but something has been really pissing me off lately.
I swear. A. Lot. I use "colorful language" pretty loosely. I use the word "Fuck" like a comma. Sometimes when I write I use a lot of slang and "profanity", and I feel like it gets my point across. I am a grown up. A fucking "adult", so if I want to rip loose with a few good "fuck that"'s and "to hell with this"'s, I am going to. My writing is pretty damn good, I wouldn't be getting published now and then if it wasn't.
I am getting a little sick and tired of hearing people criticize writers, speakers, activists, especially women, for swearing. If I had a dollar for every time I heard or read in a comment that I should watch my language, or that swearing makes me seem immature, or that using a "cuss word" (seriously, does anyone who actually "cusses" use the word "cuss"?) detracts from my point I could give up writing altogether and retire to a tropical island.
Swearing doesn't show that you are uneducated or that you don't know what you are talking about. It doesn't mean that you lack the skills to verbalize something in a more "friendly" way. It sure as hell doesn't mean that we have no better way to say something. Sometimes the best sentiment out there is "right the fuck on
There are many, countless intelligent writers out there, many more so than myself, who are more than comfortable using "foul" language regularly. Whether it be Cara at the Curvature
, or Roy at No Cookies for Me
, Jill or Zuzu et al at Feministe
, the wonderful team at Shakesville
, any of the ladies at Feminising
, or our very own Red Queen
, the fact that we swear doesn't detract or lessen the message. I would dare anyone to call any of them uneducated. There are plenty of people out there who are saying things "politely", and frankly, I don't think it is getting the message across. What is happening when we decide to swear in our writing is that we are making people pay attention. We are making people wiggle in their chairs and think "Oh, no! She didn't!", and I am going to tell you, "Oh, yes! She did!". We have got you thinking, and if all you can see is the swearing and "impolite" language, then I think you might be either reading the wrong blogs, books, articles, or your brain just isn't capable of handling the message. If all you can see are the trees, get the hell out of the forest.
I am done taking criticism because I use any type of swearing. If you want to police language, put your efforts on the people throwing around "gay" or "faggot" as if it is an insult, or have a round or two with someone who thinks it's OK to call a woman a "bitch" or a "cunt", or to say that someone who enjoys having sex is a "slut" or "whore". Focus your censorship on someone who is using hateful speech to keep someone in their place, usually a woman (or, for that matter, calling a man a "pussy" or "girl" as a way to insult him, cuz you know, that is the worst thing a man can be, the strongest human anatomy unit ever...don't believe me...what do men have that stretches to about 300 times it's size and shoots whole people forcefully out of a ten centimeter hole?).
We are a culture all our own. We are writers, speakers, activists and feminists who are finished being "polite", worrying about who is going to be offended reading a few choice four letter cherries and we are going to say exactly what we think exactly the way we see fit. If you don't like it the door is over there, and I promise not to get choked up.
And if you are one of us, thank-you for taking the time to stop by. Take the message with you when you leave and pass it on.
And have a great fucking day.