I’M OLD. I’M NOT DEAD.

IMG_20190817_211014Shared on “Books for Older Readers” FB group today, as if this is something that applies to ALL older readers.
Well, I find this sooooo annoying.
I’m old. I’m not dead.
 
What follows is my reply to that post:
 
Well, my company just published this anthology:
 
ALL of the writers are seniors/older folks, and we had more submissions for this anthology than any other.
 
So, I guess, some seniors/older folks don’t have trouble with expletives.
 
The second experience I have to relate is one for one of my own short stories that I entered into a competition. The judges comments said,
 
“The story about the older couple (she’s 80, he is late 70s) falling in love is just perfect on so many levels. The story had only 1 problem. The woman tells the man she would like to fuck, and no woman her age would use that word.”
 
Gee, I thought, stereotype much? How do they know that no women past 79 would ever say the word fuck? And, frankly, when I am 79, I hope I am still fucking and not “making love.” Yuck.
 
My third comment comes from my years as a writing teacher at the college level.
 
Words are an artificial construct. They were created by humans, all of them. None of them, therefore, have more or less value than any other. We have a whole problem in the world with marginalizing words used by certain groups that we also try to marginalize. And often we do it in the name of civility. “A civilized person wouldn’t use that word.” So, no, I do not agree that certain words are more “civil” or “polite” than others. It depends on context: who is using them and how they are used.
 
My fourth comment is that no one person should be given the reigns to decide what is or isn’t valuable or polite.
I find the referenced blog post to have many many issues that discomfit me as a woman, a feminist, an author, a publisher, a teacher, and a plain old human being.
 
I don’t give time to censorship efforts, no matter how “polite” they may appear to be.

*Thanks to What Sort of Fuckery Is This? author Desiree Harvey for the photo!

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