Log in

No account? Create an account
16 December 2009 @ 01:06 pm
oh, people  
This letter to the Globe is making me giggle. I feel bad for the guy that he's so upset by people swearing, but ... I just can't stop laughing about it! I'd like foul language to be my biggest complaint about people I encounter in public places!

Letter reproduced for posterity:

IT PAINS me to have to write this letter, but I feel I must on behalf of the many good men, women, and children who use public transportation across this great state. Over the past several months, I’ve noticed an increase in the use of profanity and vulgar subject matter among some passengers riding the MBTA - mostly young people and some adults who should know better.

It seems as if they feel compelled to use the F bomb, the N word and other foul utterances in front of other commuters sharing the ride. One day, I watched and listened in disbelief as two teens shouted across the tracks to each other in front of a platform full of people using the most profane language imaginable.

It doesn’t stop there. One evening, within hearing range of a bus of mostly elderly women and children, I heard a group of T employees, including the driver, having a conversation as if they were in the center of a men’s locker room. I was so angry that I spoke up, telling the driver that I was sure that his mother did not raise him to talk that way.

A little courtesy goes a long way: It’s a matter of respect for self and others. Perhaps the T should put up signs, make announcements, and issue fines or citations for this type of behavior. After all, the T is public transportation, and the public doesn’t have to put up with it.

Wendell Edmonds
I'm feeling: amusedamused
kimcobkimcob on December 16th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
we all have such different buttons.
D. Fennelfennel on December 16th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Well, at least the guy actually told one of the people who upset him that he'd like them to stop, rather than *only* suggesting that his personal taste should be enforced by law.

Not to mention gender roles! Geez. I'd have more sympathy for the guy if it weren't for that.
ruthless compassion: wtf?aroraborealis on December 16th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah! I would have objected to that, but I was feeling all faint and needed to find someone to fan me until I revived.
harimad on December 16th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
An alternate explanation is that this statement reflects his personal experience: he, presumably, has not been in a women's locker room.
D. Fennelfennel on December 16th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Well, there's also the "they were swearing near WOMEN" part. And that your mother is the one who's supposed to teach you not to swear.

I mean, these aren't ridiculous or offensive things to say! But being mad just cuz you haven't internalized new social norms about swearing isn't *wrong*, whereas I think being mad because you haven't internalized new norms about equality kind of is.
ruthless compassion: squee!aroraborealis on December 16th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
You win the excellent comment award!
Kcatkcatalyst on December 16th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
Well said. I think this gets at what I find irritating in the letter (norms about swearing vs. norms about equality, that is). I'm actually fine with the idea that loud profanity is not appropriate in publicly shared spaces. But if you think that people swearing at each other is the biggest public space issue we're facing, you're either not paying attention or you're fine with the day-to-day harassment that some people face as the price of being out in public.
Kcatkcatalyst on December 16th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
What fennel said. There's a lot more gender here than just where he spends his time.
Shakespeare Fiend: bananaaerynne on December 16th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
I think the part of this letter I like best is the bit where this is totally appropriate behavior for the center of a men's locker room.
ruthless compassion: peekaroraborealis on December 16th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Well, you know, men, they aren't damaged by such rough language.
phitotient on December 16th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
It's funny. My grandfather swears like a sailor, but only when no women are present. If they are, the swears go away 100%... it's hilarious to watch as women walk in and out of the room.
Kcatkcatalyst on December 16th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
I'd be so tempted to start veering in and out of the room on a series of errands!
harimad on December 16th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
I grinned when I had the same thought: why is this language appropriate for the locker room?
Kcatkcatalyst on December 16th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Only the center, though. If you're standing in the edges (by the lockers? in the shower?), then keep it clean.
Mizarchivist: Just Kiddingmizarchivist on December 16th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
My mom isn't very much of a foul mouth, but you should hear fubar's. He at least can argue he was raised to behave like that, thanks. grin
T Streich: Cuppa STFUsweetbaboo on December 16th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
See, I see a reversal of gender roles at play here, actually. I mean "Wendell" doesn't sound like the name of a taffy loving daffy whackjob grandmother, yet clearly it is.

One thing I'm with Wendell about is that cursing in front of children is absolutely unacceptable. I recommend legislating hard time for anyone who does so. As a second line of defense, hard time for anyone who breeds should just about cover it.
veek on December 16th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Also, I'd like it if people stopped taking the Lord's name in vain, plzkthx. And while we're at it, can we post these rules as T adverts, complete with a specific list of words and phrases that may not be uttered aloud? I think that would be helpful to the public.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on December 16th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
It would be wrong for me to mock up a letter from my doctor explaining that I have Tourette's Syndrome, and so I'm not in control of my swearing, right?

That would be wrong. I'm pretty sure ...
veek on December 16th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Since when is that a good reason not to do something?
Kcatkcatalyst on December 16th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that these adverts need to have the relevant words and phrases in ALL the likely languages of T riders and internationally recognizable symbols.