Trump is not a Motherfucker, far as we know

Many right-wing evangelicals have their shorts stuffed up their craws upon learning that one new Congressional Congresswoman danced on a rooftop (while in college), fully clothed, while another Congressional Congresswoman declared in a victory speech that she, along with others, would “impeach that Motherfucker.”

Asked to condemn the language of the newly installed Rep. Rashida Tlaib, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarked that she was not in the censoring business.

Liz Cheney, who hardly has any moral high ground to stand on considering her own father was known to say a few choice colorful words of his own and whose actions led to the slaughter of millions of Iraqis, was outraged. So outraged she refused to speak the words for fear her children might hear her. I got news for you Liz, their grandfather is Dick Cheney. I’m pretty sure they will hear the term “motherfucker” a lot in their lives.

Kevin McCarthy was duly distraught as well. Tlaib used “foul” language and  “a brand new speaker says nothing to her,” McCarthy said.”That action should not stand.”

Hellooooo? Daft Republicans???? Have you heard your president? He’s about as foul-mouthed as they come. But I suspect you reserve your condemnation of cursing for women solely, especially when those women are people of color, heh?

Nobody does hypocrisy better than Republicans.  You should consider making it your brand for the 2020 election. It would be the most honest thing you all have done in decades.

But back to that term Rep. Tlaib employed, I am not a fan. It’s not that I don’t like the term being used by a woman. I don’t like the term being used by anyone. Not only is it crass and abrasive, it is outright sexist, as are most of the swear words we employ in our culture. I much prefer the Scottish swear words. They at least are more gender-neutral.

Consider the etymology of the term: Motherfucker. There are some that claim the term originated with the slave trade, suggesting that male slaves were forced to have sex with any woman who could reproduce, including one’s own mother.

Author Jesse Sheidlower’s book, The F-Word, may be the most authoritative, given that the author had access to Oxford English Dictionary’s archives. Sheidlower made the following observation:

First of all, the germ of the idea behind the word motherfucker is likely very old. I’d imagine that since the dawn of language more than 200,000 years ago, people have been insulting one another by attacking their mothers. To appreciate the thrust of the insult motherfucker doesn’t require knowledge of the technology, or culture, or local history of any particular milieu; the logic behind it is virtually ageless, because it is undergirded by a fundamental evolutionary truth, instinctually apparent to every creature since sex first came about — and that truth is that a mother’s fidelity is dear, to both her and her partner, and it is mostly unfavorable circumstances that serve to erode it.That was a mouthful. Let’s make it clearer. Insulting a mother’s fidelity is so powerful because it lies at the nexus at many of the most fundamental issues that a successful marriage must negotiate — saying I fucked your mother is a many pronged insult that implies a large score of unpleasant things .. Further reasoning along the same lines shows why an insult like father fucker or some such that would be nonsensical; a father’s fidelity simply isn’t as important to the health of a household as a mother’s is.  

In other words, misogyny didn’t originate in the United States. We brought it with us from England, or Ireland, or Mexico, or Spain, or Germany, or wherever it was we immigrated from (unless you are Native American, and then that misogyny is likely still imported).

The problem for Tlaib and women in general is that misogyny underlies so much of our profanity: Bitch, Son of a Bitch, Cunt, Pussy, Motherfucker. And that same misogyny undergirds our attitudes toward women and swearing. Studies have proven that words that make men look tough make women look weak. That’s why Republicans can adore Trump no matter what language he employs while condemning women who curse.

In this excellent article in The Smithsonian on the matter: The Science of Swearing , the author aptly notes that foul-mouthed Nixon embraced the misogyny of cursing: “It removes something from them (women),” he said. “They don’t even realize it. A man drunk, and a man who swears, people will tolerate and say that’s a sign of masculinity or some other damn thing. We all do it. We all swear. But you show me a girl that swears and I’ll show you an awful unattractive person. . . . I mean, all femininity is gone. And none of the smart girls do swear, incidentally.”

Oh, honey, you were such a Bampot. Of course smart girls swear! I just am more intentional about it than most men I know. To call someone a motherfucker is to refer to another person’s mother as a skank, a harlot, or a woman who is powerless to do anything about the wrongs being done to her. The woman – in this case a mother – is the one for whom the term becomes denigrating. The mother is the one demeaned, while the fucker is the one regarded as a bad ass, someone to be feared.

Donald Trump is  a terrible human being, and he has done a lot of awful things in his lifetime, but far as we know fucking his mother isn’t one of them. And it demeans his mother to suggest that she would participate in such an incestous relationship. I can criticize her for a lot of factual things she has done wrong in raising up such a selfish and narcisstic man, but I have no need to belittle her for having sex with her son when I lack any proof of that.

I am disappointed in Rep. Tlaib not because she cursed, or because she wants to impeach Trump (go for it), but because she assigned a term to Trump that in reality elevates him in the eyes of his base, who will just think of him as being so bad ass he could fuck anyone’s mother including his own. And because she used a terminology that demeans a woman she does not know – a sister as it were.

I don’t use the term motherfucker because I understand it as a word that denigrates women, not men. I urge others to consider the term’s sexist implications before using it as well. Honestly, consider studying up on the Scottish swear words. How much more powerful would Rep. Tlaib’s remarks been had she declared: “We are going to impeach that Bampot.”

Karen Spears Zacharias is a Trump critic and author of numerous books. Read one.

 

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

1 Comment

AF Roger

about 10 months ago

That Donald Trump ever became and still is president is not a witness to his political acumen or leadership but to the moral and intellectual vacuum of most our system and its practitioners who seek power at ALL costs these days. I take a less rationalized approach to Congresswoman Tlaib's choice of words, however. Here is my response to her. My apologies if the original paragraphs are lost in posting the text here. MY RESPONSE: Dear Congresswoman Tlaib: Peace be upon you! First, congratulations on your election to the House of Representatives of the United States. It is most encouraging that at least one body of our national government is beginning to look more like the current USA than its past. I am compelled to write in response to your comment regarding President Trump and your choice of words. Please understand that I write not as an anti-Muslim citizen, nor as an American with no first-hand experience of the wider world. From 1969-73, I served in the United States Air Force Security Service. For three years, my duty station was in the Republic of Turkey. My wife and I lived off base in a small building of six apartments. Our landlord and families in the neighboring five apartments were all (of course) Turks who spoke little English. It was up to us, the foreigners, to learn their language and respect their way of life. To this day, I miss hearing the call to prayer five times a day across our little town. Jesus’ parable of the merciful Samaritan is not an abstract metaphor to me. After a motorcycle accident on my ride home from my duty station, I was pulled from the ditch by two Turkish men while several cars of Americans passed by. I understand the story at a gut level from the receiving end. We here in modern, insular America have much to learn about hospitality and honesty from people like our neighbors in Turkey. I, too, have taken the oath to protect the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies—foreign and domestic. The Constitution and the vigilance of our citizens are all we have. It is we who must hold our government, our leaders, even our judicial system and judges—as well as ourselves—accountable. Although I served my last day of active duty in August 1973, I consider that my oath of enlistment remains valid for life, not by law but by choice. I have never believed Donald Trump was fit for office or any capacity in life in which he makes decisions about the lives and livelihoods of other human beings or living things of any kind. Rather than his impeachment, we should focus on how he became a reasonable choice for so many of our fellow citizens in the first place—and what that says about the alternatives we offer our citizens. I firmly believe that impeachment of President Trump is not even a remote possibility, given the lack of character and concern of a whole host of GOP senators. No matter what the House might find to be an impeachable list of offenses, I have no faith whatsoever that Sens. Graham, Cruz, Grassley, Rubio and McConnell, nor Vice-President Pence would vote to convict. Sadly, I do not even believe our current Supreme Court would uphold such a conviction, no matter what the charges or how convincing the case. Your unfortunate--and frankly disastrous--choice of words has only damaged your credibility as an elected official and the ability of the Democratic Party to offer reasonable and better alternatives. The true witness of character and integrity is not a life of perfection that makes no errors of judgment. It is the honesty, decency and humility with which we acknowledge, repent of, and learn from our mistakes. A zero-sums approach to anything leads only to one place in life: a dead-end. That's what we elected in 2016. The precarious condition of our democracy will not be improved or rescued by politics that are more-of-the-same but simply coming from another direction. The true kernel of meaning of Jesus’ cautionary words at Matthew 5:39 (“Do not resist an evildoer”) is NOT “become a compliant doormat”. Instead, the etymology of the word translated “resist” requires this understanding: Do not stand against your evil enemy by becoming his mirror image. I pray for your success in our government of, by and for the people—all of us. If I had a choice, I would require these five pillars of all who would serve in public office: 1. A complete psychological evaluation by a non-partisan panel of mental health experts. 2. Full disclosure of all legal and financial history, including tax returns and investments. 3. Mastery of at least one foreign language and some ability in at least another. 4. At least six months of life abroad not as a tourist. 5. A thorough reading of the 1991 book The Good Society by Robert Bellah, et al. Perhaps you can already check off items 1-4 and others. Now that you are in office, I highly encourage you to volunteer to do number 5 if you have not. When you do, please ask yourself the question, “Can we even think like this anymore?” Each one of us has this choice. I pray our answer is yes; but if not, I pray that we somehow learn to do so. Thank you for your attention. Peace be upon you, Rev. Roger D. Fuchs Portland, Oregon

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