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Reflecting On Popular Profanity

Like every other culture, ours also has its own well-established list of profanity; curses that we spew at each other in the heat of the moment, in anger, in passion, and humorously. While we cannot deny that sometimes there is nothing better than cussing someone out after a long day, what is it that we actually say to each other?

One of the many insults that leave our mouths is “Khusra,” or the third gender. This word is a derogatory term meant to refer to the transgender. Unfortunately, it is tossed around disdainfully without proper thought to its consequences.

Anyone who’s frivolous, gay – in the happy, poetic sense not the homosexual sense – or dressed differently can be attacked by this term. This only goes to show our treatment of the third gender in our society. It depicts the herd mentality; anyone with the slightest difference in their coat will be kicked out, stamped with the seal of abnormality, and ridiculed. So it comes down to what we think of people slightly different than us.

Most abusive words are also misogynistic in nature. For example, how many times do we target mothers and sisters in profanity? Far too many to count. Men regularly disrespect women by using gender specific insults.

A popular example of this is the treatment of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. As the son of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and former President Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal has always remained in the spotlight. Now that he has been appointed Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, he is scrutinized harshly by the public for his every move.

bilawal bhutto

Regardless of his political affiliations and views, Bilawal has been openly scorned by people due to his inclination towards slight femininity. He has been accused of being a female, of homosexuality and being a “Khusra.” All of which is preposterous and here’s why.

We happily proceed to defame a man who may appear slightly feminine because we believe femininity and by extension, females are inferior to the masculine, god-like creatures that are the opposite gender.

Furthermore, first, we assume his sexuality and then we chasten him for it. Our bias and discrimination toward homosexuality stand out clearly if we take a look at the comments section of any article related to Bilawal Bhutto where people leer at the poor guy, whilst possibly denying their own preference for male genitalia. Last but not least, is the transphobia we have tried so hard to erase and change but to no avail? Maybe he is trans. So what? Does that make him any less a part of our society? Does it make him inferior to anyone else?

I think not, and neither should you.

We need to leave behind our misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and the need to belittle everyone who does not fit into the mold of nonsensical standards. To help people with blowing off steam, here are a few words that are not gender specific to berate people:

Easy bake oven.

Expired coupon.

Spam email.

Wet sock.

Itchy sweater.

Crying baby on a plane.

Inconvenient fire drill.

Unnecessary movie sequel.

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