Little Miss Swears A lot
By HeatherB on October 22, 2007
BlogHer Original Post
I have no problem with admitting that I sometimes have the mouth of a trucker. A really dirty trucker who sometimes thinks that it’s ok to use the ‘C’ word in public when angry. There’s also the Pavlovian reaction to shoot my middle finger at most anyone who offends me while driving and to yell obscenities at Kevin Millar when he does well and Eli Manning when he gets sacked. I don’t plan these things, they just pop out from time to time. Like yesterday when Brandon Jacobs fumbled and I yelled out “MoFo” in its more…um… formal form and my father looked at me like instead of contributing his DNA for a sweet girl, dressed in pink, with pigtails, he contributed his DNA to Tyler Durden. And then he called Eli Manning a “stupid shit” and, well, pot-kettle black and all that jazz.
Despite my incessant dropping of the f-bomb or adding “and shit” to every other sentence, I try very, very, very hard to keep my language in check at work. Not because I’m trying to be ladylike or anything but because swearing isn’t taken too kindly while smack in the middle of the Hart Senate Office Building. I also work with my mother and if she were to hear me call someone a stupid ‘f-tard’ I doubt she’d find a problem with giving me a nice swat to the bottom for my foul language. You know, even though I’m almost 24 and far larger than she is, the woman still puts the fear of God into me.
People swear. Sometimes it’s a natural reaction to thing sometimes it’s done for affect and sometimes I just think that people are ‘fuckheads’ and need to be told so. But there’s a difference between doing all of this in the privacy of one’s home or with the office door closed and doing so in the office during a board meeting across from a balding guy in suspenders:
What I find troubling the powers that be, seem to be totally at ease promoting swearing on the job as a good stress reliever whatever happened to yoga or meditation or exercise? Is the work place going the way of Gangster Rap, Yo bitch where my coffee? Hey fuck face didnt I tell you to Fed Ex this package! Hey shit breath mother fuckin ho bitch didnt I till you to fix the copy machine? Okay you think this little scenario will relieve or create even more stress, and more anger....whats next? Using your glock to relieve stress?
I have this colleague who sits in the office next to mine and he leaves his door open while using such creative things as “You fucking fuck face”. Since I tend to be a little bit more creative with my language I try to close the door or you know, be polite and not use said language at all because… I don’t know…I’m at work and being paid is something that I enjoy. Crazy, right? Though really I could give two…uh…s-words (I got lost in the moment there, sorry) as to whether or not someone has profanity laced language. Go forth and spew what you’d like. What I do have some qualms with is a British study that was pointed out by Elena Cantor at Funny Business and then at Market Watch about swearing in the workplace being a morale booster, that is if you are male:
The study points directly to all-male or male-dominated cultures -- think about a football locker room or the factory floor -- in which the "competitive nature of men's speech" creates a sense of harmony and oneness. Such organizations, the study said, are marked by a "lively boisterous communication style with friendly insults and witty use of coarse, casual profanity."
The study also points to gender issues and an apparent double standard of men's swearing compared with women's cursing. "Female swearers are often perceived to be of a low moral standing," the researchers noted. Men, on the other hand, can generate reverence from swearing, though they tend to tone down the use of profanity in front of women.
While I can understand swearing to be a great way to release frustration so can a few benzodiapans and I wouldn’t recommend over compensating stress with great use of either. I also don’t understand the premise that us dainty girls shouldn’t be able to scream out an emphatic “Holy motherfucker” when the boss or a client is being ridiculously annoying. But I don’t understand it being a ‘morale booster’. I don’t feel any closer to the guy in the office next to me every time he screams out ‘fuck’. In fact, my best bet is that the reason he feels so compelled to do it so much in the work place is because he then goes home to the most adorable five year old and six month old boys and I doubt he wants his six month old’s first words to be “asshole” so he does it here. And to that I say go for it, but if I feel like busting out with a string of foul language, I better not get one look of shock that all of those obscenities just rolled out of my mouth with ease. If so, I’m just going to say “I’m trying to bring the office together. That’s all.”