Episode 47: How to Curse Like a F*cking Lady
Why is cursing still considered so effing unladylike, and how does swearing affect how women are heard? Caroline and Cristen decode the unspoken gender in our taboo talk with Australian linguist Kate Burridge who knows pretty much everything you’d ever wanna know about allegedly ‘filthy’ language. Then, Egyptian-American feminist author Mona Eltahawy flexes the patriarchy-smashing power of profanity.
Correction: In a slip of the tongue, we originally referred to Rep. Rashida Tlaib as a “representative from Minnesota.” While we know Minnesotians probably love her too, we’ve corrected that portion so the representative is properly represented as Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
More from Kate Burridge
More from Mona Eltahawy
Austrew, Ashley. Why Can’t Women Swear? Dictionary.com
Burridge, Kate. The ‘c-word’ may be the last swearing taboo, but doesn’t shock like it used to. The Conversation. Feb. 17, 2016.
Byrne, Emily. Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language. W.W. Norton & Co., 2018.
Bryne, Emily. There’s a Swearing Double Standard—and Women Can Change It. Elle. March 21, 2018.
Dehn, Justin. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke lets f-bombs fly on the campaign trail. The Texas Tribune. Sept. 28, 2017.
Eltahawy, Mona. I wear to make the patriarchy uncomfortable. And I’m proud of it. NBC News. May 6, 2018.
Fagersten, Kristy Beers. Who’s Swearing Now? The Social Aspects of Conversational Swearing. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.
Gauthier, Michael. Profanity and Gender: a diachronic analysis of men's and women's use and perception of swear words. Thesis, Universite Lumiere Lyon.
Gauthier, Michael and Adrien Guille. Gender and age differences in swearing: A corpus study of Twitter. From Advances in Swearing Research: New languages and new contexts, ed. Kristy Beers Fägersten and Karyn Stapleton. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017.
Kelly, John. The Erotic Rabbits of Easter. Slate. April 5, 2016.
Khan, Shehab. Women use the F-word more than men, according to new survey. Independent. Nov. 7, 2016.
Mohr, Melissa. Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Power, Lis et al. Rep. Rashida Tlaib cursing got 5 times more coverage on cable news than Rep. Steve King embracing white supremacy. Media Matters. Jan. 11, 2019.
Risch, Barbara. Women’s derogatory terms for men: That’s right, “dirty” words. Language in Society. Vol. 16, No. 3. 1987.
Steinmetz, Katy. Swearing Is Scientifically Proven to Help You *%$!ing Deal. TIME. Dec. 15, 2016.
Stephens, Richard et al. Swearing as a Response to Pain. Neuroreport. Vol. 20, No. 12. September 2009.
Uyehara, Mari. Women Politicians Should Swear More. GQ. Jan. 8, 2019.
Wiles, Kate. Swearing: The Fascinating History of Our Favorite Four-Letter Words. The New Republic. Feb. 22, 2014.
Wong, Kristin. The Case for Cursing. The New York Times. July 27, 2017.