DEBATE: Should Men Censor Their Language In the Presence of Women?

By Blog, Innovation, Leadership, Mojo Blog

If there were ever two polar opposites, my husband James and I are such.  We debate… until he stops.  LOL!

And not always do we come to a conclusion.  So I send it to you, my readers, to chime in.

Tonight’s debate – Ear Censoring – Should men censor language in the presence of women?


“Women should not be exposed cursing and bad language. It is a man’s job to ensure that people watch their mouths around women”, says my husband.

Specifically, this applies to our sons or anyone that is speaking in my presence. James also believes that men should watch their mouths in front of  people that are older, those in the clergy, and anyone he feels is deserving of reverence.

While cursing does not bother him; he is totally offended when someone curses in front of someone he believes deserves reverence.

He thinks that men in business should not or do not curse.  And if they do, they should definitely should not do it in front of a woman or someone in a position deserving respect.

“People shouldn’t curse in front of my mom, or your mom, or you! I would never curse in front of my mom.  My sons should not curse in front of you or any other woman.  It is rude, especially, for men to do so!”, he contends.

“We should be able to have conversations without cursing.  It is totally unnecessary.  Men should not do it in front of women “ is his argument.


“I am a grown a$$ woman with the ability to say NO! And to tell people when something makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t need anyone to speak up for me or censor others on my behalf”, is my argument.

In my opinion, my husband’s behavior perpetuates a bigger problem: taking real conversations and even business conversations offline.  I think that his help is hurtful towards women.

When women showed up to the boardroom, men moved to the conversation to the golf course; where business deals were happening.  When women learned to putt, the conversations moved to the strip club – where other business deals happen.  When men censor themselves around women, then women are removed from the real conversations or more importantly, the conversations are moved from women.

To me, this “censoring on behalf of women” keeps women out of authentic conversations.

Further, I think that if a woman is uncomfortable with the conversation then she needs the intestinal fortitude to speak up, step out, or deal with it.  I know that, personally, having the guts to speak up has been a catalyst for moving up in the corporate world.  People knew that if I had something to say, or if I were going to take a stand on something, that I would do so.  They also knew that I was strong.  There was no need for the knight in shining armor to show up on his trusty steed to save me.

“Back up Prince Charming I got this! I’ll call you if I need your help.”




What do you think?  His side or her side? We would love to hear your opinion.


NOTE:  No husbands were harmed in the creation of this blog post.


  • DeWayne

    I’m with your husband . He’s ol’ school like myself. I was just having a similar conversation with a friend yesterday. When I was growing up and we saw an elderly person walking down the sidewalk, we stepped to the side and let them pass. And when we met them at a stop light, we turned our music down out of respect. And we defiantly didn’t curse around them. So I totally agree with your husband on this one.

    Ok, I get it. “You’re a grown A$$ woman with the ability to say NO!, but isn’t it nice that you don’t have to? And you don’t need anyone to speak up for you or censor others on your behalf. But don’t you think it’s nice to have someone who thinks so highly of you that he wants others to reverence your presence as he does? Perhaps Steve Harvey was right… Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just not required anymore.

    • dawnna

      In that case, should I be allowed to watch Eddie Murphy in Raw? He curses. And when is it that another person should determined what I am or am not allowed to do or hear.

      This is a double standard. It is ok for him to hear curse words but not me? Why? Would I wilt away or shrivel up? I think not.

      Chivalry is not dead. And I appreciate chivalry. Respect is not dead. And I appreciate respect.

      But I should determine the level of respect I require… Not someone else. Before you know it my shoulders, arms, legs, and hair will be considered too much for men to see and I would be disrespected if they see it… Sorry… There will be no burkas in my future.

      My point is that double standards cause discourse and inauthenticity.

      There should not be a standard of communication based on gender. There should be a standard of communication based on WHO YOU ARE. And no… I do not like being put up on a pedestal… The air is thin up there and I am afraid of heights.

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