****There are some swears in this post, since it’s a post about swearing. I put it under the fold.****
Have you heard of the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You? I just discovered it myself this week. Cristen and Caroline look at interesting pop culture topics with an emphasis on gender, particularly the female gender. The one I listened to this week was The Curse of Swearing Women, which discussed the differences between men and women swearing and how culture perceives women who swear.
The whole discussion made me think about how and why I swear. I don’t swear a whole lot. I’m not a prude. I love a filthy joke and swearing doesn’t bother me except under some circumstances. I grew up in a mining town where cursing was common, though my parents didn’t curse around their kids. One of the reasons I don’t swear often in public is because of some of the bizarre reactions I’ve gotten from people who’ve heard me swear. I must come across as some kind of innocent, because when I do swear I’ve shocked people, not pious people either, professional swearers! It’s like they can’t believe that I, of all people, have said that. Since I’m a quiet person who doesn’t like calling attention to myself, it has the effect of making me swear less, even though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t think it’s due to the fact that I’m a woman since I know lots of women who swear but something about my personality. Maybe I should take up spitting to counteract it.
The ladies also discussed the power of curses and how we can become desensitized to them. This I agree with and one of the things that bothers me the most is how some people, mostly men, use “fuckin’” as a modifier for everything. It annoys the hell out of me! I don’t know how many times I’ve overheard the most mundane conversation with fuckin as every second word. “I went to the fuckin pharmacy for my fuckin prescription and I said to the fuckin pharmacist…” It’s so incorrect! You’re not using it right! The word has no power if you use it this way and this just becomes the most boring and long conversation in the world. It’s like the overuse of a dirty joke on some TV shows. *cough 2 Broke Girls* The first time it’s funny, the 100th time it’s just lazy writing. “Haha, you said vagina…again. Snore. What else is on?”
I often think about the use of swearing in my blog posts. To use or not to use them, that is the question. A well placed swear word can add emphasis, express frustration or anger, but overuse them at your peril. Too many and you lose your audience to boredom or distaste. You can also end up using them as a crutch. Who is your audience? Do you care what their reactions are? Do you not mind losing a few if you write something they’re not going to like? Do you have sponsors or advertisers who stipulate what can be in your content? Those are all things to consider. I still don’t know how to deal with swearing in my posts. I don’t have any hard and fast rules.
This is a rather rambly post. Anyway, check out that podcast (no swears in it) or the books they used as research. It’s an interesting conversation starter!