Censorship: Explicit Content

When is the right time to shut the fuck up?

Censorship: Explicit Content
photo credit: engadget

Censorship is considered a controversial topic to some. Me? I want no part in it.

No, fuck that. I’ve been feeling totally ostracized by censorship as of late.

Growing up, we understand that when it comes to social etiquette and behavior, you adjust accordingly. Some have never been given that lesson and are still convinced that swear words like “fuck” “shit” and “son-of-a-bitch” are bad, unnecessary, uncalled for and absurd.

Certainly not a way for a young lady to express herself. Gag me. One of these days, my eyes will roll so far back, I’ll see into the depths of the infinite galaxies of the universe that everybody’s always on about.

I’m not an idiot. I’d never openly use these words to speak to a professor, a boss or a medical professional. I would, however, use it on social media, a place I had once felt confident enough to be able to speak my mind and say how I feel.

Few checkpoints before I continue to piss off any judgemental judy’s.

Am I being malicious? No.

Am I being belligerent? No.

Am I trying to be in any way, shape or form derogatory towards anyone and possibly hurt their feelings? No.

My intentions, when using foul language, is never that. What people seem to forget is that swear words are just that--words.

Swearing is a part of every linguistic culture. Without it, the concept of conveying emotion, be it excitement or vulgarity, would not exist. We’d live in a robotronic, mundane and bland existence. The world as we know it would become a snooze fest. Some would argue that it’d allow our brains to dig a little bit deeper and explore other vocabulary, expanding our abilities to speak more eloquently, gracefully and with poise.

Once again, fuck. that.

Do you, as a free human being, want to be told how to express yourself?

Or how about this. Do you, as a free human being, want to be silenced?

The answers to both of these questions, from me, are a unifying no. I do not wish to be told how to express myself as a “young lady” and I do not want to be silenced as a result of my deviance towards said orders. Yet, both of these things have happened and continue to happen to me.

Why?

Your guess is as good as mine. So here are some facts regarding people who swear too much and defy censorship:

According to many studies conducted by scientists and behavioral psychologists, swearing is directly linked with a higher ability to communicate, thereby being highly intelligent.

Many people choose to swear in different contexts and for different reasons. Psychologists tried to understand when and why people choose to swear.

According to an article from Science Alert, to challenge the stereotype that foul language is used by the unintelligent and illiterate, psychologists laid out a verbal fluency test. Volunteers are asked to think of as many words as they can in the span of one minute and then asked specifically to think of as many curse words as possible in the span of one minute.

The results indicated that there is a correlation that swearing isn’t a sign of low intelligence or not possessing enough words to fully convey emotions. In fact, volunteers who scored high on the verbal test also aced the swearing component. On the contrary, the volunteers who scored low on the verbal also scored low on the swearing portion of the test.

Now, in more simpler terms, if you are someone who tends to swear more often, you’re articulate, which means that your communication skills are stellar.

Some uses of swearing go past regular day-to-day communication. They can be therapeutic and serve as a natural pain relief after a long day at work. They can be poetic. They can be sung in lyrics to transcend an anecdote of a struggle that has long been forgotten. Most importantly, however, they can gauge into how we are feeling and why we’re feeling a certain way.

So, now, imagine my surprise when I expressed myself quite explicitly on a public forum, a social media thread within a group, that had ultimately bashed me for saying what I believed was appropriate for the given context and then blocked my ability to further comment. It was a proverbial “fuck-you” masked as a virtual duck-tape over my mouth.

You’re not allowed to speak. Your words don’t matter. Your emotions are invalid. You have no right to say that.

That, my friends, is censorship.

The context: An unsupervised child gets bitten by a coyote. The headline of the article is obviously provoking.

We’ve seen this before. Unsupervised children wander off because they’re curious and rebellious. They want to feel free. They want to feel in control. They want to feel empowered.

So, they scurry off from their leash and out of sight to come face to face with a wild animal; albeit by climbing over a cage or from a distance. The outcome is pretty much congruent no matter who the child is. A wild animal’s instinct is to attack.

The child gets hurt and the public demands action from local authorities and calls to action animal control.

This all ends bad. A poor, innocent animal is euthanized for following their primal instinct. The dumb kid gets a lollipop and a pat on the back for being brave.

My comment: Watch your fucking kids. El-fucking-fin. This is why so many animals are euthanized for no fucking reason.

Throughout the thread that had been created underneath my comment were people who choose to call me clueless, saying that the coyote deserves it for hurting the child, and that I shouldn’t post judgment on parents.

Having read through them all, I explained that while I may not have been there, I still believe that a parent is a hundred percent held accountable for what happens to their child when they’re not looking. End of story.

I’ve made my point and was adamant about sticking to it. Half way through defending myself, my ability to further comment was blocked by an admin. Not once did I swear at them or to them, I was merely defending my state of heightened emotions given the circumstances.

Suffice to say, I left that group.

Social media can be a scary, manipulative place but one thing we should never be scared to do is express how we feel in a given moment. Conveying emotion, whether in prose or not, should be allowed.

You’re allowed to be angry. You’re allowed to speak. Your words matter. And you have every right to say how you feel especially if you have facts backing your argument up or if you’ve seen something/experienced something first hand.

The lesson: Curse words are words. They're meant for you to express how you feel. Don’t ever let anyone duck tape your mouth in the name of censorship....even if it is in the most virtual sense.

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Paulina Pachel
Paulina Pachel
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Paulina Pachel

I am an intricate mix of flavors and you'll get a taste of them through my writing pieces; versatility and vulnerability go together like a fresh-baked croissant+coffee.

See all posts by Paulina Pachel