I say f**k because profanity is an important tool in defying, disobeying and disrupting patriarchy and its rules. Patriarchy punishes women for profanity because it wants us to forever remain within the straitjacket of niceness and politeness, despite the violence it subjects us to. We are not fighting on an equal battlefield. The shock and the offense profanity causes are necessary and important. Surely, misogyny and the violence it visits upon our bodies are more offensive than words?
As a feminist of Egyptian and Muslim descent, my life’s work has been informed by the belief that religion and culture must never be used to justify the subjugation of women. I can write about my culture and religion because I am a product of both. Even when I’m accused of giving ammunition to the Islamophobic right, in the struggle between “community” and “women” I always choose the women. It is exhausting that Muslim women’s voices and our bodies are reduced to proxy battlefields by the demonizers and defenders of Muslim men. Neither side cares about women. They are concerned only with one another.