Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quoting and Titles Are Fine To Curse

Today in class we were doing a performance of A Raisin in the Sun, and the author, Lorraine Hansberry, uses several curse words in it. (It doesn't take away from the quality of the book, though - I really liked it.) In the scene that we were performing, the h word and d word came up a few times, and the girls said them. I completely support this, as they're quoting the words, not saying them in a negative way. (I've blogged about this topic before.) Then the term son of a b***h came up, and the girl said it out loud.

I felt the entire room flinch, and I did, too. "It's okay," the teacher said. "You were so caught up in reading, you didn't mean to. It's fine." While I understand that it was an accident that she did say the word, I still support the fact that she said the word. It was a quote, and while the b word is a pretty strong word, she was quoting it, and it's not like none of us were unfamiliar with the word - it really was fine that she said it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Classism and Cursing

Today in English, we were reviewing grammar homework. "But who cares if our speech is grammatically correct?" one frustrated girl asked.

"When you speak with precision and with proper grammar, it makes a good impression," our teacher responded. She went on to explain that people often judge others' class based on appearances and speech, explaining that while it's most definitely not fair, when you act and speak a certain way, people will think less or more of you. It all depends on which way you decide to go. This concept applies to cursing: what class do you think people will think you belong to when you curse?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Backpacks in the Library

I was standing on line at the library, waiting to take out some books, when I noticed there was a guy with a backpack on standing in front of me. The backpack had a picture of a monkey on it, and would have been cute, had the s word not been displayed on it in capital letters. I rolled my eyes and really wanted to make a comment to the owner of the backpack, but decided against it, as the guy was probably about six feet tall and taking out some horror movies. Had he been a little shorter and taking out some books, however...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why I Indulge in Category 2 Words

Most people would think that as the creator of Bleep!, I've never said a bad word in my life.

Guess what?

I have. Everyone's slipped at some point in their life (as I have blogged about previously), and sometimes you just wanna say a word and you say it, throwing caution to the winds. I have admitted that I do indulge in words I call Category 2 words (but never worse on purpose), like crap, sucks, screw, etc., that are slightly objectionable, but have never been considered earth-shatteringly horrible.

Today I said the word crap, and immediately my friends were on me. "How can you say that? You're the creator of Bleep!!" they exclaimed, slightly horrified. The reason I do indulge in milder of the objectionable words out there is because I'm trying to show that Bleep!'s mission is not to make a blind blanket ban on all bad words. The First Amendment guarantees you the right to say whatever you want, and if you want to use a word that few people will be offended by, then go ahead. Might people think less of you? Yeah. They might. It's a chance that anyone, like me, has to take when they use Category 2-type words.

My bottom line: it's really okay if you say a mild word here and there. Just don't make it the only words you use.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Even Feminists Fall Prey to the Double Standard

I think many of you know that I describe myself as a radical feminist, having written two award-winning papers about feminism for National History Day and getting published on feminist blogs. I try my best (and sometimes annoy myself with how politically correct I can get) to remain gender neutral and as feminist as I can be. However, even the best of us can fall prey to the double standard.

My mom and I saw a play, MazelTov Cocktail, a number of weeks ago. (Its run is over, but I would suggest it otherwise.) It was a cute play and we really enjoyed it, but our biggest complaint was that the female actor in the one-person show cursed a lot. "It just wasn't warranted," my mom complained. I nodded; it had seemed kinda icky that she cursed so much. It was in character that she cursed, and I understood why she did, but I couldn't help but think less of her for it.

A couple of weeks ago we saw another play called Defending the Caveman (which was clutching-your-side hilarious - at some points it got inappropriate, so only for 13+ audiences, but it was totally hilarious), a one-person show with a male actor. He often cursed in the play, but my mom and I shrugged it off. "He's a guy," we rationalized. My mom even mentioned MazelTov Cocktail. "When she cursed, it was inappropriate, but when he cursed, it was okay," she said.

It only hit me after we excused him for cursing that it was totally unfair!! How could we allow the man from Defending the Caveman to curse, but not the woman from MazelTov Cocktail? That wasn't fair - if I'm gonna think less of her for cursing, I have to think less of him too! I'm just perpetuating the double standard! How could I do that?