I swear.

In the middle of the political flurry of the week, an interesting story flew under the radar. Breaking News: A woman said fuck.

F-bomb dropping Gillibrand: ‘I try very hard not to swear at home’

One of the things that I know I can do with this site is to let women express themselves honestly and openly. This includes swearing. I swear I do not understand why it is a stretch of our professional pantyhose to imagine a woman who can swear and sort out her life with grace and glory (and even a Ph.D.). But profanity is associated with anger, and angry women have never been looked upon favorably by Western civilization. Stigma serves men in this way. Swearing women are less than, lack purity. These impure, possibly less-educated women never got the memo on how to behave appropriately. The words that come out of their mouths are representative of their moral character.

But we are encouraged to wear next to nothing and talk dirty to the whatever in our lives in order to secure company.

I swear we are not hysterical. We are alive. Using language to express ourselves is a part of the full spectrum of the human condition and not a warning sign that we are dangerous, derelict, or in need of education. What is dangerous, however, is society’s tacit yet relentlessly smug group-on-construct that women are not allowed to be angry, or swear, without social repercussions in the form of the time-out that is a stereotype. Stereotypes that not only hurt our spirit but actually have the power to hinder our ability to care for our children. The stereotypes of angry women as bad mothers is real.  Know it. And lurking around in that construct are the rules on words: swearing is not allowed.

Bad mothers don’t swear. Proper women don’t swear. Professional

(enter your job title here) don’t swear. Go to your room, young

lady. Whatever you do….don’t get angry or no one will hire you and

you will never meet a man.

Hmmm…

Now, the highest paying jobs for men is arguably professional athletics.

Professional athletes don’t swear or anything. Right? Please.

And, hang on a second, I could be wrong, but I swear what has been told to me by Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Bill O’Reilly, Shawn Hannity, Chris Matthews, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, and Chris Todd is that the beheading, raping, serial killing, school shooting, hatchet attacking, shoe bombing, underwear bombing, cop killing, unarmed teenager killing, land stealing, human trafficking, sex slaving, child molesting, bank swindling, environment destroying is being done by men.

Not that men have anger issues or anything. Frackers.

Sometimes some of us swear. But none of us swoon on the fainting couches fancied by Freud. Although they would love it if we did. We are all too busy keeping our children alive while the other half of the sky slaughters the world and gets better press. Fuck that.

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Walker is a single mom of two teenagers. She has been known to wear jeans at work.

Codes, by Amy Munson

Don’t say, “Anxiety.” You have no reason to worry, even though it plagues you night and day. Everyone understood your feelings when the baby had colic, but he sleeps all night now. He’s crawling, for crying out loud! And yet, you still check his breathing so many times at night, afraid God will take him from you because you don’t deserve him. You love this little man more than life itself, and yet, as you lay in the bathtub, hearing him crying from the other room his father’s arms, the overwhelming urge to simply plunge in and stop it all. What kind of mother has those thoughts? Quick, buy another toy he doesn’t need and hold him so he knows you didn’t mean it. Tell no one. They’ll take your child. Don’t say it out loud.

Don’t say, “Evaluation.” Your firstborn walked early and wanted you constantly. This is your reprieve! Sure, your one-year-old isn’t walking, stopped talking, lines up his toys constantly and never wants to cuddle, but he doesn’t need help. They’ll call him broken, and he’s not. He’s wonderful. She’s wrong. They all are. He doesn’t need an evaluation.

Don’t say, “Prozac.” The knowledge of your child’s struggles, a hysterectomy at 27 and trying to foster a healthy marriage with two kids under three was too much, and you caved. You couldn’t pray it out, you couldn’t want it out. This numbness won’t leave, so you’ll do what you must to cope. But no one can know. You and the husband call it “vitamin P,” as if your toddlers will tell the world. This is only temporary. You hope.

Don’t say, “Autistic.” Say PDD-NOS. It sounds nicer, and only his therapists and doctors know what it means. When people hear “autistic,” they think “Rainman.” They have no idea how it manifests in your son. They don’t know how brilliant he is, or see how his big brother knows how to reach him in ways no one else can. You know how loving and innately funny he is. They’ll think he’s an unfeeling robot. He’s only two. You can explain this later.

Don’t say, “Psychologist.” Everyone knows you take your three-year-old to therapies all over town, but no one knows where you go every week. Even in your GPS, you put S.T.G., which stands for Sharon The Great, as if other cars will see the address at a stoplight and judge you. No one else needs to know who she is, or how she keeps you going. She is vital to your mental and emotional health, but no one outside your inner circle can know that. Just swallow your “Vitamin P” and drive to “you know who.”

The secrets are so heavy. What would happen if you decoded your life?

_________________

Amy is a trained doula, wife and mom of two teenage boys. Music, yarn, and the therapeutic act of writing help her do the latter two positions a little easier. She can often be found praying for patience in her closet. Coincidently, that’s also where the good chocolate is hidden.

I can’t afford mental health awareness, anonymous

People talk a lot about increasing awareness of mental health. The last thing I want is anyone to be aware of my mental health. I know they would immediately judge me as a mother. They would judge if I were late picking up my daughter at daycare, late to parent-teacher conferences, late to soccer practice.

Can you imagine if I got tipsy with moms who knew about my mental illness at girl’s night out? Can you imagine if I got divorced or fought with my kid in public? No way. I don’t want anyone to be aware of anything.  There is too much to lose. I need my job; I need health insurance. I need people to NOT be aware of my mental illness.

Awareness is for people who aren’t moms; or moms who don’t have to work.

anonymous