A minor kerfuffle started on Twitter last night. Nothing huge, mind you, but it was enough to make me think about words and language and stuff.
One of my Twitter friends was complaining because he had a moment of realization: that most of the people he followed on Twitter were “cynical motherfuckers.” Someone replied that any male tweeter who has a child can rightfully be called a “motherfucker.” I, too, have thought this, and responded that I fuck a mother as often as I can. Which I do. My wife’s daughter is eighteen.
My wife is a mother. She is also hot. We have sex. Therefore, I am a motherfucker.
For some reason, this made everyone else in the conversation feel “icky.”
How does sex still make adults, presumably non-virgins, feel weird? I understand not wanting to have the mental image of my hot wife and I going at it, but I wanted a little more information from my Tweeps. I asked why that admission made people feel weird. The only response I got was that it sounded like I was hanging out in gynecologists’ offices, hoping to get lucky. “Hey, gurl, how’d that ultrasound go? Wanna try my pre-natal vitamins? Come on, get in my mini-van.”
I find myself unsatisfied with this answer.
I want to know why it’s not okay to use “motherfucker” in a positive fashion.
After all, we’re the society that embraced the concept of the MILF (Mother I’d Like to Fuck). There is (or was) a television show called “Cougar Town,” which is about older women, who have had children, hooking up with younger men. Remember the song “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne? It was a hit, this song, this ode to having sex with women who have kids. In fact, I would say there’s a bit of societal pressure to, in fact, be a motherfucker.
Not your mom, obviously. Your mother is a pristine untouched woman, who can’t be sullied by such things as secretions and bodily fluids, right? If someone says they’re going to fuck your mom, that becomes a reason for violence and anger. It’s an insult. This hearkens back to a time when Motherhood got the capital “M.” It was a calling, something to be honored and sainted for. Everyone who gave birth was placed on a pedestal. You get your own day, you get your own advertising demographic, you get your own kind of blog.
This tendency to protect our mothers is natural. However, what if your mom really wants to sleep with someone? What if she is sleeping with someone? The person she’s schtupping is definitely a motherfucker, but is he/she a motherfucker?
We’ve got to stop thinking we’re all the product of some Immaculate Conception. You were conceived amid sweating and grunting and odd smells. Get used to it, human. There can be no mothers without mother fucking.
Some women look at motherhood as a competition, like a “guess how many things are in this jar” contest. Nadya Suleman, the Octomom, whose gigantic pregnant stomach reminded me of a scene from the movie “Slither,” used in vitro fertilization to have her grand total of fourteen children. Really no motherfuckers involved in that situation, and no one has ever been called a “mother implanter.”
There are also women in the Quiver movement, who have as many children as possible, because it’s their religious belief. Believe me, I’m not in a position to make fun of anyone else’s religious beliefs, but they seem less like mothers and more like insect queens. Those aren’t families; they’re colonies.
And you can’t tell me Jim Duggar isn’t a motherfucker.
Is it simply the inclusion of the word “fucker” in that particular compound word? Really, is “fuck” still THE bad word? Is it even a bad word at all? Do we still believe in the concept of “bad” words, as a society? It certainly seems like we’ve moved on since George Carlin first confronted us with the Seven Words You’ll Can’t Say on Television (which are now the words you almost always hear on television). I’m sure people are still offended by the word, “fuck,” but I’m not sure I understand why.
Our bad words are all political now. “Liberal” is a bad word. So is “Conservative.” You can’t say the words “Tea Party” anymore without starting an argument. It’s hard enough using the words “Left” and “Right.” You have to point to make sure others know you’re talking about directions, not ideological leanings. Once again, we’ve taken words and redefined their place within our language, and given them a moral value.
A moral value is a silly thing to give words.
Emotional depth? Yes. Do words have weight and power? Absolutely. You can destroy or empower a kid depending on which words you choose when you speak to him/her. But can words be good or bad? I don’t think so. Words are a tool. A misuse of words is like trying to open a can with a flat-head screwdriver. You might get the point across. You might also stab right through the palm of your hand. But those two options don’t negate the fact that you are using the tool incorrectly.
The intention behind the word decides the effect of the word.
If you come at me with your fists raised and you call me a “motherfucker,” I can rightfully make the assumption that you are upset, and your intent for that word was to hurt me somehow (it doesn’t). If you are in my home, enjoying the company of my children and my hot wife, and you call me a “motherfucker,” I can take that as a term of good intention (e.g. “Look what you have accomplished simply by choosing to spawn; you are a motherfucker”). If you call me a “motherfucker” and you are Jim Morrison, then you should take a face from the Ancient Gallery and walk on down the hall. Also: stay out of Miami.
Maybe I take things too literally. When someone calls me a bastard, I laugh. I know both my parents. That statement is categorically untrue. Telling me to go to hell is like telling me to go to Narnia or Westeros. Calling me a motherfucker is just a true statement. It’s neither an insult nor a compliment (unless you are also complimenting my hot wife).
Got kids? You’re a motherfucker.
In a relationship with a woman who has children? You’re a motherfucker.
Your dad? He’s a motherfucker.
The world needs motherfuckers like me. Sorry if that offends you.