Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You may be a prude if...

Here is the definition of the word "Prude" from that ever so reliable source, yea, you know which one.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"A prude (Old French prude meaning honourable woman)[1] is a person who is described as being concerned with decorum or propriety, significantly in excess of normal prevailing community standards. They may be perceived as being more uncomfortable than most with sexuality, nudity, alcohol, drug use or mischief.
     "The name is generally considered to suggest excessive modesty, and is hence unflattering, often used as an insult by people who do not share the moral standards of the "prude". A person who is considered a prude may have reservations about nudity, participating in romantic or sexual activity, drinking alcohol or consuming other drugs, or participating in mischief. These reservations usually stem from, or are at least justified by, moral beliefs. Actions or beliefs that may cause someone to be labeled a prude include advocating or practicing abstinence, advocating prohibition, advocating censorship of sexuality or nudity in the media, disapproval of being nude in public, avoiding or condemning public display of affection, or exhibiting unusual levels of discomfort with sexuality, alcohol, drugs or mischief.
      "The term is generally used in a relative sense. For example, one may be viewed as having relatively liberal standards regarding sexuality and drug usage compared to the overall population in which one resides, but compared to a smaller, specific subculture, one may appear to be unduly conservative and thus be labeled a prude because one refuses to participate in more illicit behaviors.
     "In historical contrast, the word prude was originally a noble compliment. Traditionally, it was usually associated with wisdom, integrity, usefulness, and profit.[2] Even in present day language, it forms the root of the word prudence, meaning "sound judgement in practical affairs".
       "The degree of prudery can vary among different cultural frames."

It's me talking now.  I won't pretend. By this definition, I am probably considered by many to be a prude.  Oh, such an insult!  Wait a minute.  No, it isn't.  When I read through this, I find myself nodding, yea, that's me, but I am not ashamed to admit it.   It states that the word "was originally a noble compliment."  I don't suppose it is a compliment anymore, due to the decline of the "prevailing community standards."  But I make no excuses.  I,as a rule, try to turn away from things that are crass and crude.  So sue me.  I welcome being "labeled a prude" if it means I "refuse to participate in more illicit behaviors."

So where do I fit in society?  Am I an outcast?  Am I the laughingstock at the water coolers around the world?  Perhaps I am.  Sometimes we have to boldly face who we are, and what we are.  If I am a prude, it is because I choose to try and take the high road, by my definition of high road, maybe not yours.  I would never presume to judge anyone else for being on the path they choose.  That is their business.

You know the funny thing?  I don't think I am alone in my prudishness.  There are more of us out there than the world might think.  Maybe it is time for us to come out of the closet.  Let's stop pretending to laugh at crude jokes.  Let's admit that we think PG-13 movies are offensive.  If it means taking up knitting, then sign me up.

In this crazy world there is room for everyone and whatever idiosyncratic baggage they happen to carry along with them.  There is no place for being judgmental.  If I exhibit prudish tendencies and it offends you, I'm sorry.  No offense was intended.  I hope that despite seeing me as a prude, you may also see me as a person of "wisdom, integrity, and usefulness."  Apparently they used to be one and the same.


Kim said...

Is someone being rude to you? I hope not! Who cares what other people say right? And I think it's great ~ you're a fabulous example! And anyone who likes and laughs at Chuck is cool in my book!

Laura said...

Thanks for your definitions and post. I'm a sometimes prude but I'm going to try to be a prude with more consistency !
Now, I just might make a t-shirt that says "I heart prudes". Let me know if you'd like one :-)