Saturday, July 7, 2012

Namby Pamby

So, evidently most of the world does not act like the people I know. It's easy to forget that, because it all seems very real to me, but then I get those weird looks. But those who do know the same kinds of people that I know, or who at least have a vague idea of the kinds of things I like to discuss on here, may have at some point in their lives come across a counter-cultural gripe that women have taken over a lot of stuff that men actually like to do. This complaint includes everything from having a job to opening our own doors. Where are all the ladies, they keep asking. Why can't you just be more feminine and leave the guy stuff to us. You're taking away our masculine identity. You don't have to be so strong all the time; let us feel a bit needed, etc.

Well, I don't think of myself as particularly strong, either physically or emotionally, but if there's one thing I can probably put up with without falling onto a fainting couch, it's swearing. I rarely swear. Occasionally I indulge in some B-grade scatological terms, generally inspired by some of the same things I write about on here, but I try to avoid letting it become a habit. There's too many other ways to make a point. When I hear other people swearing, quite frankly it doesn't bother me as much as it used to.

Now, some might say, a lady should set the standard. Even if she's not actually horrified, deep down inside, by hearing an F-bomb, she should be offended by the idea of vulgar speech being used around women. Yes, I do find this idea appealing. I'm shamelessly in favor of this particular aspect of the double standard--on some level, I believe that it's manly for men to swear, and it's more manly for men to refrain from swearing around women.

"Manly" is a dumb word that always makes me think of Almanzo Wilder, but bear with me here.


This attitude is further complicated by having lived for fifteen months with a female friend who swore like a proverbial sailor, which I found really amusing, and by the fact that I don't think any less of men who don't swear out of a personal preference.


However. 


There's something truly nausea-inducing about men who fall on fainting couches of their own over hearing a few swear words. Seriously, why don't you just put on a pair of high heels and a string of pearls while you're at it. A man who objects to swearing in the presence of ladies out of respect for their pretend-or-otherwise fragility is a hero; a man who objects to swearing because his ears are burning is a bit of a transvestite.

And here it is.

It's not that I don't think these men are entitled to their own opinion, but it just takes away all the motivation to put on one of those little shows that, in some small, feminine way, makes the world just an eensy bit more civilized. It's like, if I'm painting my nails, I don't like to find out that the guy I'm going out with has also worn nail polish.* Seriously, guys, just let us have that, especially if you're the type who bemoans the supposed lack of femininity in the world. At the very least pretend that you're doing it for the sake of the women and children, even if you're genuinely shocked by the language you hear. That way we can keep up our end of the delusion, and won't get a queasy feeling that you're actually more feminine than we are. It's hard to for us to be the girls if you're being the girls. Thanks a million.

*True story. Clear, and he claimed that it kept him from biting his nails, but still. I blame too much David Bowie...but still.

5 comments:

  1. This is cracking me up.

    And now, I need to retreat to my man cave to drink some beer, clean a gun, and watch a David Mamet movie, dammit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha,

    Yes, it's not exactly 'manly' is it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think both sexes should try to watch their language around each other--because mingled sexes is often what creates highly charged social situations, and a highly charged social situation is when language is most likely to descend into a boring patois of curses.

    With that said, I swear like a French sailor when I'm angry (which is often) and I don't think I could take a man very seriously who started calling for his smelling salts.

    ReplyDelete