Maybe I had been contemplating the truth of “Who Wore it Best” for too long, but as I was perusing a tabloid, this factoid really startled me: in the turn-offs for men the magazine had carefully ranked, swearing came in at number one. “F*ck,” was my first thought. Despite my mother’s pleas against such un-lady-like language, I curse like a sailor. Most of my female friends also throw around these cursed four letter words as often as any males I know, with a few exceptions. So, what has made us Gen-Y ladies so comfortable with something regarded as so classless, even demeaning, by our parents as swearing and why are guys so uncomfortable with it?
I’m not a women’s studies scholar. I like shaving my legs and wearing shoes that aren’t made out of rubber. I do, however, live in a house with one hundred women and browse my Twitter feed hourly, so I feel qualified to say the most recent movement in feminism has been the rise of the powerful, brutally honest, raunchy, witty, woman. Yes, I’m talking Chelsea Handler, Betches Love This, Bridesmaids, Adele and the other pop culture icons who give fellow females the OK to throw out their filter and talk (and swear) openly, oftentimes harshly, about sex, alcohol and well, just about everything. With such ventures achieving great success while discussing what was taboo twenty years ago, in a manner that was taboo five years ago, they send a message to the 18-30 crowd that it’s not only acceptable, but also pretty cool to talk in the same way. The media has made it clear that having a conversation about how sh*tty it is that a friend with benefits wants to date, for example, is not just for the bros anymore.
These girls might not have shot to the top had social media not blown up at the same time, giving society a platform to share intimate, excessive details about daily life with literally the world. If you’ve never scrolled through your Facebook homepage and found statuses littered with DeEp QUoTeZZ or caps locked rants, you either didn’t go to public high school or are just lucky. We post pictures of food and tweet about bad days as if all of our “friends” have never seen a stuffed mushroom and would love to hear a one hundred forty character description of how hard it is to get up in the morning. As our generation has become accustomed to this very weird, very public form of TMI, females, it seems, have become more apt to accept the straightforward, real, dirty humor the aforementioned pop culture icons bring to the table.
Females aren’t just sharing this newfound openness about typically taboo subjects in the entertainment sector, either. The recent Rush Limbaugh controversy highlights how women are taking this new form of what I call feminism and using it to empower political debates. Part of Sandra Fluke’s testimony supporting contraception coverage in insurance champions its use even if it is simply taken to prevent pregnancy. This seems like a pretty obvious justification for contraception, but voicing such an opinion is still apparently off-limits in part of the boys’ world.
By swearing our way through crude humor and sexual empowerment, some may say the playing field has been leveled a little too much between women and men. After all, the quickest way to the friend zone is becoming one of the boys. Where is the line between enough and too much? If we continue to be fed a constant stream of things we’ve never wanted to know while laughing out loud at the relatable, bold humor of Betches, are we subconsciously becoming too open? Should we all be holding back in an effort to bring out our inner ladies in hopes of attracting a gentleman? Fuck if I know.