Social Question

Meredith's avatar

What's your opinion of women who swear?

Asked by Meredith (254 points ) March 14th, 2011

I’m having a disussion (via email) with one of my young (teenage) cousins, and have asked her to refrain from swearing in our communication. I thought it might be interesting to ask the question here, so that I could give her a “For and Against” indication of how she may be perceived by others, as she finds her way in this world. Would like to know your thoughts :)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

167 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Rather un-lady like IMO

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It doesn’t sound great….but I don’t worry tooo much about that. ;)

DrBill's avatar

outside the bedroom with their S/O it makes her sound like a tramp that would jump in bed with anyone, even strangers

filmfann's avatar

My lovely, salt-of-the-earth wife swears like a Russian Sailor.
Why a Russian? Because my wife is deaf, and doesn’t have a great grasp on some aspects of spoken language. Some of her favorite cuss-outs include “Eat my ass!” and “Go to hell, you damn!”
I don’t think any less of her.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Male or female…someone who curses, particularly on a website, goes down a notch in my book. I have a great appreciation for creative words as a substitute. Despite this, voicing an opinion privately and hoping for the best/expecting the worst is the best route. Surely you will still love your niece if she doesn’t change her linguistic way of communicating her emotions.

ucme's avatar

Oh not good, my wife doesn’t swear, fart or sweat. Wow she’s so boring :¬)

Facade's avatar

It’s no different from a man swearing, or at least it shouldn’t be. I don’t mind cursing so long as 1) the Lord’s name is not used in vain, 2) derogatory terms are not used. So, I don’t rally care if a woman curses.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@filmfann Your wife is a lucky lady! :)

DrBill's avatar

Swearing is an undeveloped mind trying desperately to express itself.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Profanity is a crutch for a poor vocabulary, or me watching a hockey game.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I refuse to think I’m an ill-mannered tool with poor vocabulary, just because I drop an f-bomb when the couch purposely tries to break my toe.

And I agree with the comment above that says there’s no difference between women and men who swear. Swearing is swearing, no matter your gender.

Gender questions like this really piss me off:
What’s your opinion of women who drink?
What’s your opinion of women who smoke?
What’s your opinion of women who scratch in public?

Why does it have to be about women?

Cruiser's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I couldn’t agree more.

Jude's avatar

I tend to be a good, little Catholic school teacher and refrain.

It is just not attractive. Same goes with the fellas.

DominicX's avatar

I just really don’t care about swearing. Man, woman, it doesn’t matter. That is, I’m perfectly comfortable with people swearing in my company or the company of friends (unless, like @Facade said, it’s derogatory terms). Swearing in public places or around strangers is a bit tacky or trashy and I’m not a fan of that so much. You could tell her that people will see it as rude or insensitive or possibly “trashy” (depends on how old she is…)

But for me, it’s not really a matter of women or men swearing. It’s just swearing in general; I don’t feel differently about it based on gender.

marinelife's avatar

I do occasionally swear, and it is very satisfying.

It is best not to swar in company you don’t know well or at work.

It does impact people’s opinion of one.

Facade's avatar

@DrBill But it feels so much more satisfying to say Fuck than it is to say I’m am very displeased with this current situation.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I didn’t mean it’s always inappropriate. There are times it’s called for.

gailcalled's avatar

Profanity is useful if used sparingly. The seven words (or however many they are) become monotonous, boring and tedious if used regularly instead of the 60,000 or so choices of other words in English. (150, 000 if you’re well-read and over 250,000 if you’re a pedant.)

Written erotica is often more erotic with use of subtle, cunning and original metaphor,simile and other figures of speech.

Written porn is really no fun. I’d rather read descriptions of people’s elbows.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe How would I write erotica without using bad language? hehe

erichw1504's avatar

It’s fucking ridiculous.

Coloma's avatar

Chronic swearing is in bad taste regardless of gender.

We can all let a few choice words rip on occasion, but, intelligent people don’t need to pepper every other sentence with profanity.

Gender makes no difference and the old double standards do not apply.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

They should be put on a cross, obviously. The hell with those bitches.

janbb's avatar

I love doing it for the impact on occasion, but try to pick my occasions. It is only one in my arsenal of verbal techniques.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@DrBill I’m sorry, but your comment makes no sense. Just because a woman says “dammit” or “oh shit” does not make her sound like a dirty whore. It makes her sound like she’s angry, not like she’s thinking about finding a stranger to fuck.

Oh shit, I said dammit again, for fuck’s sake. Somebody sleep with me! Anybody, I’m not picky!

Uberwench's avatar

I don’t give a fuck.

Said as a woman who likes women.

bob_'s avatar

Big fucking deal.

SavoirFaire's avatar

My wife swears all the time, so I guess I don’t really care.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I think that it does not matter who swears, man or woman its the same.
While other may think that women swearing is not a “womanly thing to do” I don’t think there is any difference.
For me basically I swear because I sometimes don’t have a wide vocabulary and I forget words so the first thing that bushes out of my mouth is a swear word and thats basically the reason why I swear and I think that is the biggest problem why people swear, while others may think that its a cool thing but I do it because I have no words left to say.

Everyone swear… so a person has no right to say who can and who cannot swear.

Likeradar's avatar

If they have time to swear it’s because they’re getting too uppity- time to get back in the kitchen.

No, not really. But why on earth should anyone think differently of a woman who swears than a man who swears?
There’s a time and a place for “bad” language. Part of growing up is learning the difference.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I swear all the time but I don’t get me none. I must be doing it wrong.

Aster's avatar

It makes them seem more approachable, less pretentious. And it’s very attractive to me in a man. I know I’m a sick woman.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JilltheTooth Have you tried doing it from the kitchen?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Picturing @JilltheTooth screaming “fuck” in the kitchen. I’m horribly unladylike and going to hell for sure.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir : Barefoot in the kitchen! With my pants on my head!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JilltheTooth The plaid ones? Is that where you hid @janbb‘s nooks and crannies?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Just made me think of this thread…

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t like it when anyone swears. It’s ugly, vulgar and usually used by young people to “act cool” or to appear to be “grown up.” When grown ups use it, it’s usually because they are too lazy to think of something more appropriate to say. Or they are just angry and haven’t learned to channel their anger or calm themselves or use other words instead of 4 letter words.

I do give everyone a break when they’ve just witnessed some horrible injustice (like violence towards innocent people, children or animals) or if they’ve stubbed a toe. But for most circumstances swearing and cursing is unnecessary, ugly and lazy kind of talk.

My parents and the parents of my neighborhood friends and our teachers (mid to late 70’s) would not allow that kind of language, so subsequently you didn’t hear a lot of it when I was growing up. We learned other methods to vent.

Nowadays you hear people using swear words in much the same manner that people use the word “like” sprinkled throughout their sentences. It’s not pretty and makes them sound stupid (whether they are or not). It’s also similar, but not quite as bad as constantly using text speak. It makes people sound stupid (whether they are or not). And I always give people breaks for occassionally using text speak, especially when it’s used to be ironic and funny or used to drive home a point (I’ve done it myself here on Fluther), but when it’s used on a regular basis, it’s bad news.

ratboy's avatar

Fuck ‘em!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

It’s fucking rude as shit, and everyone should stop swearing! Those fuckers! Damn them for not conforming with my idea of how people should behave! MOTHERFUCK.

Meredith's avatar

I find it interesting that the people who have crafted thoughtful answers are also the ones who have refrained from swearing in this thread. Is there a correlation? To respectfulness, perhaps?

(For those of you reading this who have chosen to swear in this thread, I encourage you to refrain from berating me – it is not a personal attack, nor was this question intended to bring up gender equality issues – my cousin is a young woman, and I asked a serious question as I would like her to have the best opportunities in life, and felt that I might receive some thoughtful responses that I could share with her. I was not looking for offensive, angry or off-topic remarks.)

PS – for any further answers, it’d be nice if they weren’t peppered with vulgarity. As I mentioned above, this was a serious question, intended to give my cousin an indication of varied opinions on foul lanugage. Not a larger repertoire.

Likeradar's avatar

@Meredith I find your observation to be completely incorrect. How, exactly, are @DominicX,‘s @WillWorkForChocolate,‘s @janbb‘s (among others) answers not thoughtful?

bunnygrl's avatar

@Meredith great question honey. I was raised by my Grandmother, old school, and so at the age of nearing 47 I still do not swear. My Grandma would never have stood for it when I was young and even as an adult, I just can’t do it. Even the thought makes me cringe terribly, honestly. That having been said, different strokes for different folks. Just because I don’t swear does not mean I faint clean away at curse words lol. I’m not THAT much of a delicate little flower :-)
huggles xx

EDIT: I can’t offhand think of anyone who has a better grasp of the English langauge, or indeed of anyone any more intellegent than my darling Mr Fry and here is what he says on the subject of swearing enjoy honeys :-) xx

tinyfaery's avatar

Really? Is there a difference between a man and a woman who swear? Is it somehow okay for one but not the other. :/

Profanity is all about time and place. Other than that, I have no preference for any words over others. Seems ridiculous.

JilltheTooth's avatar

OK, seriously, @Meredith , I think it’s a good idea for a young person of either sex to refrain from swearing unless in the company of close friends because it does sound tacky and ill-bred to so many. It can create a very bad impression when swearing is overused or used inappropriately. Most of the negative reaction here, I believe, was to the idea that women who swear are whores. Swearing, IMO, is kind of like having tattoos (and I have three). Many many people disapprove and will judge one quite harshly for it. Right or wrong, perception is the point here.

Aster's avatar

Wow, Jill . GA I am going to make an effort to stop my occasional swear word even though I never said one swear word until I was 42.

Meredith's avatar

@JilltheTooth : Thank you :) I agree wholeheartedly! Perception is where I was going with the question – not an issue of right or wrong, just simply how she may be perceived by her peers, or by others of influence in her life. She is a gifted young woman, and I would like for her to be aware of how the world views things from both angles – not narrow-mindedly, of course – just with open eyes. I’m not immune from the draw to blurt out swear words from time to time, I just choose to refrain. I don’t hold it against anyone else, either. It’s a bit like smoking; I don’t like the smell of it, so I don’t stand near people when they’re doing it, and I appreciate it when they don’t smoke around me. I know people who smoke, and love them regardless. I also know people who swear, and love them just the same.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Meredith I gave the answer I did because I find it disrespectful that people hold ancient ideas about how women are supposed to behave in order for others to like them. So, since you’re attempting to teach a young person to navigate this century, kindly inform her that there is a time and a place for swearing and people will have all kinds of ideas about profanity so to use it when she means it only and not because life is about other’s perceptions.

Symbeline's avatar

What @bob_ said.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled I have a friend who has a thing for elbows. He used to wax poetic, if not prolix about the charms of his then girlfriend’s (now wife’s) elbows. I’m not sure how it got started, but once it did, well he would sometimes burn my ears the fuck off with his tales of daring-do.

He did try to explain it to me on several occasions. The most recent of which occurred only last Wenesday. He is not a very shy nor retiring fellow, so I could see a number of the other patrons at the bar try to listen without looking like they were listening. Eventually they gave up pretending and were openly listening.

“God,” he said, sitting back on the bench (we were in a booth) and licking blue cheese sauce off his fingers. “I never get tired of them. Starting with that graceful hollow on the inside of her elbow, and circling around to that delicious point on the opposite side, they are sublime. Honest, Wundy. I’ve never seen any other elbows like my wife’s.”

“Good thing you married her then,” I said, but he went sailing on as if I hadn’t said a word. Oh well. You know how guys are. He probably didn’t. Especially not my words. He’s always been the talker and joker, and I tend to lend the ear. Sometimes both of them, because I can’t hear very well any more in noisy rooms.

“They are utterly sublime. Her skin is so soft, and I can nuzzle her elbow for hours, and she loves it! Can you imagine? Elbow play? It is sooooo hot!”

I think he was playing to the room now, although he never once gave on that he knew anyone was listening. I have to say that I probably wasn’t the only one reacting to this as it filled my imagination. I saw several men turn a little or hunch forward, so as to hide their physical reaction.

I think the women were reacting, too, although it’s always harder to tell. It was hot in the bar, but not hot enough to explain the color on their cheeks and that open-pupil look women have when they are looking at someone they are very attracted to.

“Towards the end, she gets a little crazy,” he continued. “Her whole body is writing, and yet, somehow, she always leaves her elbow free for further attention.” He waggled his tongue at me, like he was Mick Jagger. It was somewhat revolting for me, but I could almost see how the right woman might appreciate his talents.

I was getting a bit uncomfortable now, with all the attention heading our way. I stood up, saying, “Gotta hit the head.” I made as if my bladder was pretty uncomfortable (which wasn’t much of a prevarication, since I already had four beers in me). The people surrounding us grudgingly parted to let me out. I didn’t even bother to say, “Hold that thought.” I just went downstairs.

I stayed down there a good long time, until I was fairly sure the show was over. When I came up, and headed back towards our booth, there was a feeling in the air as if a storm had just passed through. There was a soft murmuring in the room that reminded me of pillow talk, somehow. When I got to the booth, I found my friend had passed out on his bench.

Well, you know how men are.

everephebe's avatar

Stephen fucking Fry!
Is the authority on everything.

syz's avatar

I typically tailor my manner of speech to my audience. Children and the elderly generally do not hear swearing from me. I also respond well to a respectful request by a peer to follow certain conversational parameters. But anyone else that thinks I shouldn’t swear because I’m female can, respectfully, fuck off. Sexist.

Meredith's avatar

@Likeradar : Thoughtfulness – characterized by consideration… if you read my question, and question description, I’ve given some indication that swearing is something that I do not like. I wouldn’t come into your living room (which is currently where I find you, if only technically) and swear at you, or lecture you on your choices. Nor would presume that I should do that to anyone else.

I also inferred that I was looking for a persons’ perception of women who swear, as my cousin is a young woman, about to embark on life’s journey as an adult. I want to help her achieve all that I know that she is capable of, without limiting herself, if even inadvertently.

“For” or “Against”. note I have included both.

Again, as mentioned above, I asked a serious question, and was looking for genuinely thoughtful replies that I might share this thread with her, to help her make good decisions. Not an argument.

bob_'s avatar

@Meredith Should’ve posted it in General.

syz's avatar

@Meredith Might I suggest a review of the Fluther guidelines, in respect to the social section? Things tend to be a bit more, umm, free-wheeling in the social section. (Just folks having a bit of fun.)

And to answer your question more directly, no, I don’t tend to think poorly of women that I hear swearing within limits, and in the right context. Individuals who have to pepper every other word with the “f” bomb don’t impress me with their intellect, male or female.

Likeradar's avatar

@Meredith What they ^ said.
Also, one thing I really like about Fluther (but I know some don’t) is that people won’t pat your head and tell you what you want to hear. If they think you have a faulty premise, they’ll let ya know… especially in social.

Meredith's avatar

@syz & @bob_ : Cheers – will make broader review of the areas if I post another question down the road.

@Likeradar : Agreed. Once again, there was no ‘premise’. A sincere question, with no emotional attachment to “For” or “Against”. Just looking for a genuine, and thoughtful response regardless of opinion.

Facade's avatar

I agree with @bob_
This is the social section and the majority of people here don’t tolerate sexism, implied or otherwise.

Seelix's avatar

Yup, sorry darlin’, but that’s what social is all about here on Fluther.

Anyway, my opinion of women who swear is the same as my opinion of men who swear: I don’t give a shit.

Why should there be different standards for men and women?

JustJessica's avatar

F@ck why does it have to sound any different coming out of a womans mouth than a mans? Cussing is cussing. Besides my SO likes my mouth a bit “dirty”. I believe Lisa said it the best I may not be a lady, but I’m all woman

dxs's avatar

I don’t think that women should swear, at least on a regular basis. I guess that if you’re telling a funny joke or something surprises or startles you or if you are very angry then maybe. Only light swears, not really vulgar ones. It does make me lose respect for people if they swear often, as many previous people have said.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My first response was perfectly “thoughtful”, in regard to the difference between men and women and certain things they do. I also very “thoughtfully” crafted the part of my comment that listed other ridiculous, sexist questions. There is no difference between men and women swearing, just as there is no difference between men and women who drink, smoke, belch, fart, and scratch their nether regions.

It would have been better to ask, “What is your opinion on swearing?” or “What is your opinion on people who swear?” Maybe then you would have gotten more “thoughtfully crafted responses”, instead of “vulgar” comments from other women like me who think gender based questions like this are just begging for the exact type of comments we’ve posted.

I’d like to mention that I was reading advanced books at the age of four, and I was writing better than your average high school student by the age of six. I have an extensive vocabulary, and I am not “too lazy” to write or speak without cussing. I use swear words sometimes, but not any more frequently than a lot of men do. Unlike several people on this thread, I don’t find swearing to be unattractive or a sign of stupidity. Nor do I find it indicative of bad manners or of whorish tendencies.

I am perfectly capable of speaking “like a lady”, without swearing, and I’m perfectly capable of writing out a “thoughtful” answer. When the question deserves it.

Seelix's avatar

I just wanted to add that I’d much rather hear an honest “Oh shit!” than a stupid “Fiddlesticks!” no matter who’s saying it.

ucme's avatar

On behalf of all mothers, i’m pretty certain if I had to go through labour pains & the subsequent childbirth, the air is going to be a definite shade of blue. Not sure what that adds to the debate, just thought it worthy of mention.

SuperMouse's avatar

IMO, @syz hits on the most important point when discussing swearing by anyone – male or female – it is all about code switching. Sometimes I swear when I am around my man but I don’t ever swear at my children, customers, extended family – in other words, when I am out in the world. @Meredith while I understand that this question was motivated by an interaction with a young woman since it is in Social and folks are going to take the opportunity to comment on the male/female aspect of the subject.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SuperMouse Believe you me, I’d take it up in General too. Minus the cursing.

tranquilsea's avatar

This is one of my favourite subjects, usually about swearing in general and not gender specific. There is a time and a place for swearing. You learn this through trial and error usually. It bothers me to no end when people judge other people as being less intelligent or lacking a robust vocabulary when they observe them let loose. Some of the most intelligent people I know have also been the most profane. Royalty swears, Presidents swear, and Prime Ministers do too. Billy Connelly states, “If your in the middle of Africa where no one speaks English and you see some guy messing with your bag you shout,‘HEY YOU, FUCK OFF!’ and off they will fuck.” That is very effective.

The OP’s question of what I think about a woman who swears kind of irks me because this shouldn’t be gender specific. Those people who pepper their speech with swearing, using it as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs could probably tone it down. But swearing periodically to emphasize something is fine with me as it should be as it would be the pot calling the kettle black.

You should probably lay off your cousin. She has her own path and she’ll figure this out herself. I know I would have been peeved if someone had had a bunch of opinions on how I spoke.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I would expect nothing less! ;o)

tranquilsea's avatar

I just re-read the question and perhaps the OP didn’t mean to single out women. If that is the case you have my apologies.

Edit, edit, edit: I forgot about the title. She did single out women.

Likeradar's avatar

@tranquilsea The title of the question would beg to differ.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Likeradar can you see how scattered I am today? lol In that case my original posts stands.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I am eagerly anticipating a response from Vunessuh, as she’s been crafting for quite a while. Hopefully, it will be a “thoughtful” response, for fuck’s sake.

Vunessuh's avatar

I don’t believe swearing is always a direct correlation to someone’s intelligence level as many people in this thread proclaim it is. I know many highly intelligent men and women who curse. I don’t think it matters so much that people curse, but more importantly who someone chooses to curse around, among other things. For example, dropping f-bombs at a daycare center isn’t respectable behavior and any human being with common sense knows this, so generalizations like, “people who swear have undeveloped minds” is complete and utter crap.

As much as someone wants to openly perceive cursing as unintelligent, underdeveloped, etc. I’d like to take a moment to perceive those people as being uptight, mundane and a snore to be around. * snores *
* drools on pillow *

@Meredith It’s very bad form to claim that someone’s answer isn’t genuine, thoughtful or sincere because it doesn’t live up to your own personal standards. You can’t control how someone chooses to answer a question and you can’t ask a question with the expectations that your opinions will only be reinforced, but you can appreciate the very many different walks of life this site has to offer and each individual mindset that comes with it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@bob_ I don’t think so! I’ve already called dibs via PM! I get her first!

YARNLADY's avatar

My son married a woman who is totally out of place in our family, partly because she swears indiscriminately. Just last week, she couldn’t find her keys in the Chuck E Cheese parking lot and shouted “The fucking keys were right in my pocket” in front of all the birthday children. One man yelled “HEY” at her.

My husband and I never use foul language, and most other family members are very careful where they use it.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Vunessuh “As much as someone wants to openly perceive cursing as unintelligent, underdeveloped, etc. I’d like to take a moment to perceive those people as being uptight, mundane and a snore to be around” Yeah, I agree. Those people can climb a wall of dicks for being judgmental asshats. They probably like to sniff their own farts.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well, I’d never say fuck around children, or in a church, or anything like that…. but it is one of my favorite words. It’s so versatile!

augustlan's avatar

This is what I’ve taught my three teenage daughters: Know your audience. Really, that’s all it’s about.

Likeradar's avatar

@YARNLADY Ugh. That’s an issue with knowing the time and the place, imho. That would have been disgusting no matter who said it.

tranquilsea's avatar

One of the most hilarious things I’ve heard was my nephew who couldn’t properly pronounce “truck”,as he replaced the “tr” with an “f”, and pronounced “dump” as “dumb” when he was 18 months old. We had a great time pointing him at his father and asking him to say “Daddy you’re a dump truck”.

bob_'s avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Bitch, please! I am sorry to inform you that your claim is invalid.

Response moderated
WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@bob_ Go to hell! I’m sorry to inform you that the “dibs” was mutual between Vunessuh and myself… now go make me a damn sandwich- I’m sure I’ll be hungry when she’s through with me.

Response moderated
tigerlilly2's avatar

I myself love to swear on occasion because of the negative and taboo reactions such words receive. My mind is not underdeveloped on any level. People seem to fear the connotations associated with such words in our society. Without fear of the connotation it’s merely a word like any other. Fuck :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@tranquilsea Yes, I’m crawling painfully towards 10k. I’ve been crawling for so long, that I think I’ve fucked up damaged my knees.

bob_'s avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate You sure your knees are not damaged due to another type of over-use?

OH SNAP!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

That’s for me to know and Vunessuh to find out.

6rant6's avatar

In my misguided yute, I did not swear. That was because I reasoned that some people would be offended and why would I want that?

Over the years I learned that there are people who will be offended by something you say. And the tighter you try to constrain yourself the closer the noose is drawn. So at some point, with all good intentions, you’ve just got to say, “Fuck ‘em.”

There are times that four-letter words convey more succinctly and viscerally what needs to be said. You can’t reflect the language of the streets without them. “Fiddlesticks” belongs to Disney as far as I am concerned.

And for anyone who deigns to represent that all people who use foul language lack the creativity to do otherwise, i say, “Bullshit.” You think you’re more creative? Name your weapon!

Finally, to actually respond to OP, there are women I have known in multiple contexts more than a decade. And as our relationships have progressed, I have heard more of that language come out of them. Sweet women, gentle women, women who coo like doves! It’s not in the spirit of extremeness or vulgarity, but out of succinctness and common understanding. So, no, I’d say I don’t mind the words someone uses to express their thoughts as long as the thoughts aren’t offensive and the sentences are well constructed.

I do believe there are places and times for all things, and so I would not say all words are usable whenever they occur to me. Some words (starting with “C” and “N”) I would only use where the topic is the use of language.

Meredith's avatar

What I’ve noticed is the ones who have directed thinly veiled contempt in my direction, appear not to have read a single thing I’ve written.

So I will state it plainly, and boldly, so you all don’t miss it this time:

I don’t care if you like to swear. I don’t care if you don’t like to swear. I really couldn’t give a square if you’re male or female – THIS IS NOT ABOUT GENDER. My cousin is a young woman and so I wanted to make it a little more personal in hopes of giving her a broad and UNBIASED view of how she may be perceived, not just how I perceive it. I have NOT been on her case about it, I have requested that she refrain from putting it in any communication we have with each other because I don’t like it. Same as smoking. Smoke your brains out, just don’t do it around me.

THAT BEING SAID, I do not fault ANYONE for living their life as they CHOOSE to, because we all have free will, and we’re ALL entitled to it (me included). Just because I don’t agree with your opinions, DOES NOT MAKE MINE WRONG. It just makes them different.

6rant6's avatar

@Meredith I hope nothing I said seemed an attack on you. I sure didn’t mean it that way.

6rant6's avatar

There’s a theory of child development that says that children at some stage must differentiate themselves from their elders. There are a lot of ways we see it done: drugs, pregnancy, anger, body mods, joining the army/cult/rock band/circus, taking the extreme opposite religious/political/economic viewpoint, and cussing. Among those choices, I know which one I’d be happiest to see.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Going by that same thought process, you can’t really judge that any of the comments were not sincere or thoughtful. Just because you don’t agree with our opinions, doesn’t make the comments insincere or thoughtless. It just makes them different. Right?

Meredith's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate : I can if they were completely off-topic and perhaps said just for ‘shock value’. There have been some stellar responses that have also included some profanity (for effect, I imagine) and I consider them thoughtful… just not the ones that have nothing to do with the question I asked. I think that’s a reasonable opinion. But again, it is only my opinion (and we’re all entitled to one).

Meredith's avatar

@6rant6 : Nope – not at all. Thank you for your thoughtful response. :)

Seelix's avatar

HERE is my intensely formatted response to the original question:

I DON’T care whether women swear or NOT.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix <== Ur Stylin Grl.

bob_'s avatar

@Seelix Does that mean that you do care whether men swear or not? ~

Seelix's avatar

@bob_ – That’s not the question, so it doesn’t matter ;)

bob_'s avatar

@Seelix You man-hater, you! ~

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Guys, I have something important to say.
Bell peppers are an excellent source for vitamin C.

stardust's avatar

I do not care if women swear or not. It’s not something that I pass much remarks on. It’s the very same as a guy swearing as it happens.

YARNLADY's avatar

To all those It’s just another word people – my question is: Then why choose that particular word instead of just saying OH NO, or OOOPS? Isn’t it because that word is NOT “just another word”?

Seelix's avatar

@YARNLADY – That’s just what happens to come out of my mouth.

SuperMouse's avatar

@YARNLADY as with a well placed defenestrate or jape, a perfectly timed f-bomb will get someone’s attention every time.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Meredith “I have NOT been on her case about it, I have requested that she refrain from putting it in any communication we have with each other because I don’t like it”

I’m assuming you put this in your response in reference to my post. Here’s what you wrote, “I thought it might be interesting to ask the question here, so that I could give her a “For and Against” indication of how she may be perceived by others” hence my response. IMHO it’s none of your business.

Now as for you requesting she not swear with you. That’s your prerogative and ok as far as I’m concerned. You have a right to say you are not a fan of swearing and she can either listen to you or not.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SuperMouse Yes, indeed – and that is because it is NOT just another word. My point exactly.

SuperMouse's avatar

@YARNLADY they are just words like any others. They may not be used as often, but they are still just words.

tranquilsea's avatar

I can see both sides of the “it’s just a word” debate. They are all words. We are the ones that attach emotion and context to them. But in that sense words are used to infuriate, intimidate, abuse and start wars.

Blackberry's avatar

It depends on the frequency of cursing, for men and women. I just had to put my useful two cents in, you never if someone hasn’t said that yet lol….

gailcalled's avatar

Both men and women who swear can be equally boring, banal and tiresome.

I don’t find it shocking, and when I read the predictable answers here, I wish only for more originality.

@wundayatta: Props for elbow erotica.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Fantastic tale, comrade.

ratboy's avatar

I would like to amplify my previous response somewhat: my opinion of girls who don’t swear is also “fuck ‘em.” @gailcalled, I find it shocking that you should show such disdain for “predictable answers;” I saw your response coming from a mile away.

gailcalled's avatar

Likewise, dear boy.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Meredith I can see you have become frustrated with some of the answers, but it seems that even those answers you find frustrating can be taken as shedding light on the question of how your cousin might be perceived. If people perceive you in a certain way, it is because they have some corresponding perception of your cousin and the appropriateness of her behavior. In short, the majority seems to be indifferent or even encouraging towards swearing—provided that it is appropriate relative to one’s audience. Surely, that is useful knowledge to have as your cousin “makes her way in this world.”

Of course, appropriateness in this context is more than just a matter of identifying the makeup and preferences of one’s audience. It also concerns the relationship of the speaker to the audience and what kind of reaction s/he wishes to evoke. And so I put the following proposition to you regarding your request that your cousin stop swearing in your correspondence with her: remember that it is her correspondence as well.

What if she feels uncomfortable having to limit herself around someone with whom she thought she could be relaxed? Isn’t it possible that she has an equal and opposite preference regarding swearing in your correspondence? Should she really be worried that you will stop respecting her because she uses language that you know full well everyone uses (and that I suspect you use yourself)?

So this is my addition to your “for and against.” I agree with those who have said that your cousin would be wise to consider her audience, but I also insist that appropriateness is a function of both audience and speaker. Thus she need not take the preferences of an audience as unilaterally determining the appropriateness of swearing, though certainly she should not ignore the consequences of ignoring those preferences.

tranquilsea's avatar

I would add that, from the responses, you get a tiny sampling of how society probably “feels” about this. A few people deem it inappropriate but the majority don’t care.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
TexasDude's avatar

I have a tendency to find chicks that cuss to be hot.

Then again, I like tough, rough and tumble girls in general anyway, so I guess that comes with the territory.

So if you don’t want your little cousin attracting dudes like me, tell her to cut the shit and stop cussing. :-)

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Meredith's avatar

@SavoirFaire : Well-penned. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I would suggest, however, that if we were discussing perhaps the option of wearing red, instead of green, or pants instead of shorts, then you would be quite right about an imposition of opinion on my part, with respect to my beautiful, little cousin. We are in fact, discussing something that most would not do in the presence of an 85 year old, sweet-faced, ‘butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth’ kind of grandma, which indicates that it may be something that could be construed as socially unacceptable (again, for some, and not for others).

I would like to know at what precise moment the world turned inside itself and encouraged the population to only ever consider themselves, and their own comfort, above and sometimes to the exclusion of others.

When I grew up, we were encouraged to think of others first. Be polite. Be courteous. Be kind.

It appears as though this kind of behaviour is archaic, and no longer the norm. That saddens me. A whole lot, actually.

I do my best to think of the comfort of others. Where I make a mistake, I am the first to apologize. I don’t wish for anyone to feel judged, misinterpreted or misunderstood; I would like to know that because of my efforts, I’ve had a positive effect in someone’s day, not the opposite. All I ask, is that I am treated the same. Respect. The definition of respect is not limited to being in agreeance, either; it is equally as important to show respect to those who may not share your same views. That’s all I endeavour to do. I hope for the same in return.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Studies have shown that swear words originate in a different part of the brain, and that swearing helps relieve stress. People who swear when they are in pain both deal with the pain better as well as get over the pain quicker than those who do not swear. This leads to people who are less stressed, and subsequently, happier. So it may not be “ladylike”, but I for one would much rather be happy than well perceived.

Cussing will affect how some see her. Not cussing will affect how others see her. Cussing in front of a potential employer during an interview is usually a bad idea, but I don’t know that I could really be good friends with someone who didn’t swear – I just wouldn’t feel comfortable opening up around them.

You can ask her to stop cussing around you. But then she gets to ask you to stop, say, using the phrase “okee-dokee” around her in return (just an example) as a sign of your respect for her. You may want to consider just how important this is to you, and if you really want to cause waves in your relationship with her over it.

If she hasn’t asked for your help in figuring out how the world will perceive her, or how to make the best of life’s opportunities, then there’s no real reason to believe she’ll be open to your unsolicited advice any more than you would be open to unsolicited advice on how people will see you based on how you phrased this question.

Meredith's avatar

Great answer.

Your idea of possibly not being able to be good friends with someone who didn’t swear is hard to imagine, though. I have lots of friends who have mouths like truckers (an expression – don’t jump all over me) who love me to bits, and respect me enough to refrain while in my company. It hasn’t affected our relationship one little bit.

I’m open to being asked to stop anything that I do that might offend others, and happy to stop. I’d rather have happy people around me, than not.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@everephebe “There used to be these silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of poor vocabulary. Such utter nonsense! The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies, and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually has a pretty poor vocabulary, themselves.” – Stephen Fry

@Meredith Then I guess I have different ideas about what I want a friendship to look like, and what I want out of a friendship. I want one where we can swear, drink, recite lewd limericks, and talk openly about our sex lives (as well as our hopes, dream, fears, and favorite movies).
Huh. See, I’m normally more of a “not going to change just for you” kinda gal. If people aren’t happy being around me as me, then screw ‘em. But perhaps I’m more of an introvert than you are.

SamIAm's avatar

Let me clarify, now that I have been moded twice, even after explanation:
If someone doesn’t like the way I talk, and is going to be so superficial to judge me as a person based upon that little trait, THEY can go fuck themselves.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SamIAm How is that any clearer? Didn’t you just restate what you’d already posted?

SamIAm's avatar

It was a personal attack because I didn’t say “they” and “themselves” ... it wasn’t directed at anyone here, it was just a general comment that was apparently misconstrued

Electra's avatar

My opinion of women who swear is the exact same as my opinion of men who swear—I assume the person in question has an emphatic personality or very strong beliefs. My judgment of the said swearing is not gender biased, and in my opinion, people who judge women specifically for swearing nowadays are living in the Dark Ages.

People swear when they swear. To pretend that behavior among women means something different from and is somehow more vile than the exact same behavior among men would mean the person who judges women specifically for swearing is absolutely nutty and chauvinistic.

erichw1504's avatar

I hate anyone who swears their asses off.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Gosh darn diddly doodly diddly hobbily gibbily gobbily jibbily jabbily do

erichw1504's avatar

Gobbledy-gook!

crewdr's avatar

a woman who curses like a sailor is hot to me!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs That’s why I swear…TO RELIEVE STRESS

Now, I tend to keep it in my home and wouldn’t want to offend anyone with it. If a relative/friend politely said, “Your swearing makes me uncomfortable” I wouldn’t do it in front of them. as long as I wasn’t ridiculously stressed out, that is

Obviously I refrain myself in normal everyday life, however
If I’m in a car accident, I’ll most likely swear, even if my son is in the car.

lonelydragon's avatar

The same as my opinion of men who swear, which is that I don’t mind it as long as the person doesn’t curse ad nauseam. It gets boring to listen to a person whose every adjective is a swear word, but there are situations in which cursing is understandable.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Meredith I am not asking you not to present your opinion. But there is a difference between presenting and imposing. The latter is unilateral and does not take into account the agency of the person upon whom you are imposing something. My point is that you should not forget that you are not the only person in the correspondence with your cousin. You speak of what offends you as if that should be dispositive without considering what might offend her. I’m not sure how that is being polite, courteous, or kind.

As for what one would not do in front of one’s grandmother, I see no reason for that to be the standard in all aspects of our lives. I could list several things I would not do in front of my grandmother that seem perfectly appropriate in other contexts. No one is saying, after all, that your cousin should swear all the time. Several people, myself included, have instead mentioned the appropriateness of considering one’s audience.

Finally, I don’t see where I said that your cousin should only consider herself. Indeed, I seem to have said quite the opposite. But I also insisted that she not forget or ignore herself. Extreme egoism and extreme altruism are both vices—we call the “selfishness” and “spinelessness.” I am suggesting something in between. This is not a novel idea. It is present in ancient Greek ethics and finds a prominent place in the moral philosophy of Bishop Joseph Butler. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a world that is not sensitive to such nuances.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SavoirFaire I’d never have sex in front of my grandmother, but if no one had sex, we’d end the human species.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs That was exactly what I was thinking, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SavoirFaire Don’t worry – any time sex is the topic at hand, I’m very good at bringing it up. You can always count on me to do the offending for you ;)

Haleth's avatar

“When you really think about this issue, these straight-laced solipsists aren’t asking that we control our anger. They aren’t asking that we change our behavior or that we treat each other with more respect or patience. They aren’t trying to be nicer. They only want you to shout something they feel appropriate when you feel like shouting. They don’t care about the package, just the gift wrap. They don’t advocate peace. They don’t care if you speak with hate. They want only to change the exact words as if the WORDS are what makes discourse hateful or distasteful. They think the avoidance of certain words is gonna signal an education. HUMBUG! It’s the words you use, not the ones you don’t use that show what you know.” -Penn & Teller: Bullshit

laineybug's avatar

I’m sure my mom will not be pleased by this, but I’m also sure she already knows. I cuss around my friends sometimes but never to an adult. Sometimes I also cuss at people that really make me mad. I would have phrased that differently, but I’m pretty sure my mom will read my answer. I don’t cuss around people that would find it offensive, but I have been known to cuss at times.

augustlan's avatar

@laineybug I did know. :)

laineybug's avatar

@augustlan I know you know. but you taught me to know my audience well.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hey! @laineybug , so you’re the youngest of the Auggie clan? I’m so glad you’re here! Talk to @Katawagrey about what a pain and sometimes joy, I hope it is to have your Mom hanging with you here in Jellyland. Welcome welcome aboard!

JilltheTooth's avatar

@augustlan : I’ve been wondering who that cute little beetle was! Another one to keep you honest here!

laineybug's avatar

@JilltheTooth yes, it’s true, I’m the youngest daughter of my loving mom, augustlan. So far, it’s been nice having my my mom around here. She actually found my avatar for me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, Sweetie, we’ve been eagerly awaiting your arrival! You girls keep your mom from getting too wild…I don’t know if we’d be able to handle her if you weren’t here…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Too cool. There is someone keeping an eye on auggie after all. Welcome to fluther lainybug

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

So who are the other younglings?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs : Fly and Mangeons are the other two. The Augustclan is well represented here!

bob_'s avatar

This is a prime example of how some words may or may not be appropriate depending on the context and audience.

laineybug's avatar

@JilltheTooth it’s nice to know I can help keep my mom in line.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@laineybug , I tell ya, Sweetie, if it wasn’t for you kids here it would be serious Moms Gone Wild event! ;-)

geeky_mama's avatar

Two True Stories on the topic of this question.

About…oh, 4 years ago… after an unusually bad time trying to get a parking spot in a crowded lot my youngest child was under the misguided impression that the name of IKEA was actually FUCK YOU. (He was around 18 months old at the time).
My husband called me (I was on a business trip) on speaker phone so I could hear my toddler son use his newly acquired words: “Fuck you mommy, fuck you” as hubby was driving into the IKEA parking lot…because that’s what our son called the place. <Sigh> A proud moment in parenting. Not!

A more recent story..from maybe a month ago:
I teach Sunday School. My own children (who are sassy..not sure where they get that from…) like to give me grief about how often I flip other drivers the bird. I’m trying to work on this..not because the other drivers don’t deserve it for almost hitting me or passing me on the shoulder or some other insane rude thing…but because I’m afraid that any gesture from me could potentially lead to a road rage incident and it’s just not worth it.

Anyways.. during a Sunday School lesson (which included my 4th grade daughter) where we were encouraged to talk about areas where we want to improve, I offered an example: “I am trying to be a more patient driver and not use curse words when I drive.”
One of the boys in my Sunday School class (I’ve taught these kids for years – and know their parents) starting laughing really hard.
He said: “Yeah, good luck with that…you flipped my mom off last week..we were the white SUV trying to pass you on the right.”

So…I guess the answer to the question is: I think using curse words is very place and time (not gender!) dependent…but, I am definitely going to start keeping the rude hand gestures at a minimum.

Response moderated (Obscene)
jonsblond's avatar

@kenmc Try some Sriracha with that next time.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I swear. A lot, depending on the place and present company. I don’t swear in public and I don’t swear in front of strangers or children. Otherwise, I couldn’t give two shits what anything thinks of it.
As for what I think of people that swear? I don’t care. They are just words.

TexasDude's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf, that makes me like you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I hope there are better reasons that that to like me. But, in all fairness, I like you back.

TexasDude's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf, oh there are, of course. I think I should tack on “even moar!” to that previous quip…

augustlan's avatar

One of the many reasons I think Nef should marry me. ;)

TexasDude's avatar

Can I tag along on the honeymoon?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard : I think they’d want you to be the honeymoon!

augustlan's avatar

Oh hell yes.

TexasDude's avatar

Groovy.

sarahtalkpretty's avatar

I just don’t like constant foul language. I find it annoying and it makes me think the speaker has issues with insecurity or intelligence. Of course, the occasional S word when you stub your toe or lose a parking space is understandable, but if she drops the F word in every other sentence I want her to go away. It’s not a gender issue whatsoever for me. I don’t perceive women who curse differently. I don’t go along with the “be ladylike” way of thinking.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther