Should women swear like men do?
At a recent writers’ conference, we watched a book trailer for Thug Kitchen Cookbook on YouTube which featured a man and two women swearing. The shock value is designed to make you laugh, especially when an older woman swore.
A man sitting next to me said it was “inappropriate” for women to be swearing. That women should be held to a higher standard.
I confess in certain situations, I swear like a sailor. Out of the many words I know, sometimes I chose swear words.
Melissa Mohr is the author of Holy Sh*t, a book about the history of swearing published by Oxford University. This very scholarly and stuffy press thought this type of language was worth studying.
Mohr notes that “swearing is an important safety valve, allowing people to express negative emotions without resorting to physical violence.” Without swear words, she says, “we are left with fists and guns.”
I told the man at the conference that we were all people, and we all needed to vent some steam.
Then an unknown woman turned around and gave me a high five.