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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Gender Equality and Bad Language

By February 4, 2013

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At the behest of administrators, female students at a New Jersey high school pledged to stop cursing. Male students were not asked to take the same pledge, though the school says they were asked not to curse in front of girls (7online.com. New Jersey School Implements 'No-Cursing' Pledge For Girls). If this isn't a double standard, I don't know what is. I can't imagine why those school officials chose to ask girls, but not boys, to take this pledge.

I know there are some who think the pledge itself is silly and see no problem with using bad language. I'm not naive enough to think no one should ever curse—most people use foul language occasionally and some people more than occasionally—but I think it is important to be cognizant of the time, place and company. Just last July I wrote about a survey Careerbuilder.com conducted about cursing at work. Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they think less of employees who frequently use bad language. I wonder, however, if they have more negative opinions of female employees who curse. Do you? What do you think about the use of bad language at work and elsewhere? Are you more offended when women curse than when men do it? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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