In the last week, I have been language policed twice.
Now, many of you know that I am very liberal with the swears so perhaps you are surprised that it’s only twice in the last week.
Regardless of the quantity (nevermind the quality) of my swearing, it’s really none of their business unless I am swearing AT them or their children. I will even concede swearing in front of their children.
Neither of these instances were that.
Let me give you some context.
In the first instance, I posted my article, Why I Homeschool, on a bilingual homeschooling Facebook group. Keep in mind, I post my Chinese and homeschool related blog posts there approximately twice a week and have been for the last 2-3 years.
I do not edit my posts for this group and many of them contain curse words – often times, MUCH more than the two F-bombs I had in the Why I Homeschool post.
I have never had a problem. Not once. Not even a whisper or private message saying, “You know, perhaps you should lay off the swears.”
Well, that is, until last week.
In the comment section of the post, I see this:
Quite frankly, I’m amazed that I had the self-control to not write something scathing back. But you know what? I recognize that she does not like swear words. That is her right. And I also recognize that my blog is not for her. That’s fine. Not everyone needs to like my blog or find it useful.
I accept that.
But then, she goes and insults and personally attacks me and everyone who was not offended by my post and possibly, even liked it. And not only that, when confronted by multiple people, including the admins, she doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled down with really questionable logic and then left the group in a self-righteous huff.
Of course she is a Trump supporter.
Trump and his normal human behavior in public is acceptable to her but my two uses of the F word in regards to white supremacy and my kids being woke as fuck on my own private site are NOT.
The amount of self-righteous hypocrisy is astounding.
Look. It’s not as if I walked into her living room and dropped F bombs at her and her children. It was on MY site. I left a LINK. Where it is generally common knowledge that the internet MAY HAVE SWEARS.
Furthermore, as a friend said, is using curse words to express myself worse than insulting others with zero curse words? Because saying that discerning people would not like a blog that uses curse words is actually insulting, to both me, the writer, and the people who enjoy the blog.
It was intended as an insult.
I would further break down her fallacious arguments, but why? WE ALL HAVE EYES AND BRAINS.
Plus, she pulled in another person and between the two of them, advised me on how to use my words and be a better parent. Clearly, they did not take the hint that yes, it’s possible for other people to have different opinions – even on the subject of curse words and their appropriateness on the internet, for children, and as a human.
I am not providing screenshots of the second person because later, they messaged me and apologized – which I appreciate. Personally, I find it hard to admit when I do something shitty or wrong or inappropriate – let alone apologize to a total stranger on the internet. So, I absolutely appreciate her apology. It took guts.
Anyhow, back to the drama.
Keep in mind, the main reasons I did not eviscerate either of these women in the comments were because:
1) I do not want people to think I am an asshole.
I mean, I am an asshole. (And if this post is any clue, I’m petty as fuck and DON’T YOU FORGET IT. Also? I KEEP RECEIPTS.)
But at that point, public opinion was most likely on my side, me being the victim of this sanctimonious eyeroll of a human.
However, if I annihilated her publicly on Facebook, she becomes the victim.
THAT CANNOT BE TOLERATED.
So, I screamed and vented and came up with scathing commentary to my friends, but in public, I did not.
Side Note: I don’t believe in doxxing or ruining someone on the internet (unless they’re a white supremacist – then by all means, doxx the shit out of them) so I have blurred out her name and her kid’s face (because I’m not a savage). But since I also believe in public shaming, I have kept her face in tact.
2) My friends were the admins and I did not want to put them in the awkward position of having to delete my comments or even remove me from the group.
I know from personal experience that administrating Facebook groups is no fun. There was no need to make their lives harder.
3) I would have felt awesome temporarily and then I would feel like an asshole. But by then, everyone else would also know that I was an asshole so even deleting my comments or posts would be too late.
Yes, I realize that this is mostly a regurgitation of Point 1 and not really true remorse.
What can I say? I’m shallow.
I thought this instance was a one off situation until the other day, on another Facebook group, someone posted an example of text that a teenager or adult could read with ease.
I wanted to see if I could read this text (despite it being in Simplified) and what should I find but CURSE WORDS. The word, “fucking,” to be exact.
I found it hilarious and thought to myself, “OMG, what if they had posted to the homeschooling group?”
But then, someone posted a translation of the story in the comments without the offensive word and I was really confused. So, of COURSE I had to stir shit up and ask:
AND LO AND BEHOLD, one of the next comments:
We are literally talking about a curse word that is ALREADY in the text – but in Chinese. This group is FULL of LITERATE Chinese people.
And if the original poster recommended that parents could test their teenagers on the topic, THEY SHOULD KNOW.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PEOPLE??
I feel as if I am living in some strange, alternate universe.
Since when has the mere presence of a word become so terrible that it’s more offensive than pretty much EVERYTHING that is going on in this world – including, but not limited to, our current sitting president?
I am so annoyed (because mad is too strong for what I’m feeling) and bewildered that I want to react in as juvenile way as possible and just write a post with some click-bait title and then have the post be just an endless string of FUCKS.
Instead, I have written this screed because it amuses me and I am petty and I guess I really am puerile.
This is the fucking internet.
There will be things that offend you. And unless it’s dangerous, incendiary rhetoric (oh wait, that’s 45‘s Twitter account), you can choose to not go back to that site, not engage, and scroll on by.
You do NOT have to insult people or tell them they are wrong and are bad parents. Perhaps, you can tell them they are bad writers. I accept that. (But don’t all go rushing in to tell me this, ok?)
Just because I swear does not mean I am incapable of not swearing. I swear because I choose to use those words because those are the words that I want to use. By no means do I think that these words are always necessary, but that is my choice to make.
And sure, who couldn’t improve upon some judicious editing? But again, that would be my choice. After all, even though the original posts that I turned into my book, (affiliate link) So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese, included many swear words, I excised them from the book because I felt that was more appropriate.
I have plenty of friends who do not curse so on their Facebook wall and in their presence, I choose not to use words that offend them because that’s what kind and respectful people do.
Likewise, when they are at my house or on my Facebook or my site, they do not preach and tell me that they are super offended by my swearing because they, too, are kind and respectful people.
And to be clear, I am not annoyed at the lack of swearing or even the belief of not swearing.
I am pissed off by the self-righteous hypocrisy exhibited by the people who are moralizing to me about the “obscenity” of my words while behaving abominably using “clean” words.
So, yeah. My petty is showing in full force today. But at least I own it.