I had actually been thinking about this for a while, but the Queen put it further into my mind. What IS with all the damn swearing? Man, do we all swear a lot or what?
I remember when I didn't swear. I was probably a freshman in high school before I really made the foray into the occasional swear. I found that a well placed FUCK YOU or SUCK IT, especially to people who had been my tormentors in middle school was quite powerful. Even more powerful, I'd pull out the C word. That's right. You heard me.
The C word. I'd fling it at you, evil-doer. And in 1984........you would crumble.
I clubbed some British ladies with the C word in the late 90s when they tried to take the cab from me and my then boyfriend (now husband). I not only attacked them with the C word, I actually called them Limey Cunts. Bigotry AND swearing -all in one insult.
In the 90s I worked with a lady who used profanity in such a prolific way that it was frankly unsettling. I liked her, still do, but MAN would she swear. In meetings, without regard for HR issues. FEARLESSLY. It didn't make her a better manager or better at her job, but it made her fearsome and bold - at least to the onlooker.
I'm a Mom, and I definitely swear as though my choice of swearwords are some additional punctuation in my sentences. I do swear at work but behind closed doors, and I have tried to curb it at home (pretty unsuccessfully). But man, when DID it become so prevalent that even MY 60 YEAR OLD MOTHER will drop the F bomb when it suits her.
It doesn't even offend me. It doesn't shock, it doesn't surprise, I'm not sure what it does. Does it empower? Does it make us like men? Did men talk like this for the last two hundred years and it just didn't make it into the penny novels?
Or is it continued evidence of the decline of civilization? Since I don't particularly buy INTO the theory of the decline of civilzation, I suspect that's not it. But it is evidence of change. It's the language of adults - as I would whip the butt of my kids for speaking this way. Does that mean I think it's wrong, or just not for them - in much the same way I don't think sex is wrong but right now, it's not for them.
So I will continue to wonder, in the vernacular........what the fuck?