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The Fattest Common Denominator: Why We Go For The F Word When We Are Angry
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The Fattest Common Denominator: Why We Go for the F Word When We Are Angry

Get into an debate with people on any topic and you hope against hope that it will stay civil, on topic and name/shame free. But, once a debate turns into an argument and the gloves come off, it is a whole new game altogether. And, what are the most common words that get hurled about when two seemingly mature adults fight with one another? That's right: fat, stupid, and slut. Oh, there might be variations on those three themes and the more educated people will use different words but they all boil down to those three genres of words. The question is why do we do it? Why does our anger make us reach down to these three common denominators. The simplest answer: they are effective. No one wants to be called fat or stupid or a slut. No one wants to think those things about themselves and no matter how wildly untrue they are, they don't want anyone else to say them about them either.

Kate Upton, the model was called fat by a terrifyingly pro-ana website but only a small handful of people agreed with their assessment. A greater number of people rushed to her defense and she was awarded even more modeling contracts because of the exposure. But, for the average woman, the word "fat" has such a lasting resonance that it can destroy her psyche for days or weeks. She will replay the moment in her head, over analyzing the why of it all. She will try on clothes and suddenly she thinks, these are too tight and off to the gym she scurries. But not all women are that easy to sway. Some let the word roll off their back like water from a duck and will never think another second about it. Or, they will fire back some zippy one liner about being fat like Kate and go on about their day.

Being called stupid during an argument has much the same connotation. It implies that the person knows that you are not stupid but that being called such would insult you. In the game of life, the trick is to always know the weakness of your enemy or more simply hit them where they hurt. That same person could be called stupid on a Monday and still fretting over it on Thursday, because they know that they are not stupid but are wondering how they may have mistakenly given off that vibe.

Arguments are not reasonable. They are not meant to reveal anything more than how spiteful you can be, how many ways you know to call someone fat and how low you will stoop to get the last word in. In an argument, no one wins. Ever.


Street Talk

Spot on Amie. This is so true. Words can have powerful results

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

There are a lot of words that are not allowed in my home, but they include fat and stupid.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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