Recently my friend Tina wrote about how children here in Denmark swear in English (both the F and the S word) a lot and that it is commonplace as it has less meaning as it is a foreign word but is inappropriate to native English speakers (read her post here).
However the use of English swear words so casually in the media and other areas of public life in Denmark and also in Germany really bothers me. I am no prude and I get that the Danes have a more relaxed attitude the many things and that has rubbed off a little on me. I was surprised that a friend for the UK was shocked by the black and white naked woman advertising the What’s Happening exhibition at the SMK (which incidentally ends of August 2) and also by the retro bikini pictures on Hansens Is postcards and thought these were inappropriate for her children to see. Neither of these things bother me for my son.
I do however cringe when I read the media here and see the frequent use of words like bullsh*t and sh*tstorm (a term I think has been invented by the European media as I have never heard it anywhere else). I doubt you would see these words in the mainstream media in the UK or the US.
Last week someone shared an advertising poster from last year for the Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum) in Århus which used the slogan “Museums are awesome because everyone shuts the f*ck up”. Ignoring the fact that museums should be lively places but I cannot understand the thinking behind it. Is it to shock and get people talking? Do they think its funny? Or do they think that the F word is a mild swear word and the use of it is normalised now? Either way it is a strange and mildly offensive poster especially as they are a ‘state recognized national specialist museum with the purpose of researching, building collections and presenting knowledge of women’s lives and work in Danish culture-history. Over the years the Women’s Museum has produced a long line of special exhibitions dealing with both historical and topical themes – culture-historical exhibitions and art exhibitions.’ I am clueless as to what relevance the poster has but maybe I am missing the point? Perhaps someone from the PR department of the museum would like to leave a comment?
I am not as fanatical as some Americans about the F bomb as they call it but I would love to see the Danes, especially the media and cultural institutions, stop using such strong swear words so casually in everyday life.
What do you think?
Photo shared by Scandi Kitchen on their Instagram feed.