P.I. KA!: The power of and indignity in profanity

Profanity in our native language isn't new to our ears. Neither is it pleasing to our ears. Nevertheless, the general public has become more receptive to hearing it once in a while in today's generation of realistic movies.

Profanity in our native language isn't new to our ears. Neither is it pleasing to our ears. Nevertheless, the general public has become more receptive to hearing it once in a while in today's generation of realistic movies. Expletives may not be acceptable but hearing or mouthing it is an average daily occurrence.

This article does not wish to take the moral high ground and preach to its readership that profanity is wrong and should be avoided at all times. I assume that people who read my articles have the sufficient maturity to know that it is undesirable. While I do not intend to be sermonic, the author hopes to give a subtle reminder that using profane or foul language in public does not invite respect nor does it speak of coolness, in whatever generation you belong.

Profanity is the lowest form of gimmick to entertain a group of people. Moreover, profanity is not a form of entertainment but an abuse of artistic freedom and an affront to creativity.

I'd like to think of profanity in this way – it is demeaning and belittling of one's dignity, especially if directed at someone. To become a recipient of a malutong na "PI ka!", whether or not intended as a joke, is a tough pill to swallow. It does not do anything more than to put laughter in the faces of shallow and low-life people who mouth it out. On the other hand, it invites a loss of self-esteem and confidence to the subject of profanity.

Taken in its broader perspective, profanity is also not exclusive to any segment or gradation of society. I refuse the notion that only the masa or those belonging to the lower 30% of the social strata are inclined to use expletives, in the self-righteous guise of them being uneducated or unrefined. I often hear elites using them, as well. It is worse when it is used to demean or to belittle other people who are thought of as ‘inferiors’ or to conclude that profanity is a brand of inferiors. To say that profanity is a sign of being uneducated is wrong, since even the most educated of people frequently use profanity in their words towards others.

When one holds a position of social importance, he/she becomes subject to a higher standard of values and morals. People look up to him/her and treat him/her as a model. In a society such as ours, people of stature often influence trends and tastes. Therefore, to say that one should not be criticized if he/she speaks profane language in public is wrong. To make an excuse about the use of profanity for something else is even more wrong. What makes it ultimately wrong is when people patronize someone for his/her use of profane language and bash people for standing up to what is morally right and just.

The power of cursing is a crime of indignity against a human being. The power of cursing goes beyond words. It strikes at the core of who we are and what we can tolerate as a people. No one should be judged solely on his/her use of profane language. However, in the exercise of his/her profane words, one should not be surprised that he/she will be the subject of scrutiny and criticism. Whether we perceive those who criticize profanity as self-righteous, the harshness of the act remains and the gravity of its effect on others is not diminished.
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The author Aaron Benedict de Leon is neither an ethicist nor a self-righteous sermon preacher. He likes to believe that he is an apologetic moderate expletive blabber. At the very least, he encourages others to think before they speak or click.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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