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.
Try to avoid
- 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).
Open for discussion
- 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
- Masturbation - the implication that only losers have to masturbate because winners can get sex whenever they want ties into so much patriarchal bullshit.
- 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)
Scatological & bodily secretions
- shat the bed
- shit yourself sideways
- piss off
- Smegma (which can affect all mammals with genitals)
Threats & Violence