Let’s ad­mit it’s not about ‘the word’

It’s the pa­tri­ar­chal rules about women curs­ing Trump that are truly ob­scene

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Vi­nay Menon

We will never have equal­ity un­til any woman is free to call any man a motherf--ker.

And as we start 2019, still reel­ing from 2018, that vul­gar­ity has stormed the news cy­cle. First, in­com­ing U.S. Con­gress­woman Rashida Tlaib made head­lines on Thurs­day when, hours af­ter she was sworn in to Congress, she used it to re­fer to U.S. pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, vow­ing to “im­peach the motherf-ker.”

Then on Satur­day, in the con­text of Tlaib’s us­age, for­mer prime min­is­ter Kim Camp­bell retweeted a story about Trump, ad­ding, “He re­ally IS a motherf--ker!”

In both cases, the out­rage was swift as a cav­al­cade of the mor­tally of­fended — mostly men, it should be noted — fanned their faces and re­coiled to their faint­ing chairs.

Such lan­guage! Such dis­re­spect! Such a new low!

To which I can only say: such a crock.

Over the last 40 years, if I had to guess, scores of de­cent and good-man­nered peo­ple have ditched po­lite dis­course and con­fi­dently de­clared Trump a motherf--ker. For­mer prime min­is­ter Kim Camp­bell got at­ten­tion on Twit­ter this month by re­fer­ring to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump by a cer­tain foul ep­i­thet.

To for­mer as­so­ci­ates he swin­dled, he was a motherf-ker. To con­trac­tors he stiffed, he was a motherf--ker. To students who paid for fake ed­u­ca­tions at Trump Uni­ver­sity, he was a motherf--ker. Did you ever taste Trump Vodka? That swill could only come from a motherf--ker who does not drink.

To his ex-wives and mis­tresses, Trump re­mains the mother of all motherf--kers.

You know what ex­as­per­ated of­fi­cials think af­ter they re­sign

or are fired from this Dump­ster fire of an ad­min­is­tra­tion: “Well, at least I’m done with that motherf--ker.”

Give Me­la­nia Trump a shot of truth serum, hold up a pic­ture of her hus­band and then stand back as she re­peat­edly shouts, “MOTHERF--KER!”

Let’s get real here. If Trump doesn’t qual­ify as a motherf-ker, who does?

Look, I have kids in mid­dle school. This is a fam­ily news­pa­per. I’d much pre­fer if “motherf--ker” were not the sub­ject of this dis­patch. But the Ox­ford Dic­tionary de­fines the term as “a de­spi­ca­ble or very un­pleas­ant per­son or thing.”

And if the slur fits ...

At this point, Trump should just change his name to Motherf--ker. It would be eas­ier for ev­ery­one. Even his most ar­dent sup­port­ers, deep in their con­flicted hearts, know he’s a motherf--ker. That’s what they love about him: “That motherf--ker is re­ally stick­ing it to lib­er­als and im­mi­grants. Good for that motherf--ker. Drain the swamp, motherf--ker. Build the wall, motherf--ker. Dis­tort my re­al­ity, motherf--ker. At­tack the MSM, motherf-ker. Tell me an­other com­fort­ing lie, motherf--ker.”

So it’s not the word, per se, that’s the prob­lem here.

Motherf--ker has been part of the lex­i­con since the late 19th cen­tury. It was one of the seven dirty words in George Car­lin’s 1972 bit on lan­guage you can’t use on tele­vi­sion. It ap­peared in lit­er­a­ture years be­fore that, in­clud­ing books by Norman Mailer and Kurt Von­negut. But through­out the 20th cen­tury, as the word slowly crept into pop­u­lar cul­ture there was a cu­ri­ous side ef­fect: it was usu­ally a man say­ing it.

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