10.09.2013

{ladylike :: classy + cursing}


There's always been this kind of battle in my mind. 

If you know me in real life, you know that I don't have a clean mouth. They are just words, right? It's more the meaning behind the word that's important. I always say that when I have kids, I would much rather them come home from school dropping the f-bomb than calling something gay. It's kind of a no-brainer in my mind. 

That being said, I try to be a classy lady. Obviously I don't always succeed (and being classy really is subjective), but at least I try. I mind my manners, always say please and thank you, and hold the door open for people. I love entertaining in my home, and try to send thank you notes (when I remember). But does my potty-mouth negate all of these ladylike qualities?

I tend to think not. I don't curse much on this blog, though I have been known to show my true colors on Twitter. I stay far, far away from words that may offend someone in a very legitimate and raw way, since I really don't believe that shit can hurt someone's feelings in the same way that calling something retarded would. 

For me, cursing is a way that I communicate my emphasis on something, whether it be because of anger or excitement or stress. It's not me being crude on purpose; it's just a part of who I am. And I tend to think that the lack of cursing in the blogging community is just another way that bloggers try to sanitize their lives (i.e. try to make them seem as perfect as possible). I don't like that. 

What are your thoughts on cursing? Do you think it's possible to be ladylike (we can chat about the sexist sentiments in that word another time) while still swearing? And do you agree that too often we are afraid to use our true language online because we want to seem perfect and better than the rest?

24 comments:

Joelle Duff said...

I can relate completely...seriously, it's like you're describing myself. I only really swear around my husband and close friends. When I do it's like you say, to emphasis a point, not to just say it for the hell of it. I do filter out my swearing when I'm around strangers or people I just don't know very well. I don't want them to see me as crude, or get the wrong impression of me. It may sound self conscious, but I don't think so...I don't really want strangers swearing at me either! I would think they were probably very rude and I wouldn't care too much to get to know them better. It's all a part of manners. I am ladylike and very modest to a lot of people, but people who REALLY know me know me as weird, crazy, goat-noise-making Brittany - with a lady like exterior ;)

So yes, I think you can be ladylike AND swear. I think it can even be charming! As far as editing it out online to seem perfect...maybe some people. Personally it doesn't even occur to me when I'm writing. Sure in a Twitter status, but in my blog I don't think I've ever actually thought about it!

Really interesting topic...I'm curious to hear others responses!

xx -b.

Joelle Duff said...

You aren't cool in my book if you can't let out a little profanity here or there. Definitely saving this post because it's now one of my top 5 favorites of all time on Bloglovin'! Thank you for this, because this is totally relatable! It makes me want to blog about the same matter! LOVE IT! Kudos to you miss!

Joelle Duff said...

I have zero problem with being ladylike and cursing. I'm known to drop an f-bomb here or there myself. The only time I think it becomes obnoxious is when guys or girls are cursing loudly and profanely in a restaurant or something. But that has less to do with the cursing and more to do with the level of their voice.

Joelle Duff said...

I definitely think you can still be ladylike and curse. However, I think it depends on the way in which you do it (i.e. cursing at someone = not ladylike). There's a time and a place. I personally don't curse often (I never really got into the habit, and usually it's just under my breath), but I can see how in some cases, it really is the best way to get your point across!

Joelle Duff said...

I am with you! I totally think that swearing can be used to stress important parts of a story or your own opinions. I am really good at censoring myself professionally and around children, but my closest friends and family are on my list of people who can hear me say my favorite four letter words. With that being said, when I think I am using those words too much I have been more mindful. Swearing is usually one of the things I give up for Lent every year. It gets me back on my classy track :)

Joelle Duff said...

I try not to curse on my blog, but sometimes a "bad" word slips out here and there. I try to be intentional about the words I use, but sometimes the best word to express a sentiment ends up being "shit." I think it becomes vulgar and non-classy when every other word that comes out of a person's mouth is a curse word.

Joelle Duff said...

I think there is a place for cursing, but in a professional setting i think its out of line. More casual setting, it's definitely your own prerogative. I know people who are offended by curse words, and because of that I do not curse in conversation until I know how the others around me feel. Because of that, I try to not curse on twitter or on my blog. I try to be sensitive of others. Around my friends, though, I censor myself much less.

Joelle Duff said...

I love this post.

While I, too, tend to shy away from cursing online and elsewhere, I always say that I hate how we tend allow making others *comfortable* to take precedence over the raw truth of our words. And honestly, sometimes cursing is about as honest as one can be. lol

Joelle Duff said...

Erik and I argue about this all the time. I for one think that sometimes a curse word is just plain the only way to get your point across. Of when I stub my toe really hard "darn it" just doesn't really convey what I'm feeling at the moment. And you know that I totally don't have a potty mouth! But it's just necessary sometimes. I secretly admire women who aren't afraid to drop some curse words from time to time. I'm always to afraid to do it in front of anyone besides my hubby. I will say though that I HATE cursing in the workplace. I don't know why it seems so different to me but it totally bothers me there where it wouldn't in just casual conversation. When I interned in New York everyone curse like crazy and it just made them sound unintelligent because it wasn't used for emphasis...it was just used because that's how they were used to talking.

Joelle Duff said...

Meh....I think a few hells and damns isn't gonna hurt anyone.

Joelle Duff said...

I'm definitely with you on this Brittany. I think it's more of how you present it, rather than whether or not you do it. People can just be so self-righteous about cursing sometimes, and I never know if I'll get backlash for swearing on my blog or social media. Obviously I only do it occasionally, but I definitely don't think it's a bad thing when I do!

Joelle Duff said...

Oh goodness, thank you Mandy! And believe me, I definitely "let it out" when necessary ;)

Joelle Duff said...

So true. I really don't think it's necessary to swear every other word, but it's more to emphasize a point. When you're doing it loudly, in public, all the time, then it just becomes obnoxious.

Joelle Duff said...

Oh, definitely NOT cursing at someone! That's terrible. And I can completely understand why someone wouldn't curse...I've just had to find that balance myself :)

Joelle Duff said...

I definitely go through phases of cursing more than others, and it brings me back to reality when my husband just raises his eyebrow at me. My close friends and family (I have zero problem cursing in front of my mom, actually), know how I really am though ;)

Joelle Duff said...

I think intentional is a good word to use when it comes to cursing on a public platform. It needs to have a reason, not just because! And I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks it's possible to be classy and curse!

Joelle Duff said...

Professional settings, absolutely. At least when there are people other than your close friends and colleagues (who don't mind you cursing) are around. I've worked at my fair share of offices where people will swear loudly in the kitchen, for the entire office to hear, and it was terrible!

Joelle Duff said...

It's so true. I think we do need to take the comfort of other people into consideration sometimes, but other times it's more important that we be our honest selves. If they can't handle that, then maybe they can't handle us ;)

Joelle Duff said...

Haha oh goodness, it would make me laugh to hear you swear ;) But I totally agree with you on the workplace part. I do curse a lot (at least more than you!), but I find absolutely NO need to swear every other word, loudly, and in public. So not necessary!

Joelle Duff said...

Oh, I'm not talking about hells and damns ;)

Joelle Duff said...

Growing up, "shut up" and "butt" were bad words in my household, not to mention actual swearwords. I was always so sensitive to cursing and would literally break down in tears if my parents said the s-word or d-word. I never never curse out loud but occasionally if something DRASTIC happens, I'll let the s-word slip. It's just not me :) "aw shucks" and "dangit" are things you'd likely hear me say if I messed up instead of a cuss word anyday. "Shoot" might be my favorite :)

Joelle Duff said...

i'm totally with you. i only ever curse when i'm around my husband. i don't do it in public, on my blog, or on twitter/facebook. but i sure can tell you that the inside of my car would be appalled at what comes out of my mouth!

Joelle Duff said...

I sometimes curse too much, but I don't on my blog, mainly because my mom and relatives read it! haha

Joelle Duff said...

That's an interesting subject. I wouldn't call cursing 'classy,' but I don't think cursing negates the classy traits a person otherwise has. I curse a lot and I don't think I'm particularly vulgar or unladylike. It's just another part of me.


On another note, I'm so glad you made a distinction between swear words and offensive words - I agree with you 100% on avoiding words that will hurt people in legitimate ways.