Why is it said that the most powerful weapon used to destroy a society is that which damages society’s language? And the word that we cannot abandon- what is their importance in our lives?
Have you ever wondered?
Did you ever think that sexual organs might be getting a raw deal, due to wrong conditionings, general misperceptions and pressures? For example the swearwords that you all, women and men, keep hurling about, without giving a single thought or realize what it might cost…your swearwords by which you put your sexual organs carelessly in use…
Primarily, it is inevitable to understand the formation of swearwords, in order to understand the formation of the language of sexuality. If I were to ask my male readers, “Is making love a good action,” the answer would naturally be “Yes, of course.” Then, how come the words and organs that you use in this good action, could come out of your mouth- without even considering- when you hate someone or when you get furious? You might well say, “Those are not the same,” but you do realize that you use the same words when you’re swearing as well as when you’re in bed, and it is not only the other party, but also you hear these words in both situations. This is quite contradictory, don’t you think?
For thousands of years, the male dominant culture has placed restraints upon women in order to maintain man’s rulership over women. When it wasn’t enough, they’ve penalized women. When that wasn’t enough, they’ve burnt women with accusations of witchcraft, and have stoned them with accusations of immorality. And today, they’ve imposed swearwords to everyday language, which is inevitably connected to sexuality, as a means of violence and armament. Sadly, women haven’t only accepted this armament that has been inserted in between their bodies and sexuality, but they’ve also become used to it.
If we consider the usage of abusive and degrading words referring to the sexual organs and sexual acts in many languages, we will immediately see the approach of that culture to sexuality. Even though it is hard to know the exact time period when the word “fuck” entered common usage, we can see that it entered poetry and literature as early as the 15th century.
Today, the dysphemistic meaning of “fuck” is usually to indicate pain, fear, disgust, disappointment, fury, hatred, frustration and so on. Today many people claim, that there is no connection to the sexual meaning of the word “fuck” in this usage and it is used to express annoyance, reaction, contempt, or impatience.
The word “fucker” can be used in a sympathetic context. A few common uses to show affection would be for example: “He is a funny little fucker”, “That one is a smart fucker.” On the other hand the word can also refer to someone who is rude, obnoxious, or mean in another context, for example: “The world is full of fuckers like ‘em.”
Confusingly in some cases “fuck” can be used instead of the word “fucker,” which will refer to the sexual ability of a person, for example: “My ex was a good fuck” or “He was the worst fuck I’ve ever had.”
Also another slang mostly common in American culture is “motherfucker,” which originally meant what it says, "one who has sex with their own mother," dating way back to the 1300's when it was considered the highest sin--higher than murder--to sleep with ones own mother. Historically, it was a vicious taunt, a damning insult. Literally, it accuses one of violating, perhaps the oldest taboo known to humankind, incest. The power of the word was that it attacked one's sense of manhood and honor.
Regardless of its historical or cultural context, many consider motherfucker the mother of all curse words.
Today, regardless of its incest meaning, most of the time used it is without any meaning, just to be an epithet in a sentence. It can mean absolutely nothing and absolutely everything at the same time.
Should such word, which has such abusive historical background to be tolerable in any context and to be used in any situation to anyone, be acceptable?
Whilst swearwords designate the hegemony of the men on the street, the intensity of the swearwords designates the degree of the violence of this hegemony.
Have you ever wondered why you cannot use the words “cunt” and “dick” when you are referring to your own?
Why do you think these two words are perceived as perfect for slang or swearwords? Why do they startle you every time you hear them?
How come we can easily say “sexual organ,” but if we say “cunt” or “dick,” it becomes an issue…?”
However, if the words “cunt” and “dick,” were used naturally in women’s language, instead of being used as weapons in the arsenal of swearwords, they would help to stop the alienation of women from their sexuality and bodies and serve as a wakeup call for men as well.
One could ask, but then, why can’t we use “vagina” or “penis,” rather than “cunt” and “dick”?
The words “vagina” and “penis” have a function anatomically. They’re accepted medical terms and so they don’t carry the tension of sexuality. That’s why they’re easy to use. Did you ever hear a guy in bed saying, “I’d like to place my penis in your vagina?”
Swearwords cause miscoding too. We’re not coded with the words “vagina” and “penis.” We’re coded with “cunt” and “dick.” So now we need to make those words belong to us. By re-gendering the language, making it female, we can disarm one of the most effective weapons in the armory of the male dominant culture.
Whenever a man swears at a woman, he actually defiles her body and sexuality. And when a woman swears at a man, she actually alienates herself from her body by imitating the male dominant hegemony. Be sure that how much a man swears shows the degree of his problems of being a man and how much a woman swears shows how much she hates her womanhood.
Meltem Arıkan is a Turkish novelist and playwright. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect the Minors from Obscene Publications, with the accusation of "Writing about the non-existing incest fact in Turkey, attempting to disturb the Turkish family order with a feminist approach.” The ban was lifted after two months and Arıkan has been awarded with “Freedom of Idea and Statement Prize 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association. She published her 9th novel in 2009. Stop Hurting My Flesh was recently republished in Turkish and will be published in English in 2014.
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