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Thessa Lageman
Journalist, Writer, Photographer
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Saturday, 06 April 2019

Not A Masculine Vice Anymore

In the American podcast Unladylike, Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin find out what happens when women break the rules. This time, they wonder why cursing is still considered so unladylike.

Whenever we interview unladies for this show, we always end with asking our guests the question: "We wanna know what is your most unladylike trait?" The more we heard one particular answer:

"I swear like a sailor."

To find out more, they talk to Australian linguist Kate Burridge (who knows pretty much everything you’d ever wanna know about allegedly ‘filthy’ language).

People swear because of social reasons, to let off steam, to spice up language and to insult, she says. Originally, religious-based swearing, blasphemous words, were considered the worst. Now religion has gone more to the background, physical and sexual-based swearwords have become more popular.

In the past, people thought that women of a certain class didn’t curse. 

It is true that in the past three hundred years or so that modern gender roles have existed, men publicly cursed more frequently than women. But not so anymore!

According to a recent British study, in the past 25 years women have been using the 'f-word' more than men. However, our vocabulary of swear words still pays an awful lot of attention to female bodies. 

The hosts also speak to Egyptian–American feminist author Mona Eltahawy (who starts all her talks with the line “Fuck the patriarchy”).

People expect everyone on a podium to be very polite, especially women.

After one of her editors demanded she’d use the word 'fuck' less on Twitter, she started the hashtag #whyisayfuck.

Women are fed up of this straight jacket of niceness and politeness the patriarchy imposes upon us.
If we got all our girls to say ‘fuck’ loudly, proudly and uncensored, we would have a world in which we would focus on the truly profane: misogyny, white supremacy, capitalism, transphobia, homophobia.  
Not A Masculine Vice Anymore
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