Taboo: Swear-Words and Shame

On a very deep and fundamental level human society is built on shame. I don’t know how this state of affairs came to be but I am quite sure that what most people call rearing or bringing up children is a process whereby they make a human ashamed of themselves. Not ashamed of themselves for doing something abnormal or damaging another person but ashamed of themselves for being human.

Just look at the words we tell our children off for uttering: shit, cunt, dick, fuck! All those words are words for natural human functions. Poo, Vagina, Penis, Sex are all OK to say but there are ways of saying them that would get a child punished! What are we teaching our kids here? That there is something seedy and taboo about going to the toilet?

I mean how much damage do you think this does to a child? The movie “Carrie” – though an extreme example – is literally what most parents do to their child taken to its logical conclusion. Imagine how many children have suffered sexual abuse for any length of time because they were ashamed about it and that shame is inculcated!

Sure these words are used to express hatred but there are legitimate ways of expressing hatred. You can just say “I hate you”. Most people would be more shocked if you said “You cunt!”. I mean what’s going on here? The meaning – the intention – behind each utterance is the same. Each could be said with the same intensity but if you say a word which means a part of a woman’s anatomy – a pleasure center of all things! – people are aghast whereas if you don’t they’re not despite any difference in meaning?

There is something extremely perverse going on here and it has nothing to do with bodily functions or human behaviors. That words are taboo is the perversity. There is something wrong with it because it inculcates shame at a deep almost subliminal level.

And the things we deem as taboo! I mean I could understand it if words like punch, hurt, hate or ugly were taboo (though it would still be silly) but words that describe the act of procreation? The physical manifestation of love? To make such things taboo is sick!


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