew what he had heard and my attempt to fib just confused him, so I ended up telling him, "you're right.  I said damn.  And I shouldn't have.  And I shouldn't have told you that I didn't say it.  Mommy is working hard and I got confused and frustrated.  I'm sorry."  That resolved the issue, and he went back to talking to the imaginary monsters (nice ones) who were also watching me wrestle with the plumbing. 

 

So, I guess the answer is that I do swear in front of him, but I try not to.  I apologize when I do.  And having learned my lesson, I don't lie about it when I slip.  That ended up being more embarrassing than the swearing. 
 

07-08-2013 01:45 PM
Ashley Bennet

Im not as of yet a mom so this is probably a lil premature but Yes i have a sailor mouth and was raised by a mom ( who i got it from) would probably never change that,  i do have a neice who is 12 and i have a sailor mouth around her but it doesnt seem to affect her at all.  although if it did i dont think it would matter much as i a was cussing at her age!

05-09-2013 12:23 AM
PrimordialMind clap.gif. I couldnt agree more, sphinxy! Well said smile.gif

As for me, i dont make a big deal out of cussing. I and DH do it a few times a day, but when our kids are in school or playing with friends i'll be sure to educate them about the inappropriateness of the words. They're okay to do at home but not with mixed company--basically the same as what a lot of other posters have said. I dont understand eliminating words like "hate" or "bad"--those words represent very important feelings and opinions that shouldnt be disallowed simply because theyre uncomfy. I hate pedophiles. I hate racist people. I hate abuse. These are legitimate statements that are true and very real. It just wouldnt be the same to say, "i dislike pedophiles or i dont really like racist people." No, it just wouldnt work. And i think teaching our kids that and allowing them to express hatred is healthy. Now, overusing hate is a different story. Saying i hate broccoli or i hate commercials is going too far--its much more appropriate to say i dislike broccoli and i dont like commercials very much. And whats wrong with saying i feel bad? Or, this cheese tastes bad? Or, i dont like bad weather? None of these seem bad to me lol.
05-08-2013 11:22 AM
MichelleZB Right on, Sphinxy! And yes, I ultimately stopped dealing with anything Demeter was saying because it quickly became... well, clearly a fringe opinion.
05-07-2013 04:01 PM
cynthia mosher

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05-07-2013 01:34 PM
Sphinxy
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

But I never said men are unable to manage their behavior; I *meant* I think they benefit from the guidance of women, especially mothers, and without that figure represented, are just animals. Fortunately most men have had more than this and are NOT anything like the uglier stereotypes I allude to.   I think women benefit from the protection of good men. 

 

Wow. I just found my way back to this thread thinking, what of interest to me could have possibly been added to this thread regarding swearing in front of kids that wasn't said already the last time I checked in? What a surprise I had!

 

So I got sucked in and read along, quite content with the responses of so many rockin' feminists who said everything I would have wanted to say. And then I got to this quote. I really can only imagine that the reason no one addressed it before is because they were so exhausted after going so many rounds on this topic and realized that for their own sanity they had to walk away. So, before I go take a shower to rinse off how dirty I feel after reading the text above, I'll leave you with this, demeter:

 

Your clarification of what you "*meant*" to say about men is so much more abhorrent than what you said the first time. I'm truly disgusted. There are single fathers and gay fathers out there raising young boys with no female role models in their lives doing a fantastic job and shame on you for passing judgment on them and calling their children animals.

 

And about women. I think women benefit from the protection of a good society that respects the independence of women. That raises their girls to enter into partnerships equally and without feeling a necessity for the protection of a man. I think all men and women both benefit from a culture that doesn't place the responsibility of "protecting" on men, as it gives boys and men an inappropriate feeling of authority and power, and places women and girls in an instant position of submission. 

05-02-2013 10:59 PM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

Almost, but not quite!

 

The words you are referring to, juicy strong words like fuck, shit, cock, and cunt, are actually Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) in origin. The Anglo-Saxons were the main citizens of Britain from the 6th to the 11th century, until they were invaded by the Normans (the French) in 1066.

 

We have many words surviving from Old English, and yes, they are all considered uncouth in connotation because they were spoken by the plebes. You'll notice it, for instance, with food. We use the Anglo-Saxon word for when we're raising the meat, and the Norman word for when we're cooking or eating it.

 

We raise cows, but we eat beef.

We raise pigs, but we eat pork.

 

This is totally OT, but thanks! This is one of those things that has come up many times in conversations with my kids, but never when I can look it up (eg. when we're driving somewhere). I never think to look it up when I could look it up, so it remained a mystery until now. Fascinating stuff.

05-02-2013 07:46 PM
redheather

Thanks for clarifying! Linguistics and how they affect us are fascinating to me.

05-02-2013 11:42 AM
MichelleZB
Quote:
Originally Posted by redheather View Post

This may not be helpful, but, I once had a teacher who said most of the 4-letter words we use to swear with in English are actually Celtic words. When the multiple invasions of the British Isles took place, the Celts were pushed aside and were considered inferior to the French- and English-speaking ruling classes. Those colorful words became associated with being lower class, when in reality they were simply a part of a different culture's language.

 

I know the words are not received the same in these times and are used for certain emphases, but it's interesting to uncover a possible link to why those words are incorrectly associated with being "lower" class.

Almost, but not quite!

 

The words you are referring to, juicy strong words like fuck, shit, cock, and cunt, are actually Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) in origin. The Anglo-Saxons were the main citizens of Britain from the 6th to the 11th century, until they were invaded by the Normans (the French) in 1066.

 

We have many words surviving from Old English, and yes, they are all considered uncouth in connotation because they were spoken by the plebes. You'll notice it, for instance, with food. We use the Anglo-Saxon word for when we're raising the meat, and the Norman word for when we're cooking or eating it.

 

We raise cows, but we eat beef.

We raise pigs, but we eat pork.

05-02-2013 08:41 AM
redheather

This may not be helpful, but, I once had a teacher who said most of the 4-letter words we use to swear with in English are actually Celtic words. When the multiple invasions of the British Isles took place, the Celts were pushed aside and were considered inferior to the French- and English-speaking ruling classes. Those colorful words became associated with being lower class, when in reality they were simply a part of a different culture's language.

 

I know the words are not received the same in these times and are used for certain emphases, but it's interesting to uncover a possible link to why those words are incorrectly associated with being "lower" class.

05-01-2013 10:12 PM
Storm Bride

demeter: I just wrote a very long post, and had something go wrong in the last few minutes. I don't have the time or the energy to post it again.

 

Suffice it to say - I find your views of gender and men at least as offensive as you find swearing. You can use whatever definition you like for sexism, but the ones at dictionary.com fit into my understanding pretty well. (There's a lot of "usually men", but it can go either way.)

 

I disagree with you about innate differences between men and women, at least the way you're presenting them. I also never said that my "boys and girls are the same". I have four children - two boys and two girls. They're all different. One of my boys is somewhat stereotypically male, to some eyes. Neither of my girls is particularly stereotypically female (well, the little one isn't even four yet - we'll see). They're all nurturing towards babies, small fuzzy animals, etc. And, the one who has the personality that I feel would be the most dangerous should serious power ever come along is a daughter, not a son.

 

I also find it very odd that you're bolstering your comments about the differences between men and women by bringing up the dynamic when those men and women are expected to behave in certain ways (ie. "follow the flock") according to their gender. If those differences are less pronounced in cultures with more freedom of self expression, then those differences are, at least in part, a cultural construct. Fitting in is important to most people, and people have done a lot more drastic things than playing the role of a "real man" or whatever, in order to do so.

 

I also have to say that I don't get this at all:

 

Quote:
I don't care even a little bit about how others outsie my "arena" perceive me.

Why not?  Don't you want to try to be understood out of respect for those who aren't like you?  I think a lot of Americans feel the way you do, and it's sad because when I go to certain other places I see people take great pride in anyone from another country taking interest in them or their ways.  It's never dismissed or taken for granted.  It's respected.

 

I live my life in a way that works for me. Respecting other people doesn't mean changing my life to fit in with what they think it should look like. I think we must have talking about two different things, but...no - I don't care what other people think of me over the swearing thing. If it's that big a deal to them, we're probably not going to mesh very well, anyway. If someone is interested enough to wonder about my language use, we can talk about it. But, I didn't get the feeling that's what you meant when I replied to you. (My above green quote was in response to "(And I will add in women who are unaware of how the words they use came to be used and how others outside their arena perceive them)" - blue added by me, to clarify that it was your quote. I have no idea how you got from this to "don't you want to try to be understood?". (To be honest, I don't, particularly. Very few people even within my own "arena" have ever understood me very well.)

 

*sigh*
I still can't believe I lost that whole freaking post.

 

Oh - one last thing from the lost post. At what point does violence "originate"? In my youth (fueled by insane PMS), I quite badly hurt several classmates, and attempted to hurt several more (this includes putting someone in a whiplash collar, knocking over two desks with someone else, ripping out someone else's hair, hitting someone else repeatedly in the head with a metal file). Not a single one of those people had laid a hand on me prior to me trying to beat the living hell out of them - not one. Only two of them even hit me back in self defense. There are children, including boys, being raised by women who are that violent. If those men grow up to be wife/child beater, where did the violence originate?

05-01-2013 05:14 PM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

You thought I was unaware of how some ivy league educated artistes and British scholars curse?  Or are you saying that this minority of people negates my general characterization of Americans as vulgar and uneducated in part because of their cursing and uninhibited behaviors?  There are different styles of cursing, obviously, but I don't think a classist double standard is just.  

 

Here is another characterization: most men, also British ones, and even educated ones, would admit that they would probably prefer their mothers, wives and daughters not curse, despite their loud arguments for the validity of cursing for themselves. Deep down, these well educated men know that cursing is naughty and that is why they do it.; it's about control. 

 

 

I'm an American married to a well educated and successful British man. I'm just shaking my head as I read your post. It is offensive to refer to any group of people as generally vulgar and uneducated. It's really quite a vulgar and uneducated thing to do! Surely part of your education broached on not making sweeping generalizations? 

 

As far as the rest, my British husband would say that you are "just talking out your arse."

 

Your generalizations about swear words don't include the kinds of words used as profanity in other languages, even British English (which is sort of its own language). I personally find French swear words fascinating because so many are religious.

05-01-2013 02:59 PM
demeter888

Storm Bride, my replies are in blue.

 

The history of the word nigger is based on one race dominating another during a time when men were the only ones with rights. Countries in which women are educated and have any decent rights don't enslave people.  

 

 

That's a correlation, and it doesn't prove causation. There are a lot of social changes that have to be made in order to get to the "women are educated and have decent rights" place from a place where those factors don't exist. Many of those changes would also preclude any acceptance of actual slavery.

 

Yeah, I agree.  It was out of context in the original argument.

 

I've never seen anything to suggest that women are less likely to objectify when insulting someone than men are. More detailed? Maybe - but those details are frequently just a string of objectifying details. (There have also been many men who have come up with insults far beyond using a term like "asshole".)

 

Women tend to use words which challenge another's morality far more than men, whereas men tend to insult a person by challenging their inferiority/strength/weakness.  It would sound more accurate to talk about "feminine and male behaviors" than men and women as if they all fit into these "roles", so please pardon the indistinction I'm making.  I apologize for the insensitivity in not wording it more clearly but I'm just not used to it.

 

 

Okay - they're about objectification. But, you seem to feel that objectification is a male only phenomenon. It's not.

 

But think about what women often call each other?  Bitch (implying cruelty), slut (implying bad morals).  In my experience it's much more common than women who use words that are body parts.  I don't believe it all comes from our social constructs; the basis for it is biological.  Granted, women can be superficial and materialistic when insulting on a more "immature" level, they tend to make fun of appearance and this is common between both sexes. It changes are we develop sexually and is no coincidence.

 

As for blasphemy, you are right, that is extremely common, and also historically much, much more used by men than women.  I digress on that.

 

Again - evidence? Historically, women were subject to far less social censure for swearing/cursing than women were. (I'm not saying they weren't censured - just that it wasn't to anywhere near the same degree as the censure heaped on women.) So, yes - women probably used these terms less than men, as women swore/cursed less than men, in general. In modern times, when men and women both curse, I've seen absolutely nothing to support the idea that men use these terms more than women do.

 

I agree, but it doesn't negate my opinion that the behavior is socially dangerous.  We are talking about the use of specific words, not about the fact that ANY behaviors in hostility are dangerous.  

 

 
I am talking about women who equate liberation in a male dominated culture with being able to exhibit the same vulgar behavior men have historically been the ones to exhibit.  
 
Well...in some ways, they're right. The idea that women couldn't/shouldn't use that kind of language, just because they're women (or "ladies") was always really, really bizarre. There isn't a "no profanity" switch issued with the vulva. I've personally never thought of it as liberating, as such, but I've never had anyone try to tell me not to talk like that, just because I'm female, either. Had I grown up in an environment when people would routinely assume all sorts of bizarre things about my character ("easy", dishonest, lazy, etc.) simply because I used those terms, I'd probably find it liberating to be able to use them without such inane judgement. I don't know anybody who equates liberation with being able to swear...but I can certainly understand seeing the ability to swear without being beaten by one's father/husband/brother as liberating.
 
I don't think men should swear either. That's a very obtuse statement, but I apply it equally to both sexes.  It's simply disrespectful and I am fairly open minded but we need a few boundaries in our culture because they serve a purpose.  If a stranger came up to me swearing in public, I'd feel threatened.  Words are not just words.  When i hear somebody cursing around my child in public that I don't know, I feel threatened.  And on a personal note, when I have somebody I care for and respect cursing in front of me, I feel disrespected.  And ultimately, yes, I label it trashy because it serves no purpose.  I can understand the urge to rebel from being judged, but that is not a rational reason to curse if it impacts others negatively.  Unless you want to shave your head and live on Hollywood  Blvd.  I don't.
 
(And I will add in women who are unaware of how the words they use came to be used and how others outside their arena perceive them).
 
 I don't care even a little bit about how others outsie my "arena" perceive me.

Why not?  Don't you want to try to be understood out of respect for those who aren't like you?  I think a lot of Americans feel the way you do, and it's sad because when I go to certain other places I see people take great pride in anyone from another country taking interest in them or their ways.  It's never dismissed or taken for granted.  It's respected.


 

 

 

 

The blue text you quoted had nothing to do with me cursing more than dh. I said dh is more civilizedthan I am. He's less aggressive (so was my ex) and less prone to physical expressions of anger/frustration (although, after many years of adulthood, I've gotten those under control). Neither one of us is prone to objectification of others. (Mind you, while suppression doesn't often play into it that much, one only has to watch some aspects of the "Mommy Wars" play out to know that women can be every bit as prone to objectification as men - it simply manifests differently.) Curse words mostly come from aggression, frustration and violence - sure - they are, at their core, verbal manifestations of those things. Characterizing that as "male" is flawed, and grossly oversimplifies the human condition.

 

As for the cursing vs civility, my bad.  The rest I address above.

 

 

So what if their origins are male? For a very large chunk of human history, men ran the show, and the origins of many, many things are male. That doesn't mean that using those things is letting the "uncivilized male mentality" win.

 

You think women in men's bodies, or with the greater physical dominance rather, would have acted just as men have? I just don't agree.

 

We'll never know, one way or the other, becuase without women/mothers, men wouldn't even exist. They wouldn't have been born, or would have starved to death in infancy. I know, off the top of my head, three men who were physically abused by their mothers, and none of them would hurt a fly. They learned that compassion and gentleness somewhere, but it wasn't from mom.

 

There are plenty of examples of what happens to men without mother figures, and there is a reason soldiers are trained and indoctrinated in places like Congo and Pakistan/Afghanistan by being removed from their mothers as young children or even infants.  One could argue that females treated this way might behave the same way, but any form of extreme brutality and abuse begets more of the same.  There are very few exceptions to the past of males originating violence.

 

As to supporting "civility"...much of what women have historically (at least in the last few centuries,in western cultures) supported have been inane rules of behaviour that have absolutely nothing to do with emotional intelligence or civility.

 

Examples?  Women like to make up rules of conduct just as much as men but they go about it i different ways.  And when men do it, it's called starting a religion.  It's intentions might be civility sometimes but its results are the opposite.  

 

 

I think the idea that "men" and "women" possess certain inherent natures is inherently flawed - massively - by the huge variations between individuals. Sure - if you could map every person's temperament on a spectrum of traits, and then overlay them, you'd probably find more men at the "uncivilized" end, and more women at the "civilized" end, but there's so much variation that generalizations are nuts.

 

In American culture your point is understandable. But not in most other cultures; individuals tend to follow the flock more in the majority of the world.  Generalizations are more obvious.  In American culture we have greater freedom of self expression and that is a good thing, cursing not included IMO. I don't consider American culture to be the leader in things related to social justice and decorum.   I still fail to see why generalizations are so inherently flawed when you just made one too.  In their proper and respectful context, generlizations are necessary to make certain comparative observations.  

 

 In 44 years, I've failed to observe these "clear" and observable differences between the sexes.

 

It doesn't mean you are stupid, just confined to an American or liberal westernized experience that is quite different from most places.

 

I find painting an entire sex with a broad brush to be inherently sexist, whether you think the word has anything to do with you or not.

 

You can call it unfair, or prejudiced, obviously.  But the classical definition of sexist that I linked to, no.  I don't deny exceptions to my generalizations, as I stated before.

 

There are women who enjoy the "chase" and leading a guy on, romantically/sexually. Saying that "women enjoy leading a guy on" is sexist.

 

I don't agree with your definition of sexist, but I understand why you think the word applies.  cit's technically too far off for me to let go of.

 

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/ 

 

 

 

You know...I have two sons and two daughters. They've all been raised pretty much the same way (some differences with my oldest,as he's 10 years older than the next, and the product of a different marriage - there was a year or so of his childhood that was pretty rough, in ways my other kids have never experienced). I haven't noticed any gender differences between my girls and my boys. One of my boys is "all boy" (what a nauseating phrase) in some ways, but not in others.

 

This is really pretty direct causation to me: Girls are inherently different from boys in their brains from birth, in their psychology, in their biology, and thus in their behaviors and social tendencies. Men tend to objectify.  I said TEND because most of the world is pretty brutal and unfair.  Our "liberated" American culture has its own sometimes different manifestations of these inherent gender differences, but I have met very few women claim their boys and girls are the same. That is extreme in any circle I know of. There is an obvious exception to this, which is transgendered, homosexual, and asexual people, but they are not choosing to be different, they are born that way.  It's not a matter of social conditioning.  

 

To deny sex differences is to negate the very thing that makes a person feel they are or are not male or female.  It is not just physical, it's psychological and behavioral and very distinctly so.  

 

 

05-01-2013 01:27 PM
demeter888
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakah View Post


I guess our versions of feminism are different. For me, being a feminist means freeing women AND men from the social stereotypes, expectations, etc. of society. As a feminist, one of my biggest pet peeves is the "Boys will be boys" mentality that men and boys are out of control and unable to manage their "uncivilized" behavior. It implies that men are dumb, incapable beings and therefore excuses a list of bad behaviors in the world. I don't believe this to be true. I have numerous outstanding men in my life and am raising a son. I wouldn't tolerate someone saying a blanketed, sexist comment about women and therefore shouldn't tolerate it about males either.
I'm also bothered by your argument that women swear to feel liberated and "be the same as men". So, if a woman does something that is traditionally for males, then she isn't acting out of a sense of self but more to be like men? This is not a feminist idea.

 

I understand your viewpoint as a feminist.  My personal opinion of men *in general* is but a personal prejudice; I'm no scholar of this topic, just an opinion holder.  But I never said men are unable to manage their behavior; I *meant* I think they benefit from the guidance of women, especially mothers, and without that figure represented, are just animals. Fortunately most men have had more than this and are NOT anything like the uglier stereotypes I allude to.   I think women benefit from the protection of good men. I respect those roles, and think they are good for society,  but l don't think they apply to all individuals and I think people should be able to decide for themselves what their role is.  We are not all the same.  I tried to clarify some of this is an earlier post but I hope that helps more.

 

Not all women feel that exhibiting stereotypical poor male behavior is liberating, but some do, and I think they are capable of setting their own standards and being more. I'm not above anything. That is not necessarily your brand of feminism, but it's mine.

05-01-2013 11:37 AM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

 

"Fuck" doesn't imply male domination. "Nigger" (and I feel filthy even typing that) is a slimy, nasty, racist word - but also not about men, per se.

 

The history of the word nigger is based on one race dominating another during a time when men were the only ones with rights. Countries in which women are educated and have any decent rights don't enslave people.  

 

That's a correlation, and it doesn't prove causation. There are a lot of social changes that have to be made in order to get to the "women are educated and have decent rights" place from a place where those factors don't exist. Many of those changes would also preclude any acceptance of actual slavery.

 

How is "asshole" about male domination and objectification? It's equating a person to a body part that's generally considered to be filthy. The others? Yeah - they're definitely sexist.

 

It's just another orifice turned in to something vulgar, whether assholes are dirty or not, it's used to objectify the person it's used against.  Women tend to be much more detailed when they really wish to insult somebody.


Really? Do have anything to support this idea, or is it just your opinion? I've never seen anything to suggest that women are less likely to objectify when insulting someone than men are. More detailed? Maybe - but those details are frequently just a string of objectifying details. (There have also been many men who have come up with insults far beyond using a term like "asshole".)

 

Other common curse words are "prick", "dickhead" and the like. Those aren't about male domination. 

 

They are about body parts, and I also said objectification.  

 

Okay - they're about objectification. But, you seem to feel that objectification is a male only phenomenon. It's not.

 

As for blasphemy, you are right, that is extremely common, and also historically much, much more used by men than women.  I digress on that.

 

Again - evidence? Historically, women were subject to far less social censure for swearing/cursing than women were. (I'm not saying they weren't censured - just that it wasn't to anywhere near the same degree as the censure heaped on women.) So, yes - women probably used these terms less than men, as women swore/cursed less than men, in general. In modern times, when men and women both curse, I've seen absolutely nothing to support the idea that men use these terms more than women do.

 

And, please, spare me the "if they think it makes them the same as men". What does that even mean? I swear. I actually swear more than most men I know, emphatically including dh (who rarely swears at all). It has absolutely nothing to do with being "the same as men". (What does that even mean? Which men?) IME, this is more about perceptions of class/status than about gender - and considerations of status have never concerned me very much.

 
I am talking about women who equate liberation in a male dominated culture with being able to exhibit the same vulgar behavior men have historically been the ones to exhibit.  
 
Well...in some ways, they're right. The idea that women couldn't/shouldn't use that kind of language, just because they're women (or "ladies") was always really, really bizarre. There isn't a "no profanity" switch issued with the vulva. I've personally never thought of it as liberating, as such, but I've never had anyone try to tell me not to talk like that, just because I'm female, either. Had I grown up in an environment when people would routinely assume all sorts of bizarre things about my character ("easy", dishonest, lazy, etc.) simply because I used those terms, I'd probably find it liberating to be able to use them without such inane judgement. I don't know anybody who equates liberation with being able to swear...but I can certainly understand seeing the ability to swear without being beaten by one's father/husband/brother as liberating.
 
(And I will add in women who are unaware of how the words they use came to be used and how others outside their arena perceive them).
 
You'll add women like this to what? I lost the thread here a little. Do you mean that women who are unaware of these things are playing a losing game? I'm not playing any game at all. I'm living my life, the way I want to live it, and that happens to include cursing and swearing. I don't actually care, except sometimes in an intellectual sense (I have an on again, off again interest in the way language develops) in how the words came to be used the way they are, and I don't care even a little bit about how others outsie my "arena" perceive me.


"Uncivilized male mentality"? That's...amazingly sexist. I'm not particularly civilized, in many ways. I'm okay with that. DH is, by and large, far more civilized than I am. It's not about gender. It's about individuals. If you don't like these words, and don't want to use them, that's fine. But, please let go of the sexist notion that the "male mentality" is winning if other women choose to do so.

 

I too curse more than my husband and it has nothing to do with my sex, but my culture and family.   However, men are generally the ones who exhibit aggression, physical violence, and suppression of others through objectification. They are not merely physically different.  The point I was making is that most traditional curse words stem from the mentality of the aforementioned.

 

The blue text you quoted had nothing to do with me cursing more than dh. I said dh is more civilized than I am. He's less aggressive (so was my ex) and less prone to physical expressions of anger/frustration (although, after many years of adulthood, I've gotten those under control). Neither one of us is prone to objectification of others. (Mind you, while suppression doesn't often play into it that much, one only has to watch some aspects of the "Mommy Wars" play out to know that women can be every bit as prone to objectification as men - it simply manifests differently.) Curse words mostly come from aggression, frustration and violence - sure - they are, at their core, verbal manifestations of those things. Characterizing that as "male" is flawed, and grossly oversimplifies the human condition.

 

Women have their own flaws, but we were speaking of cursing and its origins are decidedly male.

 

People have their own flaws.

 

So what if their origins are male? For a very large chunk of human history, men ran the show, and the origins of many, many things are male. That doesn't mean that using those things is letting the "uncivilized male mentality" win.

 

 It is women, particularly mothers, throughout history, who have supported civility and inspired emotional intelligence in the respected cultures of the world.  In fact, if it wasn't for women and mothers, I do believe most men would make a habit of not doing much besides killing and masturbating.  

 

Again - evidence? We'll never know, one way or the other, becuase without women/mothers, men wouldn't even exist. They wouldn't have been born, or would have starved to death in infancy. I know, off the top of my head, three men who were physically abused by their mothers, and none of them would hurt a fly. They learned that compassion and gentleness somewhere, but it wasn't from mom.

 

As to supporting "civility"...much of what women have historically (at least in the last few centuries,in western cultures) supported have been inane rules of behaviour that have absolutely nothing to do with emotional intelligence or civility.

 

I don't think women possess the same inherent natures.  But that certainly is my own opinion and the honest admission of any educated hetero man I have ever discussed the topic with.

 

I think the idea that "men" and "women" possess certain inherent natures is inherently flawed - massively - by the huge variations between individuals. Sure - if you could map every person's temperament on a spectrum of traits, and then overlay them, you'd probably find more men at the "uncivilized" end, and more women at the "civilized" end, but there's so much variation that generalizations are nuts. I'm also confused as to how educated hetero men can make "honest admissions" about the nature of women. Men may well believe that they're inherently more aggressive, etc. than "women"...but those same men often like it that way. They don't want to believe that women can be every bit as aggressive, nasty, violent, whatever as they can, so they simply discount those traits. (And, quite honestly - I've struggled with severe PMS off and on since puberty. I've known very few men - and I grew up in a blue collar environment, and hung out with a lot of juvenline delinquents as a youth - who have ever come close to the levels of violence I exhibited at those times. I really don't think we can argue that PMS is a very female phenomenon.)

 

Just because there are clear and observable differences between the sexes and I observe and am ware of them doesn't mean I am sexist.  Are African Americans who think their culture is different and more civil than White Americans "racist"?  I am sure there are plenty of ignorant Americans who don't know their history would argue for that, but the majority are often misguided.

 

The meaning and origins of this phrase "sexist" has nothing to do with anything I am about and throwing the word around as a some kind of tattletale label doesn't serve any purpose.   

 

I guess I'm just blind and stupid, then. In 44 years, I've failed to observe these "clear" and observable differences between the sexes. I find painting an entire sex with a broad brush to be inherently sexist, whether you think the word has anything to do with you or not. There are women who enjoy the "chase" and leading a guy on, romantically/sexually. Saying that "women enjoy leading a guy on" is sexist. There are men who only see women as sex toys. Saying that men only see women as sex toys is sexist. There are men who objectify other people (there are women who do it, too). Saying that "men objectify other people" is sexist. Some women enjoy spending a lot of time on clothes, make-up, hair, etc., and some of those women put these things at the top of their priority list. Saying that "women think hair, make-up, etc. are the most important things in life" is sexist. And, claiming that, without mothers, most men wouldn't do much more than kill and masturbate is sexist. (Also, without "civilization", most men would be doing a lot other than that - building shelter, obtaining food, making clothing, keeping warm, etc.)

 

You know...I have two sons and two daughters. They've all been raised pretty much the same way (some differences with my oldest, as he's 10 years older than the next, and the product of a different marriage - there was a year or so of his childhood that was pretty rough, in ways my other kids have never experienced). I haven't noticed any gender differences between my girls and my boys. One of my boys is "all boy" (what a nauseating phrase) in some ways, but not in others.

05-01-2013 08:02 AM
Escaping

I didn't take the "uncivilized male mentality" comment to mean that all men are uncivilized... I understood it to be referring to a group of men, which excludes civilized men, who would think or speak in a certain way... 

05-01-2013 07:39 AM
mamakah
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post


I did use the term confusingly; let me clarify:  While I do think men are inherently less civilized than women by nature, I don't think women are "better".  By

Civil", I mean  I  think women tend to be less inherently aggressive, violent and more emotionally intelligent than men.  We have our own "flaws" though, and civility is just one virtue women happen to have more of IMO.  


Human beings have a tendency to not care about the environment unless they are educated accordingly; does that mean I dislike them if I talk about what needs to change or the fact that most of them are ignorantly polluting away?  More importantly, does it even matter or disqualify the obvious observation?


My opinion has nothing to do with sexism. Maybe feminism. Recognizing differences in the sexes or having less than positive things to say about either one is not awful, just real.  


I'm not afraid to have an unpopular opinion, and labels don't make a case either.
I also replied to another poster regarding the accusation of my opinion being sexist that has more.  


http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/



This is starting to get off the original topic and I feel like I have made my points as understood as I have the time and patience to. Since the OP is satisfied with the replies and has what she originally wanted, I personally don't plan to debate on the topics any further but respect others' rights to their own opinions.
I guess our versions of feminism are different. For me, being a feminist means freeing women AND men from the social stereotypes, expectations, etc. of society. As a feminist, one of my biggest pet peeves is the "Boys will be boys" mentality that men and boys are out of control and unable to manage their "uncivilized" behavior. It implies that men are dumb, incapable beings and therefore excuses a list of bad behaviors in the world. I don't believe this to be true. I have numerous outstanding men in my life and am raising a son. I wouldn't tolerate someone saying a blanketed, sexist comment about women and therefore shouldn't tolerate it about males either.
I'm also bothered by your argument that women swear to feel liberated and "be the same as men". So, if a woman does something that is traditionally for males, then she isn't acting out of a sense of self but more to be like men? This is not a feminist idea.
05-01-2013 02:54 AM
demeter888
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakah View Post


"Uncivilized Male Mentality"?!?!?!?! This post is dripping with sexism, but I can't figure out who you dislike more-men or women? A previous poster commented that really awful things can be said without ever using a curse word. You just proved that point.

 

 

I did use the term confusingly; let me clarify:  While I do think men are inherently less civilized than women by nature, I don't think women are "better".  By

Civil", I mean  I  think women tend to be less inherently aggressive, violent and more emotionally intelligent than men.  We have our own "flaws" though, and civility is just one virtue women happen to have more of IMO.  

 

Human beings have a tendency to not care about the environment unless they are educated accordingly; does that mean I dislike them if I talk about what needs to change or the fact that most of them are ignorantly polluting away?  More importantly, does it even matter or disqualify the obvious observation?

 

My opinion has nothing to do with sexism. Maybe feminism. Recognizing differences in the sexes or having less than positive things to say about either one is not awful, just real.  

 

I'm not afraid to have an unpopular opinion, and labels don't make a case either.I also replied to another poster regarding the accusation of my opinion being sexist that has more.  

 

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/

 

 

This is starting to get off the original topic and I feel like I have made my points as understood as I have the time and patience to. Since the OP is satisfied with the replies and has what she originally wanted, I personally don't plan to debate on the topics any further but respect others' rights to their own opinions.

05-01-2013 02:36 AM
demeter888
My replies are in black font:
 

 

 

"Fuck" doesn't imply male domination. "Nigger" (and I feel filthy even typing that) is a slimy, nasty, racist word - but also not about men, per se.

 

The history of the word nigger is based on one race dominating another during a time when men were the only ones with rights. Countries in which women are educated and have any decent rights don't enslave people.  

 

How is "asshole" about male domination and objectification? It's equating a person to a body part that's generally considered to be filthy. The others? Yeah - they're definitely sexist.

 

It's just another orifice turned in to something vulgar, whether assholes are dirty or not, it's used to objectify the person it's used against.  Women tend to be much more detailed when they really wish to insult somebody.

 

Other common curse words are "prick", "dickhead" and the like. Those aren't about male domination. 

 

They are about body parts, and I also said objectification.  

As for blasphemy, you are right, that is extremely common, and also historically much, much more used by men than women.  I digress on that.

 

And, please, spare me the "if they think it makes them the same as men". What does that even mean? I swear. I actually swear more than most men I know, emphatically including dh (who rarely swears at all). It has absolutely nothing to do with being "the same as men". (What doest that even mean? Whichmen?) IME, this is more about perceptions of class/status than about gender - and considerations of status have never concerned me very much.

 
I am talking about women who equate liberation in a male dominated culture with being able to exhibit the same vulgar behavior men have historically been the ones to exhibit.  (And I will add in women who are unaware of how the words they use came to be used and how others outside their arena perceive them).
 

 

"Uncivilized male mentality"? That's...amazingly sexist. I'm not particularly civilized, in many ways. I'm okay with that. DH is, by and large, far more civilized than I am. It's not about gender. It's about individuals. If you don't like these words, and don't want to use them, that's fine. But, please let go of the sexist notion that the "male mentality" is winning if other women choose to do so.

 

 

I too curse more than my husband and it has nothing to do with my sex, but my culture and family.   However, men are generally the ones who exhibit aggression, physical violence, and suppression of others through objectification. They are not merely physically different.  The point I was making is that most traditional curse words stem from the mentality of the aforementioned. Women have their own flaws, but we were speaking of cursing and its origins are decidedly male.  It is women, particularly mothers, throughout history, who have supported civility and inspired emotional intelligence in the respected cultures of the world.  In fact, if it wasn't for women and mothers, I do believe most men would make a habit of not doing much besides killing and masturbating.  I don't think women possess the same inherent natures.  But that certainly is my own opinion and the honest admission of any educated hetero man I have ever discussed the topic with.

 

Just because there are clear and observable differences between the sexes and I observe and am ware of them doesn't mean I am sexist.  Are African Americans who think their culture is different and more civil than White Americans "racist"?  I am sure there are plenty of ignorant Americans who don't know their history would argue for that, but the majority are often misguided.

 

The meaning and origins of this phrase "sexist" has nothing to do with anything I am about and throwing the word around as a some kind of tattletale label doesn't serve any purpose.    

 

05-01-2013 01:45 AM
demeter888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

Am I the only one wondering why British people are being used as the epitome of class? Last I checked, they had their own slack-jawed mouth-breathers just like any other country.  

 

Another poster had linked to a British guy commenting on swearing in reply to me.  I don't personally consider them the epitome of class.

04-30-2013 06:22 PM
mamakah
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post


I think I see where your misunderstanding is.  You thought I was unaware of how some ivy league educated artistes and British scholars curse?  Or are you saying that this minority of people negates my general characterization of Americans as vulgar and uneducated in part because of their cursing and uninhibited behaviors?  There are different styles of cursing, obviously, but I don't think a classist double standard is just.  


Here is another characterization: most men, also British ones, and even educated ones, would admit that they would probably prefer their mothers, wives and daughters not curse, despite their loud arguments for the validity of cursing for themselves. Deep down, these well educated men know that cursing is naughty and that is why they do it.; it's about control.  

Most curse words imply male domination and objectification: fuck, nigger, asshole, pussy, cunt.  Women who play in to that will lose a losing game if they think it makes them the same as men.  Maybe that is why my favorite curse word, and the only one used somewhat commonly in India, is SHIT.  

 
I didn't make the world this unfair, but I see cursing as a way of letting that uncivilized male mentality win, and I want to set my own example, not because of what men think, but because of what I think of these words.  
"Uncivilized Male Mentality"?!?!?!?! This post is dripping with sexism, but I can't figure out who you dislike more-men or women? A previous poster commented that really awful things can be said without ever using a curse word. You just proved that point.
04-30-2013 04:54 PM
One_Girl I used to be better about not swearing but my DD is older now and occasionally I do swear at home. There are times when a strong word feels perfect and helps me release the tension I feel and I feel free to do that in my own home. My DD occasionally drops a word at home but mostly saves it for recess like most children.

I don't think swearing and class are related, though that stereotype exists, but if they are I am fine with that. I am not in the class of people who are uptight about language and I am completely okay with that.
04-30-2013 12:40 PM
limabean

I don't really associate swearing with anger in my personal daily life. The vast majority of my swearing is done while having fun, like my example before about playing cards/dominoes. The kids are usually in the other room watching a movie while we play, and they probably hear a bit of it (although we do try to keep it down), and that doesn't bother me. It would bother me for them to hear me swearing angrily -- I think that would be scary for them, because they might equate it with a loss of control on my part. 

 

If I hear neighbors swearing, context totally matters. A sighed, "Alright, let's get this sh*t done" before starting a big gardening project, no biggie whatsoever. An angry, "What the f*ck?!?" will put me on guard and make me get my kids inside until I figure out what the problem is and whether there's a threat. But I guess the curse words aren't the issue there -- it's the tone. If I heard an alarmed/angry, "Hey, what do you think you're doing?!?" I'd probably be just as on guard. 

04-30-2013 12:33 PM
LRMamaS

Thank you all.  You've given me some food for thought.  I was always going to deal with this with my own kids in private, but wondered whether I should bring it up with my friend as well.  She knows how I feel about swearing around my kids, and watches her own language when she's around them, so I will just operate on the assumption that she has asked her kids to do the same.  I was hoping for some sort of magic solution that would shield my children's ears until they're at least 5ish, so no thanks for not delivering on that!  orngtongue.gif  But I guess I'll just deal with it if/when it becomes an issue.

04-30-2013 12:31 PM
KaliShanti

Neither my DH nor I curse (I find it very tacky- are there not more creative ways to express ourselves), so unless my child hears it out in public, I ont have to worry right now about repeats. 

04-30-2013 12:00 PM
queenjane

I'm a little confused by some of the posts that seem to suggest if you swear occasionally or dont get bent out of shape if your kid does that they somehow will not learn that there is a "right time/place" for the use of such words. I dont have a problem with cuss words and use them liberally at home. But i think its rude to hear someone use profanity while talking loudly on their cell at the gas station. Its not the appropriate place. The problem isnt the swearing, its the rudeness. I dont like to hear every other word be a cuss word (either in real life or on tv) mostly because it seems like there is a lack of creativity in finding other more appropriate words to use. But i think a well placed "f" word can be just the right thing to use in certain circumstances. Big deal. 

04-30-2013 11:31 AM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

 

 

I think I see where your misunderstanding is.  You thought I was unaware of how some ivy league educated artistes and British scholars curse?  Or are you saying that this minority of people negates my general characterization of Americans as vulgar and uneducated in part because of their cursing and uninhibited behaviors?  There are different styles of cursing, obviously, but I don't think a classist double standard is just.  

 

Here is another characterization: most men, also British ones, and even educated ones, would admit that they would probably prefer their mothers, wives and daughters not curse, despite their loud arguments for the validity of cursing for themselves. Deep down, these well educated men know that cursing is naughty and that is why they do it.; it's about control.  

 

The fact that there are all kinds of double standards for male and female behaviour doesn't mean that the behaviours that are "okay" for men and not for women are "naughty". It means there are some screwed up standards out there.

 

Also, I know dozens of men (some of them even British) who have no issue whatsoever with women, including their own mothers, wives and daughters, swearing. The few who would object simply don't like swearing, in general (eg. if they don't want their daughters to swear, they don't want to hear it from their sons, either). I have no idea where you got this one, to be honest.

 

Most curse words imply male domination and objectification: fuck, nigger, asshole, pussy, cunt.  Women who play in to that will lose a losing game if they think it makes them the same as men.  Maybe that is why my favorite curse word, and the only one used somewhat commonly in India, is SHIT.  

 

"Fuck" doesn't imply male domination. "Nigger" (and I feel filthy even typing that) is a slimy, nasty, racist word - but also not about men, per se. How is "asshole" about male domination and objectification? It's equating a person to a body part that's generally considered to be filthy. The others? Yeah - they're definitely sexist.

 

Other common curse words are "prick", "dickhead" and the like. Those aren't about male domination. As you yourself pointed out, "shit" is a common one. I probably hear ir more often than any of the others...except the ones that would fit under taking the Lord's name in vain and/or blasphemy type category ("Oh, God", "God damnit", "Damn", "Hell", "Jesus Christ", etc.). This last category are, ime, the most common of all.

 

And, please, spare me the "if they think it makes them the same as men". What does that even mean? I swear. I actually swear more than most men I know, emphatically including dh (who rarely swears at all). It has absolutely nothing to do with being "the same as men". (What doest that even mean? Which men?) IME, this is more about perceptions of class/status than about gender - and considerations of status have never concerned me very much.

 

I didn't make the world this unfair, but I see cursing as a way of letting that uncivilized male mentality win, and I want to set my own example, not because of what men think, but because of what I think of these words.  

 

"Uncivilized male mentality"? That's...amazingly sexist. I'm not particularly civilized, in many ways. I'm okay with that. DH is, by and large, far more civilized than I am. It's not about gender. It's about individuals. If you don't like these words, and don't want to use them, that's fine. But, please let go of the sexist notion that the "male mentality" is winning if other women choose to do so.

04-30-2013 11:15 AM
Escaping

Am I the only one wondering why British people are being used as the epitome of class? Last I checked, they had their own slack-jawed mouth-breathers just like any other country.  

04-30-2013 11:01 AM
rachelsmama
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

 

 

I think I see where your misunderstanding is.  You thought I was unaware of how some ivy league educated artistes and British scholars curse?  Or are you saying that this minority of people negates my general characterization of Americans as vulgar and uneducated in part because of their cursing and uninhibited behaviors?  There are different styles of cursing, obviously, but I don't think a classist double standard is just.  

 

Here is another characterization: most men, also British ones, and even educated ones, would admit that they would probably prefer their mothers, wives and daughters not curse, despite their loud arguments for the validity of cursing for themselves. Deep down, these well educated men know that cursing is naughty and that is why they do it.; it's about control.  

 

Most curse words imply male domination and objectification: fuck, nigger, asshole, pussy, cunt.  Women who play in to that will lose a losing game if they think it makes them the same as men.  Maybe that is why my favorite curse word, and the only one used somewhat commonly in India, is SHIT.  

 

 

I didn't make the world this unfair, but I see cursing as a way of letting that uncivilized male mentality win, and I want to set my own example, not because of what men think, but because of what I think of these words.  


This is by far the strangest theory I've ever seen about swearing.  It doesn't match anything I've seen in real life. 

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