That word. The F-bomb. Been thinking about it, and a conversation I had about this with De Clarke years ago.
I am trying to stop using it. It's not easy, because it was a key part of my vocabulary for so long.
It's not that I'm trying to be prudish (though prudence is a virtue) or self-righteous (how could I after having used the word around 20 million times). I've just grown uncomfortable with how the word associates sex (it means sex in one context) and hostility or aggression (F**k you! Get f**ked! You are f**king me over! etc).
It can feel liberating for kids or even women in rebellion, edgy, hip, emphatic. We use it as a way of amplifying our feelings in speech. (I hate this f**king car!) We can use it to intimidate. (You got anything to say, motherf**ker!) We can use it in the throes of passion. (Ooohh, f**k me!) Any of you can add onto the applications from your own experience.
But at the end of the day, it is its sexual meaning that gives the term its special force. And this is the problem I see with it. We do associate sex with domination and aggression, and given the way that women and men are seen as do-er and done-to (even though sometimes we have androgynized the term - "Let's f**k."), it makes the do-er into the aggressor, the hater, and it makes the done-to the "receptive" one, the aggressed-upon, the dominated, the despised.
I wonder if we aren't reinscribing this association every time we blurt out this word.