One thing I found most interesting about watching the video was noticing which words are still considered Bad Words, and which ones have become "cute" and almost unnoticed even on network TV. The word "fart" was included on the list, and you can't turn on any tv, radio or computer without hearing a fart joke. I find them boring, personally, as I do most bodily functions. Maybe working in a medical office has dulled the shine of bodily functions to me, but I just don't find any of them interesting enough even to laugh about. It irritates me that so many adults seem to find what I consider to be juvenile humor, so entertaining, and creeps me out a little in the same way that adult-sized clothing adorned with images of Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh do.
Some very interesting points were raised during the discussion, such as the issue of whether the words themselves are perceived as a threat from which the general public must be protected, or what the words represent. One could argue that the good old Anglo-Saxon "F" word is less harmful than the mindset it evokes, one of casual or even violent sex. It's true that today we live in a dichotomy of sexual freedom and unprecedented levels of oppression against women. Girls, don't want to be raped? Don't go out. Don't dress provocatively. Don't encourage a man by being friendly with him, or anger him by being rude. What happened to the concept of punishing the perpetrator rather than the victim? Wasn't it Golda Meier who responded to the idea of curfews for women, ostensibly for their safety, by pointing out that women weren't the ones committing crimes, so why should they be the ones who have to go home early?
So does free and uninhibited use of Bad Words increase the likelihood that we will all engage in what they represent? I don't think so. My kids pointed out to me years ago, when they were around ten and twelve years old, that words are just words, and actions are different. They're right. None of us use an excessive amount of profanity, but we do use it - we just follow Spongebob Squarepants' example, and use Bad Words as "sentence enhancers." And none of us is inclined to violence, or even disrespecting others. Sure, young kids can be led into negative attitudes toward others, but I believe that's more of a concurrent phenomenon rather than cause and effect. Ultimately, I believe more parents need to take a more active role in teaching their children respect, by example as well as by explanation.