**Warning: F-bombs and other adult language ahead!
There is a cultural taboo against swearing. Fuck that.
Across generations, societies and friendship groups we hear a variety of pleas against swearing. We are told that it sounds displeasing, appears aggressive and is simply bloody rude. (Is it ironic to swear in order to emphasise my point?)
As a young lady, I find that the reason I’m told that I should not be swearing is because it doesn’t sound “lady like.”
I believe that language can be many things—it can be offensive, callous and disgusting. It can also be provoking, riveting, beautiful and inspiring. I would like to emphasise that all language can be those things.
However, what language most definitely is not, is “lady like”—and when somebody tells me that my language is “not at all lady like,” well, I just want to tell them to fuck off.
Anyone else? Or is it just me?
Because one thing language can most definitely be is freeing—and to be free is something that we all aspire to be.
“May our hearts love freely and our souls wander without bounds.”
“May we live within no limits and walk with freedom in our stride.”
“The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage!”
So I am forced to question why we constrain our freedom of language and place restrictions on the things we say. What are we afraid of?
Are we afraid of what people will think? Are we afraid of how we might sound? Are we afraid that we might even (god forbid) enjoy swearing?
When I climb atop the mountain that my trembling legs have been climbing for five hours, I want to scream,“This place is fucking awesome!”
When I’ve had a painfully terrible day at work, and I burn my dinner, I want to exclaim, “For fuck’s sake!” without caring if anyone hears me.
And most importantly, when I am slap-bang in the middle of giving birth, you better believe I will be screaming, “Shit!” at the top of my lungs, whether anyone likes it or not.
And every time I use those words, I will feel empowered, brave and sexy.
What is it about these words that make us feel this way? And why do other words not make us feel like that? Language is gorgeous, and a lot of language is “acceptable.” However, only using “appropriate language” does not empower—it doesn’t challenge or evoke. For me, defying this linguistic taboo is rebellious and liberating.
So I say, “Hell yeah!” to saying whatever the fuck we want.
When we swear to feel empowered or to feel sexy, we become just that. The sole purpose of swearing isn’t merely to offend—and if we change our overall attitude about it, then we could use it to help ourselves and others, rather than swearing simply being “insulting.” We have nothing to lose, just the possibility to gain.
So before you leave the house in the morning, look in the mirror, with self-confidence, and give yourself a big “Fuck yeah!”
Because—why the fuck not?
Author: Katie Gard
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Jonathan Rolande