Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh The Vulgarity

Though I do not identify as a third wave feminist, one of the things I have adopted is the freedom to swear as I see fit.  Vulgarity does have its time and place; however nothing gets a point across like a direct and to the point fuck you, or fuck off. I don't spend my days spewing expletive after expletive, but I sincerely believe that for many years this form of expression was denied women.

Good girls are routinely told to watch our language.  Swearing was/is understood as manly behaviour and not suitable for a correctly docile female.  Language is a very powerful tool and if certain forms of expression are disciplined by gender, it only reinforces the social construction we have concocted of the ever passive,Victorian like woman.

This post is completely inspired by a comment on Glenn Sacks blog ( again I refuse to link, if you're interested hit google) about me:

You can tell a "new gender raunch", by the language they use. They use the language of vulgar pigs!!

So I guess I'm not a good girl then. I was so hoping Santa would bring me a tea set, and a baby doll for under the christmas tree; so that I could learn to play the acceptable woman.  Since that is not to be, and I am clearly getting coal, I might as well say whatever the fuck I want.

Anyone else find it interesting that the only place where it is acceptable for women to swear is in the bedroom.  If we are moaning, sweating, grunting and saying yeah fuck me, oh yeah fuck me harder, the mehnz are all into it.  After all how "hot" would it be to say insert your penis faster?  (LOL shit I am cracking my own damn self up on that one). Once again this is confirming the passive pussy.  Saying fuck me, or fuck me harder turns the male into the active body and the woman into the passive body. 

(trigger warnings on the video for rape survivors)

We all know that the one with the dick is the one assumed to be the one doing the fucking; despite the bullshit about reciprocity in terms of sexuality.  I swear when it comes to fucking lesbians have the right idea.

The minute we decide to reverse roles and have a dominant female and a submissive male we turn it into some sort of sexual fetish.  Yeah the "big man" is so powerful that the only way he can be diminished is to take orders from a woman. Of course it seems kinky and wrong when our entire society is dedicated to phalocentric worship; every dick is a royal one.

When a woman says fuck you, she is asserting a sense of power that we have socially tried to deny.  She is stepping out of the submissive role and assuming an active body which patriarchy finds threatening. The mehnz immediately go into panic mode and try to remind us our place.  No No little one, aggression is reserved for those with testicles.

As women we need to carve out space for all kinds of expression to be acceptable. When we allow society to dictate what is acceptable based on gender we are allowing ourselves to be silenced. If we are angry or pissed we should be able to say fuck off with confidence and not be shamed for it. We are entitled to our anger and the expression of it is a human right.


45 comments:

T. R Xands said...

*briefly distracted by Closer vid* ...uhh...oh.

Highlighting all the oh noes profanity cracked me up. Telling women that they can't curse (basically because we're little girls and that's bad) cracks me up. If you're a woman and you cuss people can just assume all sorts of negative things about you but for guys it's just another day.

As an aside, I'm also starting to resent the whole "smart people don't cuss" thing. I don't know why, I guess it's just a pet peeve.

Anonymous said...

What do we call it when we project from one person's attitude or behavior onto a whole group? Do you really consider that fair? Are all feminists to be judged by The Biting Beaver, who said she wanted to abort her teenage son because she found him reading porn?

Since you disingenuously won't link to Sack's post, your readers can't see the context, see who made that comment and see what sort of response it got. Whether it got a large response, or whether it barely got any response. Your readers won't see what other topics were raised in that thread, and won't see how they may or may not agree with those comments.

Othering, dehumanizing, stereotyping, refusing to dialog, refusing to listen, disrespecting, name calling.

You go girl. Your bona fides as a womanist are assured.

offourpedestals said...

(LOL shit I am cracking my own damn self up on that one).

Not just yourself, Renee! Yeah, the clinical terms don't really work in that setting. "Please insert your penis into my vagina with all due haste and force!" is a guaranteed mood-killer.

Othering, dehumanizing, stereotyping, refusing to dialog, refusing to listen, disrespecting, name calling.

Oh, wevs. No one's required to tolerate intolerance, so knock it off with the pitiful attempts to shame your hostess. Renee knows we've all mastered the Google here.

T. R Xands said...

Since you disingenuously won't link to Sack's post, your readers can't see the context, see who made that comment and see what sort of response it got. Whether it got a large response, or whether it barely got any response. Your readers won't see what other topics were raised in that thread, and won't see how they may or may not agree with those comments.

I saw the context because I have working internet (yeah girls can use the internet & google!) and I saw where Mr Sacks actually took back his "praise" for Renee's apology and I cracked up! He's amazing!

And what sort of response it got or how big the thread was or whatever else you said, I don't think that really matters, what matters is that the person said it in the first place. Good try though. Okay no more feeding.

Anonymous said...

Renee knows we've all mastered the Google here.

Yes, and by your theory there really is no need for any of the links we see on the net. After all, why link to people, especially people you disagree with? People have teh g00gel!

Anonymous said...

I saw where Mr Sacks actually took back his "praise" for Renee's apology and I cracked up! He's amazing!

What's amazing about that? His praise was that she had given him an honorable apology. Her subsequent behavior showed her apology was anything but honorable and she has continued the exact same behavior she apologized for.

T. R Xands said...

Anon, you seem really stuck on the fact that Renee chose not to link to Mr Sacks' blog and I don't know why that's bothering you so much. If she had linked him would you still have a problem with her disagreeing or her behavior?

Anonymous said...

What's amazing about that?

Well, golly, this is a tough one, but I'll do my best: It's amazing that you guys think you can carrot-and-stick women into behaving the way you want them to, even when none of us have expressed the slightest interest in any of your carrots.

Do you really suppose this blog exists to earn the approval of Glenn Sacks?

Renee said...

@anon if you really must know I won't link to your God Glen because I will not be responsible for increasing his Alexia or technocrati ratings, nor will I deliver any traffic to him. Once again I apologized for calling MRA cockroaches and I have not made that mistake again, but I refuse to pretend that you are all not ignorant woman haters.

Look at the way you have all amassed liked cyber bullies trying to discipline me. Well it won't work. I will say what I want on my blog. If you want your own say, start your own and do the work hard to get your own traffic, that is if you can take a break from your personality cult long enough to have an independent thought.

Now as I have said to the other MRA cult, fuck the hell off and return to your circle jerk, you are not now, or ever welcome on my blog. You will not find colluding women here waiting to breathe in the lies that you present as truth.

T. R Xands said...

Anon @ 1:46 AM

Yeah, that's pretty much it, that his taking back his "praise" is somehow going to affect Renee's life. I'm sure she's crying in a corner somewhere because someone isn't bestowing all his praise on her...

New Friend said...

Renee

Godd for you for standing up to these cyber bullies. I wish I was not in my position because I would stand up even harder. As it is now I am having to hide for now due to these crazies and what I have heard they are capable of doing. I hope you have read my email to you (look for the astrology sign email address) about some of the posters from his site.

Oh and just so you know Sacks in all his wonder is now playing to his crowd, because he did not call you out until you picked on a woman. This will anger his readers (cult followers) to a degree but they will forgive him. And you know what? This will buy him even more female "men supporters" due to his veiled chivalry.

I hope this makes sense because they say over there (and over here) that I make no sense :-)

Renee said...

@New Friend

Yeah I went over and saw. Someone even suggested I should get my mouth washed out with soap..HAHAHA... Of course it was a woman being attacked that set him off because women cannot protect themselves, yet Glenn the God Sacks has no problems sending his minions to verbally abuse me. OOh how knight in tarnished fucking armor. I am a strong woman and will not be disciplined like that colluder he sent over here.

Now I would like it very much if we all returned to the subject of this post. Enough of Glenn and his MRA crowd, they have already consumed enough of our energy. Back to language and the way that we discipline it.

New Friend said...

Okay back to language ;-) I am a potty mouth I admit it and my child calls me on it allllll the time. She hears something that will slip out (I try hard I promise I really do try hard not to be such a potty mouth in front of her but sometimes I make mistakes) and she points that little finger at me and informs me of just what a potty mouth I have. That generally (being reprimanded by my child) takes away all desire of being a potty mouth.

At least till the next time lol.

New Friend said...

Now it is 315 in the am and I truly must retire. If I don't I will be regretting my life at 7am when work calls me (ughh). Have fun and I will be back for more tomorrow. I am loving your blog Renee - I have found several which are awesome and I think might just help me (that always will make me satnd up and say hot &*^&^) ;-)

Ooops she is not here to shake her finger at me right now :-(

randombabble.com said...

I have been told by sailors that I swear a lot (and I was a sailor at the time...oh the irony...), and I personally have never seen the big fucking deal. I get sick and fucking tired of people assuming that if I resort to using "foul" language that I must not be very educated.

I speak three languages (and read two), two of those are considered to be the most difficult to learn for a native English speaker by professional institutions.

I can swear in three more.

I use the word 'fuck' like a comma. Get over it.

No one seems to bat an eye when teh boyz run around spouting profanity like it's the hip thing to do, but as soon as the girl starts she is somehow seen as vile, or vulgar, or trash.

I have a little saying that I like to use when people ask me why I choose to use such "harsh" language:

'People have been saying shit nicely for years, but no one even looked up until the little girl said "fuck".'

If you can't see my point b/c you don't like the language I use, then perhaps you are in the wrong fucking forest. All those pearl clutchers and language police can go play a nice game of hide and go fuck themselves.

You have obvs hit a nerve, Renee, and again it reaffirms my belief that you are doing something right. Rock the fuck on, girl!

Rj said...

I hate when people feel that I am either frustrated, or don't articulate well when I start cursing. I really don't give a fuck, ultimately. I grew up with cursing parents and said I would never curse...but there came a day when I was like, fuck all that pious bullshit!

I don't say any type of "fuck me" in the bedroom because it sounds lame and feels disingenuous. I also have a problem with the p* word (which I wrote about here) but I can say dick and such.

Shit is cool too!

Rj said...

Also, I've been both reprimanded and extolled for my sincere command of vulgarity. Some men say, "Damn, can you control that?" , as if it ruins my femininity, and others give me some sort of Ruffneck-Ghetto accolades for asserting myself as such.

Bernie Misiura said...

Renee,

I would not take this as a female gender only comment; it just follows good common sense in any public debate.

I realize that the poster stated "gender" in the statement but I believe that this is a good rule for debate decorum for both genders.

b

Fannie said...

Sometimes, those who compile little tattle-tale lists of unladylike swearing are the ones who, actually, lack self-awareness as to their own much more sinister behavior. Like, you know, associating themselves with a hateful MRA community that seeks to perpetuate male privilege and harass feminist bloggers.

Sarah J said...

"New gender raunch" I can has that on a t-shirt?

I too swear like a...whatever it is that swears a lot. Fuck is a great word. I love it. I try occasionally to tone it down a bit so that when I do say it it retains its power.

Also, I know we're not supposed to bait the trolls, but I find it hilarious that you're being called out for not linking by a guy who's posting as Anonymous and won't even link to himself.

White Trash Academic said...

All I have to add is FUCK! I don't say it often either but if someone (like a friend of mine recently did and the friend is female) notices my cursing then that is a guarantee you will hear a couple more.

I don't deal well with anyone judging my behavior, being a compulsive non-conformist.

Emily S said...

I think the scene in 'Boys on the Side' where Whoopi Goldberg's character tells Mary-Louise Parker's rather uptight WASPish character (Robin) to say the word 'cunt', telling her it will liberate her is a good lesson. The look of liberation on Robin's face as she finally dares to say it is just lovely! :)

If you think back, almost all the words we define as swear words now were normal words used in the English language, largely from an Anglo-Saxon background. Then, our lovely, prissy Victorian ancestors decided that these words were too earthy and we started to get up-tight about them, and naturally, the rules were vastly tighter for women than for men.

Isn't it time that we moved passed our up-tight Victorian past? I think those people did enough damage to our society!!!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Renee said...

@Anon

Any post not related to the topic of language and discipline will deleted. I will not allow anymore MRA hijacking of my blog. Now return to Glenn Sacks your GOD.

Maimou said...

What an interesting discussion. When I married my husband 26 years ago, I was a timid Southern girl who nearly fainted at the verbalization of profanity. 26 years of marriage to a man who strongly believes in (and acts upon) the equality of women, I can now sling profanity with such acumen that I make my mechanic blush. I reserve it for the power it can bring me, and, I must admit, for fun sometimes! I don't discriminate in my profanity: one of my pet names for my husband when he has pissed me off is needledick, just as he has fondly called me an ice cold cunt when I have enraged him. We accept each other's words with a large grin and flip each other off. We then proceed on the task of forging our life and relationship together.

Any man or woman for that matter, that is unable to accept what you say due to a reactionary twitch ("She said a bad word!") isn't listening to what you have to say. I have found that those people who do so really don't want to honor me, or themselves, with thinking about the content of my speech. They just get hung up on the one word that triggers that reflex ("Shocking!")

Those are the ones I usually tell to fuck off as I mentally write them off.

Looking forward to more discussion!

Kara said...

Renee,

The Glenn Sacks blog is hilarious. What I can't seem to figure out is the actually point to the men's movement? If the male gender as a whole has the privilege and power, why in the fuck do they actually need a movement to secure their rights? That leaves me so damn confused. They can promptly go kick rocks.

But back to the post,

I tend to curse like a sailor and, quite frankly, I don't give a shit what people might think about that. I don't curse in front of my elders, though. Gotta keep it respectful. But that's just fucking common courtesy.

mzbitca said...

I love cursing. One of my favorite stories about my mouth revolves around freshman year at college.

I went to a fairly conservative college so there were some wack jobs walking around and my roommate loved to listen to them, even if she didn't agree. At one point this guys was talking in my room about something while I was ignoring him at my computer. Something popped on my screen that lead to a statement along the lines of "Holy shit that's fucking crazy"

This guy got all serious on me and started lecturing me and asked me if I realized that "there are some men that won't date you if they hear you curse like that.

my response "I don't give a flying fuck."

he never came over again

yo momma said...

Fuck you

Anonymous said...

Isn't cursing and profanity impolite regardless of whos gender is using it?
-Ben

Renee said...

@Ben

Yes in certain circumstances some people will view cursing as unacceptable; however if we place a male and a female in the same situation the woman is most likely to be targeted because historically profanity has been the preserve of men.

exholt said...

"As an aside, I'm also starting to resent the whole "smart people don't cuss" thing. I don't know why, I guess it's just a pet peeve."

Though I saw it more as a bullying/demagogic tactic than a smart/non-smart one, I had this belief for a long long time as every classmate from elementary to high school who cursed up a storm were either those whose vocabulary was so impaired that they were using curses as power-projecting forms of verbal crutches and/or those with serious anger-management/violent tendencies.

It was because most fitted into both categories that I still have the "fight or flight" response whenever I hear a lot of angry cussing from as that was usually a sign anyone within the vicinity was going to be subjected to fists and other forms of physical assault. I experienced far more of this than I want to remember.

Did I also mention every one of those classmates dropped out of high school and most have/are still serving prison time for violent felonies?

Anonymous said...

Renee,

Why do females co-opt the worst in male behavior? I'd like to get your opinion on something. I watched an interesting show on HBO called ladette to lady. It's UK based and it aims to "correct" [if you will] female behavior and return it some sense of modesty. At the end of the show the women seem happy to haven been on the show and had that experience. They seemed t have "regretted" their foul mouthed ways. Isn't it more important co-opt the best in male qualities? I think that the "men do it, so we can do it to" attitude reminds me of my mother asking me if someone jumped off a building, would I follow.
-Ben

LorMarie said...

Bernie Misiura "called me out" for saying "I don't give a flying fig" over at Sack's blog. He let me know in no uncertain terms how profance and vulgar that was.

Dori said...

Ben,

you may not mean to, but you are coming off as seriously condescending.

co-opting the "worst" of "male" behaviors?

so, are you trying to flatter renee into behaving in what you consider to be a more "lady-like" manner? However, men can are going to do it because "boys will be boys"? It seems to me that you have missed the point of the post.

How often does criticism of women come framed in a "women are morally better than men" argument, which frankly, is based in sexist assumptions of femininity, and is a pretty obnoxious insult to men as well.

Anonymous said...

How are the "shoulds" of one commenter on one post any different from the "shoulds" of anyone, be that anyone male, female, left, right, christian, moslem, jewish, hindu, whatever, ...

You picked on one example, but in the nature of how you chose that example you fail to show its relevance.

Yes, there are people that will should you to death, just as you should white males and other males all the time in your racist and sexist blog posts.

Look in a mirror, babe.

Note to Kara: Renee has never written about Glenn Sacks prior to this week, yet she has already decided all sorts of things about his group. Why don't you break the chain? If you want to know what men and women are discussing under the topic of men's rights, why don't you actually VISIT Glenn Sacks' blog for a week or so and listen or participate?

Women in the 50s, 60s, and 70s made a lot of progress by telling their stories. And men and other women at the time laughed at them, just as you laugh now.

Why not listen and respect, and make your own decision?

Renee said...

@Ben
what Dori said

Queers United said...

I think some swear words are a great way to express oneself. Fuck this, fuck that, if someone has a prob with it fuck them.

Anonymous said...

Dori & Renee,

Sorry to be offensive. I just wanted to know if "ladette to lady" was right. That's all.

-Ben

Renee said...

@Anon referring to a woman as babe is sexist. Are you Gsd Glenn in disguise? Stop advertising for his hateful blog here, anymore blatant advertising of Glenn the king of misogynists Sacks will be deleted.
This blog is neither racist or sexist, it attacks privilege which as an MRA, of course you cannot own. The simple solution is if you don't like what I write, don't read it. Now fuck the hell off and return to your circle jerk.

Kara said...

Anon,

Dude, I actually did visit his site and wasn't impressed. And some of the regular commenters actually are chauvinist assholes. It's one thing to believe in father's rights, it's another to actually think/believe that men are somehow bettering themselves through some pointless ass movement because they feel that the feminists and other women of that ilk, that some assume might suffer from "penis envy", are actually challenging your livelihood. I can't take any man seriously if they actually believe that their rights are somehow infringed. Please, be aware of your privilege and talk to me when you have actually considered the obvious.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I love to swear, and I love people's shock when they first hear the word fuck come out of my mouth. I also enjoy using fuck to point out what is truly profane language. For example, when I hear especially hateful and oppressive langauge, like fag or something similar, I like to respond with: watch your fucking mouth!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Renee. Now go fuck yourself.

Arum said...

I think this is probably another North American thing. Most people in the UK swear all the time. About the only word you won't hear in the office is 'cunt'. This is used almost exclusively as a really bitter insult. It's the only word that's considered too foul to be used in polite company, and you'd never say it in front of your mother!

And Ben, I'm afraid 'Ladette to Lady' was a national joke. The women who appeared on it made a point of then appearing in the Sunday tabloids in various states of undress, telling tales of their sex lives and being pictured falling drunkenly out of nightclubs. It was roundly considered to be a very amusing failure.

New Friend said...

@Kara

If you think Sacks' commenters are bad - do a search for Father's Manifesto. That is some righteously scary stuff. I told my brother about it and he was like no way - there are not men who believe that. But I showed him and also showed him worse still there are women who signed the thing as well. Sickening.

Sabertooth Screaming Lemur said...

Right on Renee! I soundly fucking agree with this post.