Laura Donovan
April 10, 2014 8:00 am

I’m not a hardcore feminist, but absolutely nothing bothers me more than the suggestion to act “ladylike.” What does that even mean anyway? Because if it entails going to cotillion or a debutante ball or something, well, that ship has most certainly sailed.

A person I trust once said it was “unbecoming” of a female like me to use foul language, and on the few occasions I’ve dropped the “f” bomb or another four-letter word on Twitter, followers (all male, of course) who’ve never actually met me were quick to joke, “Wow! Never thought I’d live to see Laura become a potty mouth.” I never thought I’d live to see the day when folks who have no idea what I’m actually like tell me I’m behaving out of character and oh-so-adorable for spewing expletives. Because aren’t girls so cute when they’re angry?!

Though I’m not offended by the “f” word in most settings, I do believe you have to watch what you say at times. If you’re interviewing for a job or watching children, you should speak carefully, but otherwise it can be cathartic and totally necessary to resort to bad language. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to curse, and if anyone criticizes you for swearing when all other words fail you, feel free to give him/her an earful on my behalf.

7. We’re human

We are the ladies, as Shoshanna Shapiro would say, and sometimes it’s impossible to pretend everything is going swimmingly. She throws fits when life takes a turn for the worse and I just shout a bunch of things that some men would label “unbecoming.”

6. It sends a strong message if you rarely curse

If you choose not to swear very often, those who know you best understand you’re really upset when you do say bad words.

5. It’s brief

An English professor explained to me that people are drawn to four-letter words because of the way they sound. Typically one-syllable, they’re short and to the point, and when you have the urge to curse, you’re not interested in giving long-winded explanations on your frustrations. The “f” bomb encapsulates it perfectly.

4. It shows you’re not a doormat or too soft

You’re not messing around!

3. It’s an easy way to show how you’re feeling

Someone once told me that profanities are a sign of ignorance. “If you’re not intelligent enough to think of a more descriptive phrase, you’re not very smart,” and blah, blah, blah. We know plenty of other words that accurately portray negative feelings, but we want to employ this one right now, and chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve ever heard it. I don’t believe in getting a rise out of people, but if I’m unhappy about something and decide to call out some B.S., the last thing I want to be told is, “Watch your mouth.” THAT’S NOT THE POINT!

2. It’s better than actual violence

It’s always better to vocalize your turmoil than act on it, so the next time your computer freezes up or driving puts you in a bad place, swear and be done with it. Don’t hurt anything or anyone.

1. Even Ralphie from A Christmas Story is guilty of it

Look, no one is perfect. Not even the adorable blonde kid in A Christmas Story. After saying the unfiltered version of “oh fudge,” he is punished with a mouthful of soap, but if you’re out of the house, you don’t have to worry about this. Just annoying boys who think ladies should be “above” swearing.

Here’s what I have to say to that: nobody is above foul language 100 percent of the time, not even my adorable 90-year-old Irish grandmother in Boston. How else could the woman raise five boys? How else could anyone get anything done without the occasional swear word? If you know, share your secret in the comments section.

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