Feminists like to cuss too! But some cuss words are misogynist, some are deliberately feminist, and others are in the process of being reclaimed. What's a feminist to do?
This is a brief field guide to cussing the feminist way. User beware - if you piss people off, and say, "But Geek Feminism said I could say that," we'll just laugh at you.
- Douche, douchebag, douchenozzle, etc. - douches are unnecessary tools of the patriarchy, fuck them
- Cockbiter - instead of cocksucker (or sucking references in general like "that sucks"), which makes the act of giving a blow job shameful. It's worth noting that the swear word is popularized by the web series Red vs. Blue, which has many of the same problems as South Park.
Try to avoidEdit
- Any form of fuck that assumes penetration is a bad thing for the receptive partner
- Flippant references to rape - sexual assault survivors are everywhere, and may particularly not appreciate being reminded of that because someone lost badly at a computer game (for example).
Unless you're making fun of people who use these words in a sexist way...
- Bugger (homophobic)
Reclaiming is done by people who are in the group who are disparaged by the word. If you aren't a woman, it's best to refrain from using it. If you are a woman, wait until women have made progress on reclaiming it.
- Cunt - worth noting that it is being reclaimed as a term to describe one's genitals, not as a description of a person.
Open for discussionEdit
- Motherfucker - gender specific, but based on incest taboo rather than patriarchy?
- Fuck in general - has several meanings and usages, some of which are misogynist and some of which are not
- Dick and friends:
- Associates a specific body part with patriarchy-related badness; body-shaming isn't feminist.
- On the other hand, cis men are in power. Perhaps these words will lose their charge when patriarchy is overthrown.
- On the third hand, some women, and some people who don't identify as men or as women, have penises. Associating penises with negative things is potentially damaging to trans women and trans*femme people, who are socially vulnerable (whereas cis men are not). It also has the potential to reinforce the false equivalence between cis male privilege and the possession of a penis.
- casts patriarchal aspersions on the conduct of (all of) the individual's parents
- refers to a historically disempowered social position (ineligible for inherited power)
- used to describe callous and cruel behavior unrelated to parentage
- can be used to compliment particularly audacious awesomeness, as in "magnificent bastard"
People using these may hurt or affront people with religious beliefs (many of whom are not clearly empowered, although the institution of their belief may be):
- God's teeth
- Christ on a crutch (and variants)
- piss off