I've been at the mall, in line at Starbucks, at the local thrift store, wherever teens are, and I've heard their filthy potty mouths. I remember those years -- it's hazy but I remember spouting off curse words and peppering my sentences with all kinds of four-letter words. It was the cool thing to do, I suppose. Better than smoking, right? Still if my parents heard me talking like that, it would be big trouble. Especially my dad. I remember saying "scumbag" once in front of him and let's just say he was not happy. One school in New Jersey, though, is doing something big to stop teenagers from cussing. They are making them swear not to swear. Yes, they are promising to God not to curse -- it's a Catholic school. Which I suppose is a good thing. Many schools pledge allegiance to our flag, why not try to do something to prevent kids from having a garbage mouth?
The issue here is that they are only making the girls do it. Boys are exempt.
"We want ladies to act like ladies," teacher Lori Flynn at Queen of Peace High School said. So they made the girls take this pledge, NorthJersey.com reported:
I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God.
Flynn reminded the boys: "Gentlemen, you are not to swear in the presence of ladies." No vow needed.
Here's my issue with this. And it's sort of similar to my issue with a few things when it comes to girls versus boys. The onus is on the girls. Boys shouldn't curse but girls really shouldn't curse so they must take a vow to prove they aren't going to curse? Sort of reminds me of birth control a little. Make the girl decide between the many flavors of contraception out there, mess with her hormones so she won't get pregnant, let her worry about it. "I do solemnly swear to take this Pill every day at the same time so I won't get pregnant. I shouldn't have to burden any guys with wearing a condom." That's not a real pledge but it may as well be.
Why aren't boys being made to take the curse pledge, too? Are we teaching kids that girls can't be trusted and therefore have to take some vow? This is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
The principal at Queen of Peace, Brother Larry Lavallee, defended the decision to make only the girls take the vow by saying it's the females who have the foulest language. So are the boys not using four-letter words?
"It’s unattractive when girls have potty mouths," 16-year-old Nicholas Recarte said. It's also crappy when boys curse. And moms and dads. (I should watch my mouth, I know.) Nick did admit he had a potty mouth, especially when playing basketball. Seventeen-year-old Bobby Keegan did his own promising saying he would "cut down a little," because he is "respectful and chivalrous." Well, that's nice. So the boys will cut down and only curse when playing sports, but the girls should put on their little dresses, look pretty in pink, and make sure not to say sh*t because boys will find them unattractive.
I think Brother Larry Lavallee should take a vow to treat boys and girls equally. That's something all boys (girls, too) need to learn young, and often.
What do you think of this girls-only vow not to curse? Do you think the boys should take it, too?
Image via ms.akr/Flickr