Call Her an Asshole

Friend of the blog, and our whole little family, really, Meg Rhem, has advice for fathers of daughters (and I have a baby daughter).

Dads, here’s a big one:  do not ever, under any circumstance, refer to a woman as a whore or a slut.  These words are violent, they are hateful, and their only function is to undermine female agency, to diminish women as a whole. Think of them the same way you think of the “n” word.  They are not good words. . . . 

Respect your daughters, respect your sons.  And don’t call that lady who cut you off in traffic a dumb whore.  Give her the respect she’s due: call her an asshole.

I’m so down with this. And if there’s anyone who needs diminishing, it’s my three-year-old son. That kid’s a freaking tsunami of toddler. I never refer to women as whores or anything like that anyway, though my wife says I swear too much around the kids. But even little ones need to know who is and isn’t an asshole. What else is parenting for?

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15 thoughts on “Call Her an Asshole

  1. Yeah, no. I always knew there was something wrong with that, even when I first started learning to swear. I didn’t grok it at all.

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  2. My best friend growing up thought “Buddy” was a curse word because that’s what her dad called the people who cut him off in traffic.

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    • My dad something similar, but in Punjabi. Called cops the same name as what I’d call my mom’s brothers (convoluted, I know). A respectful name turned into an insult and I didn’t realize till my late teens.

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  3. I used to curse like a “Bierkutscher” while driving before my kids were born. I radically stopped once I noticed that somebody was listening.Currently I get treated to the “using the word “asshole” as often as possible without actually sayig it”-routine as in “you’Re not an asshole, mum, asshole is a bad word, we mustn’t say asshole”. Actually in meatpace I make a big distinction between calling names and cursing. I guess some day I’ll be ordered to see the principal because my kid voices a loud “fuck”.

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  4. I go with “idiot” or “moron”. Driving dangerously is showing a lack of intelligence.
    I sometimes use “goat”, although I also use that as a term of endearment. “Cow” is unacceptable.
    … In my second language “backside” is also used endearingly in certain forms, so I sometimes call my daughter an asshole as a compliment (“prdelka”) =)

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  5. Criticizing and pointing out stupidity is always fair game.
    Exposing the idiocy of others and embarrasing them is far more effective than any insult.

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  6. My father was big on the sexist, racist comments about other drivers. He was the very model of road rage.
    I typically don’t swear at other drivers. The worst I typically do is sarcastically mock them to myself: “Oh, go right ahead, cut into my lane without signalling. No problem at all.”
    I wonder what effect that might have on my potential future kids: “Dad says it’s okay to cut people off. ” *Swerves*

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