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Comments

h sofia

Have you told them it doesn't bother you when they swear around you?

The Happy Feminist

Yep!

Joel Monka

It's not a question of whether it bothers you or not- for a certain generation or demographic, the apology must be spoken even when they know it's not necessary. It really only takes the back of your father's hand across your face a few times to make a life-long, nearly unbreakable habit... the second or third time you've tasted your own blood after swearing in front of a woman, and you'll find yourself apologising for the word "damn" to a woman who is herself using language foul enough to make you blush.

Rebecca Ore

I think that the point is that you're not supposed to be there -- and apologizing for the swearing is a way to tell you politely how you keep men from just being good old guys. The person who did this most annoyingly wasn't older and certainly was a sexist. Always tell people who apologize for swearing to just fuck off with the apologies.

It's one of the most annoying things I've ever run into -- and the same guy would talk about the stripper bar down the street, and put the women on the night shifts while surrounding himself with the most doofus of young boys.

I could imagine the apologies as being well intended if the guys were over 70, but anyone who was a boy in the 60s or later is just being a jerk and trying to make you the bad person if you are either too sensitive for the words or if you don't mind them in the good old double bind way of "you can't really accuse me of being a sexist because good women wouldn't want to be offended by our bullcrap."

David Thompson

I kept saying, "Hey, this isn't anything I haven't heard before or said myself." But they kept doing it.

How much swearing do you do in those professional situations?

mythago

Always tell people who apologize for swearing to just fuck off with the apologies.

What she said. People who really intend to watch their language do so. People who keep "accidentally" slipping up and apologizing are doing it to make a point.

I'm pretty sure Miss Manners suggests telling them either to swear and stop apologizing, or not swear, but in either case the apologies are silly. I myself find Rebecca's tactic more effective.

bmmg39

"It really only takes the back of your father's hand across your face a few times to make a life-long, nearly unbreakable habit..."

I love the people who think striking someone in the face is somehow less harmful than a four-letter word.

I agree with the others: HF, you should just curse like a sailor until they get used to it. I remember when I worked in the store, a delivery man once came in and looked around for female employees before he made a crude remark...he just ASSUMED that because I'm a guy I want to fuckin' here that shit...

--oh, geez, I'm sorry, Happy. :-P

bmmg39

"Here" should, of course, be "hear."

Aw, #%@%^$$@!

Richard

I've had clients apologize to me for swearing in front of me. Usually it's someone who's a bit too impressed with attorneys and other professionals, who must imagine I dine on white linen table cloths each evening and read poetry in my English garden in the morning. (Fucking fools.) But it doesn't bother me at all when they apologize. In fact, it's kind of nice that someone might actually think swearing is not universally appropriate in all situations.

The Happy Feminist

In this case, the apology was definitely based on my sex, since the other attorneys were doing it and I was the only one singled out for an apology.

Dave Thompson asks how often I swear in professional situations. This is probably a question worth a post on its own. The answer is that I do indeed swear in professional situations, but I try to use good judgment in doing so. I tend to avoid swearing in front of new people I don't know very well because sometimes people are offended by swearing. I avoid swearing if I am considerably junior to a group of lawyers in my law firm. (If a group of very senior partners are saying "bullshit this" and "bullshit that," it doesn't mean it's okay for the wet-behind-the-ears associate to jump in also.) At the DA's office (which was all female), I let my foul-mouthedness hang out because it was part of the culture and I was the second most senior person there.

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