When I was thirteen, I said fuck for the first time.
I was really super impressed with myself. I was such an adult! And saying it felt so succinct, so right.
Seventeen years later, I still swear when I feel like it. I’ve also worked for and with massive corporations, and held customer facing jobs where I won titles and awards like “best customer support” and “zero escalations.”
Here’s the thing about that:
Bad words don’t equal bad service, or a bad attitude.
Swearing doesn’t make me:
And, when I choose to swear in my business, it doesn’t put me at a disadvantage, or a lower level of professionalism than those around me.
Don’t even get me STARTED on swearing not being a ~ladylike thing to do.
When it comes down to it, I swear in my business because I swear in real life.
The long version of this is:
When I first started blogging, back when the internet was still in black and white, I tried real hard to be like everyone else. Even in the last few years, I’ve made a real effort at being that #GirlBoss I saw all over Pinterest and in Facebook Groups.
It felt hollow and insincere. As the last shadows of 2015 were disappearing over my head, I had a sudden moment of clarity: I HATED what I was doing.
Everything felt forced. Fake. It didn’t feel like me at all. I could have replaced my face with any woman from a stock photo site, and the message would have been exactly the same.
That isn’t the heart I wanted for myself or my business. I deserve more than that. My business deserves more than that. So, slowly, word by word, I began to strip the old content that sounded like it was written by some buzzword filled ~Instagram addict, and I began to use my own – natural – voice instead.
Suddenly I wasn’t writing for someone else’s business. I wasn’t trying to fill the void. I was being myself for the first time in a long time, and it felt right.
And did you know that, in all 300 words of this article so far, I’ve only said fuck once?
I don’t swear to give em the old razzle dazzle, and I don’t swear to make myself seem quirky or hardcore.
In fact, I think the one feeling that connects us all as human beings, is the feeling of smashing our baby toe in the dead of the night, and having that immediate gut-reaction of fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
Okay, now I’ve sworn three times. Four if you count all those extra U’s.
The Double Standard
I don’t want to trash women in business, or any woman at all.
That being said, I do have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to women and swearing.
Two chips, in fact. Let’s go with the chip on my left shoulder first.
You know those women who say sugar and fudge instead of shit or fuck?
We all know that person. I’m picturing my sugar-and-fudge lady right now.
EVERYONE KNOWS what words you’re substituting those ~sweet treats for. In my opinion, your intention behind a word is the same thing as saying the actual word.
So, I get not wanting to swear. I do. But if you’re going to substitute similar sounding words for the actual swear word, you’re still putting that fuck-and-shit vibe out. You’re just covering it with something that would get through a swear word filter.
In fact, I would even say it’s a little insincere.
Now let’s get to the chip on my right shoulder.
In my experience, women love to judge other women for pretty much anything. I try not to, but sometimes I do it, too. My clothes are nicer than hers. I have a prettier face than she does. I’m not as brash as she is.
I don’t swear like she does.
Judging others makes us feel better about ourselves: that’s one of the reasons we do it. I have definitely been held under the “I’m a nicer person than you are because I don’t swear” thumb. I’m also familiar with such sentiments as “ladies don’t talk like that” and “you should be better than that.”
Actually, asshole, we’re both terrible people. I am a lady, and I am good.
Swearing is not an indication of character, in the same way swearing is not an indication of class, race, intelligence or ineptitude. Swearing is not an indication of how successful I am, or how trustworthy my word is.
It’s just another part of me. Just like everything else that makes my personality mine.
But I don’t like it!
That’s fine, I don’t like you, either.
Just kidding – I like you like a stranger. I’m sure if we got to know each other, we’d be friends.
If you don’t like swear words, that’s fine. I understand there are different things for different people: using this type of language just happens to be mine.
That being said, that doesn’t mean I have to change my business or my vocabulary. I’m not going to bully you into saying something you’re not comfortable with; I’m going to close my browser tab, and continue on my merry way.
This is the internet, guys. You can find a blog or content creator that suits you.
There’s someone out there for everyone (aww!) and there are things I avoid, too. I would make you a list, but that would be contradictory and Burn Book-y.