>The topic of swearing is on my mind lately. In addition to polishing off my book about unusual things to see and do in NYC (which, in all of its 42,000 or so words, does not include one swear - can you believe it?!?), I'm working on a writing portfolio to submit as part of my graduate writing program applications. It's a story about the (in retrospect) hilarious awfulness of puberty. Not surprisingly, I developed a foul mouth at a young age. Although I was otherwise a wimp, my willingness to say really bad words made me at least a little bit intimidating. Kids build the best defense systems they can. Swearing became an odd badge of pride, and I only got more creative with my cursing over time.

However, in a funny post about swearing by Heather over at BlogHer, she cites a study that finds that women are penalized for swearing. The study found:

The study also points to gender issues and an apparent double standard of men's swearing compared with women's cursing. "Female swearers are often perceived to be of a low moral standing," the researchers noted. Men, on the other hand, can generate reverence from swearing, though they tend to tone down the use of profanity in front of women.

Can you believe that fucking shit? Motherfuckers revere men for their creative use of swearing, but bitches like me get fucked for calling someone a assfuck shitbrain? Low moral standing my ass. And if any cockface thinks that he needs to temper his language for my tender ears, he can suck my big fat dick. If that is not a big steaming pile of maggot infested shit, I don't know what is.

Actually, I think I got away with swearing at work because I look so sweet and innocent. Instead of responding to my inappropriate comments with horror, my co-workers found it amusing that such invective emanated from my little face. By the end of my tenure at my last job, I was completely out of control with the shit that came from my tongue. That was as much the result of my utter frustration as anything else, but I was curious how much shit I could say before anyone called me on it. No one ever told me to tone it down. Interesting.