You know those sleeveless, white undershirts that guys wear? What do you call them again?
Wife beaters, that’s it. Eh, I didn’t forget, I’m just sad that I use that kind of language. I have called sleeveless undershirts wife beaters. In my opinion, the word wife beater makes me a thousand times more uncomfortable than the word fuck. Of course that’s just me and I’m only one person who happens to have a mouth like a truck driver. Oops! Did I just stereotype truck drivers? Now that’s fucking offensive!
Words are powerful. There is unbelievable power in words, not just in literal meaning, but in cognitive association. I know a few wife beaters. I know a few wives who have been beat. These men claim to love their wives. I find the idea that the word love is used to explain abusive behavior offensive. I’d rather hear 100 cocky teenagers drop f-bombs in the arcade than to hear one WIFE BEATER talk about LOVING his wife after I have seen what love can do to the beautiful face of a woman in an abusive relationship.
This word association/irritation brings me to my topic for today’s blog, bad words; naughty, dirty, inappropriate and offensive words and the shame surrounding them.
Recently my children were around an older woman who swears. A lot. Her favorite swearword is Goddammit. She says this when she is happy, sad, discussing the weather, cute puppies, groceries, shoes, mammograms, marshmallows, the price of gas, etc. It’s not only an adjective for her. Goddammitt modifies every noun, verb, and adjective in her entire vocabulary. I might not have mentioned how much I love this woman, but I do. I love her. My kids love her as well.
My kids also do the most incredible impression of her. The first time I heard it, I laughed so hard that I cried and peed my pants a little. I think that might offend some people. They might think this is bad parenting.
I believe that there are much worse things a person can do than to use foul language, yet I also think foul language is foul. As with all things, there is a time and a place for bad words. Research has shown that swearing after an injury actually helps decrease pain. Just the way a person can associate anger with a word can help them cope with pain. That fascinates me. Words ARE powerful. I personally couldn’t drive without swearing at people. If I didn’t swear, I’d have to crash into them. Other drivers are assholes.
My new favorite YouTube e-motivator, Paul Crik, does a bit about swearing and children. It’s so good that it’s almost offensive. I’m offended by his intelligence and common sense approach to helping people SEE themselves more clearly in such a simple and entertaining way. Fucking brilliant is what I say. It offends me when people are smarter and funnier than me.
I want my kids to understand the power and the limitations of language. By NOT getting upset at their hilarious attempts to understand the mixed messages about language, I am attempting to help them learn, IN CONTEXT and in a safe environment, how to communicate using different zones.
I also just want to say that if you disagree, I don’t fucking care.
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