In Defense of Potty-Mouthed Millennials
Newly published research revealed that millennials, particularly young women, like to swear at work. A lot. Via Bloomberg:
It’s normal for millennials to say “s—” and “f—” at work, and new research finds that younger women are among the most likely demographic to drop the f-bomb in the office.
About three-quarters of female millennial managers and executives admitted to swearing at work, according to a new study of 1,500 Americans conducted by work management platform Wrike. Just 58 percent of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers in the same roles said they swear while on the clock. About two-thirds of millennial employees across the ranks swear at work, according to the survey, and millennial women are less bothered than millennial men by workplace profanity.
I can’t say I am too surprised (or bothered) by the findings. Millennials, after all, are a generation raised on South Park and Family Guy; Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman. Sure, us Gen Xers had Andrew Dice Clay and Eddie Murphy and many others. But you usually had to have HBO or Showtime to watch these raunchy (and hilarious) comics, and they usually were televised after 10 or 11 at night.
I admit, too, that the prohibition on certain carefully-selected words has always seemed a little odd and arbitrary to me. It would be entertaining to see how the FCC decided it was permissible to use the word “ass” but not “in the *ss.” (I could come up with more creative examples, but I’ll refrain.)
And let’s not forget: swearing can also be a great creative outlet. My brother-in-law, who has a PhD in cursing, works in profanity the way other humans work with oils on a canvas. (He is the Bob Ross of swearing!)
Most importantly, swearing is the last refuge for those seeking to safely rebel against something. Sure, the swearing must be sufficiently generic as to not offend any particular race, gender, ethnicity, or protected class – but it’s something.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t “approve” of swearing and never do it in the presence of children. (Well, unless I’m driving behind a person driving slowly in the left lane, in which I turn green, rip my shirt off, and channel my inner Joe Pesci)
I am just saying we should not judge millennials too harshly for their proclivity for profanity. How do you teach decorum to a generation raised on South Park?
Jon Miltimore is senior editor of Intellectual Takeout. Follow him on Facebook.
[Image Credit: The Word Detective]