**WARNING*** There will be strong language in this post, and I assume any following discussion.

This morning on our local radio station there was an interesting discussion about the usage, intent and impact of swearing.

It was sparked by a satirical TV show, Dirty Laundry Live, using strong language to discuss Charles Saatchi, soon to be ex husband of Nigela Lawson. During the shows opening monologue the host Lawrence Mooney described him as a cunt.

To put it in context the comment was shown live to air although it was scripted. Mooney has stated they did have a strong discussion on whether to use it or not but he contends that it was both justified and effective.

The discussion it sparked was centered around the appropriateness or not of using that language on live to air television.

From a personal perspective I have no problem with the use of the word. Words are just words, some have more impact than others. Its the values you ascribe to that word, and the context they are use that matters.

In this particular instance I think calling the man a cunt was an effective and appropriate usage. Its not wording i would use around my children but again its not a show children should be watching.

The interesting part of the debate and what I was interested in discussing here was the contention that using the word contributed to violence against women. I can't say I agree with that argument.

As I said before words are just words. I'm sure that the word cunt CAN be used to denigrate women, but in the context it was used I don't think it does.

Is calling someone a prick, a cock head or a dick demeaning to men? Sure they aren't words with as much impact but they are all negative words associated with male genitalia.

If I use those words to purposefully denigrate a group then I should be condemned. But is that what has happened here?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.


Tags: profanity, sexism

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It may of been in that context, but certainly wouldn't be in all.

In certain cultures the word is second nature. Listen to Billy Connolly discuss its usage in the Glaswegian culture. Its not said to offend, or challenge its just a general purpose verb, adjective and maybe even sometimes a noun. :)

There is very little Billy Connolly could say, even in full swearing flight, that is likely to offend me more than some of the cleanest speaking hate mongers from the religious right or Taliban.


There is very little Billy Connolly could say, even in full swearing flight, that is likely to offend me more than some of the cleanest speaking hate mongers from the religious right or Taliban.

Of course. Swearing is a primitive kind of expression that conveys things like "I'm pissed" or "I'm tough" or "I'm independent of social rules". And perhaps sometimes, just a habit or a social norm.

...and when he gestured his arm was coming too close to my head.

Luara, consider this a prediction of future actual violence.

If you doubt me (as you doubt my words about the BB Hypothesis), contact any domestic violence help line. I worked on such a help line for a time.

The cycle of violence we described: 1) actual violence, 2) abject apologies, 3) promises to change, 4) more and usually greater violence.

I swear like a sailor! I try to keep it down while on the job, or around others that I know it will offend. I kept it under control during the ministry days too. God doesn't like it! He also doesn't like peanut butter.

Yahweh doesn't like PEANUT BUTTER?!?  He's not down with JIF???  Fuck that shit!

The only thing he likes to spread is the word.


Spread the word?  Would that be the word about The BIRD?!?

[chuckle!] Sorry ... HAD to do that!

I was a Skippy Extra Crunchy guy myself until I recently tried Planter's Peanut Butter. I'm hooked!

Adams no stir crunchy is fukin awesome. jezus christ it's yummy.

[sigh!] Heresy on the peanut butter front!  Will this madness never end?!? [chuckle!]

Apostates! One and all! Skippy showed the way. But Planter's revealed the one, true, smooth and crunchy texture that will lead us to salvation offered by the delectable southern legume. We must marshal our forces, lead a great crusade, and stamp out the heresy, even at the cost of the lives of women and children. 

Think I could get a good paying job at the Vatican?

No, but Smucker's is just south of me, here.  Want me to put in a good word?


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