Yes, I Cuss & Yes, I'm Still A F*cking Lady

Why do we accept the mindframe that makes us feel like cussing goes against our spiritual selves?

Her Voice

I believe that self-expression is a gift from our souls that allows you to be OK with not being OK. At one point, I was in graduate school studying the art of counseling or, as I like to call it, the art of one honoring their self-expression while the other one proves to have focused attention in a conversation long enough that they've clearly honored their listening skills. True, right?

This was a part of life where I was often in a room full of peers who struggled with naturally being good at self-expression in conversations or even identifying how to express one's self in a way that releases the heaviness of our souls in a healthy way.

I begin to wonder why do we accept the mindframe that makes you feel as though you are displeasing to your spiritual self if you cuss.


There are women who sit next to you at work, in your family or that you meet for brunch or take girls' trips with, who was raised to feel as though having an occasional filthy mouth is shameful and a false liberation. The crazy part is, we consume this language from others in our music, TV shows and favorite movies but not within ourselves. Shit, Megan Thee Stallion had us wanting to live a Hot Girl Summer and we know those lyrics aren't clean. Consumed.

I've come across women who you'll never hear peep a single cuss word in public and if one ever slips through, you better believe that it's a disclaimer attached to it like, "Excuse my French!"

I have lived that life and when separating that part of me in my 30s to leave in the past, I named this woman in me, Kristen.

Kristen tip-toed around expression.

Picture this. She's vibrant and smells like the sweetest vanilla body spray everyday. She attends church most Sundays and even volunteers with a charity a few times a year. She works full-time after graduating as a first-generation college student. She's 26 and fearless with a "before I turn 30 plan". She follows every influencer online and is often seen posting about her attendance at places that grant her credibility and personal growth. Kristen knows how to put a decent caption to a bomb image and when she's disrespected, she takes the humble or nice-nasty (still humble) approach.


She's connected and self-made.

Lives in the heart of the city and is seen pictured in Fendi once a year, 'cause she feels guilty when showing off her designers or possessions online and when she does, it's always done in the most modest way. Only Kristen's close friends have seen that lioness side of her come out a time or two.

When showing respect to the elders in her family, Kristen wears her "yes ma'am/sirs" like a badge of honor and wouldn't dare let her folks hear one single cuss word slip out even if asked something personal.


She thinks she's a lion but you've never heard her roar. No one ever has it together all the time and that's OK.

Crazy! Kristen was me. Secretly living in frustration for so many years that I can clearly see her so easily now... I rarely ever told people how annoyed I truly felt about the way my life was turning out. And you better believe that when my vocabulary of shit, damns and fucks finally broke through, there was no disclaimer in sight. I felt like Auntie Maxine Waters, I was reclaiming my time. The frustration of life was too much, like damn that cuss-free mindframe is questionable as fuck, in my Ari Lennox voice.


In all honesty, no one ever told me directly that I had to be the strong one or the cautious one when expressing myself, I told this to myself. I became a master at helping women around me feel better while missing their cues and cries for real liberation.

Only thinking, 'She don't cuss in front of me but I see pain.'

As a similar meme states, Kristen is now the type of woman that when dating you, she'll burn sage in your house, put healing crystals under your pillow, sing love songs for no reason, leave yoga mats on your floor, throw out your processed foods and cuss your ass out in front of whoever if you disrespect the Queen. It took time, but she got there.


She's learned that to maintain her own happiness, keeping her feelings real is a must each time.

Just by being herself, Kristen's persona exudes peace, positivity and a hustle like no other but now she's unapologetically being true to herself. Her cousins may even call her the bougie one of the family but they love her though and have yet to meet this liberated woman but it's coming.

Over the years, I have become more and more liberated after every adversity that hit my life. If this is what it took for me to get here, and be centered with myself, I wouldn't change a thing 'cause I got here. And it all makes me the woman I am today.


Many of us are Kristens living a conservative life that doesn't empty our frustrations and pain. With every "fuck, shit, or damn" our smile returns. In a world of Kristens, our soul desires real balance that educates, laugh, cuss, sips tea, chill and then repeats.

It wasn't until I was last-years-old that I finally had the courage to release my mind. I felt so liberated and realized that it was me the whole time that hadn't stepped into my fullness as a lioness woman by the ideology placed on me. I still treated myself like I was unsure, incapable of expressing some things until I begin to live like I deserve this freedom shit.

There is healing in cussing and transparency. Find your tribe, release responsibly, and heal.

When someone plays with your heart and your feelings, you don't feel kind inside, you feel like fucking shit up, and it's OK to say that.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

"Black men, we're in constant warfare. Every day is a fight outside of my house, so why would I want to come home to more fighting when that is the very place where I should be resting? There are loved ones who I don't speak to as much anymore because they aren't peaceful people. A huge part of the reason why I am happier without my ex is she was rarely a source of peace. The older I get, the more I realize that peace really is the foundation of everything; especially relationships, because how can I nurture anything if I'm in a constant state of influx and chaos? Guys don't care how fine a woman is or how great the sex may be if she's not peaceful because there is nothing more valuable than peace. If the closest person to me is not a source of it, that can ultimately play a role in all kinds of disruption and destruction. No man wants that."

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

When Ngozi Opara Sea started Heatfree Hair almost a decade ago, curly and kinky extensions weren't the norm on the market as they seem to be today, especially if you wanted those textures in quality human hair. Beauty supply stores mainly sold synthetic curly hair, and there was a surge of renewal for women who were just beginning to embrace natural styles, taking to YouTube to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Keep reading... Show less

No one is excited about paying taxes, but for the most part, they're unavoidable for the working woman. Yet, not everyone has to pay quarterly taxes. You may have to get acquainted with quarterly taxes depending on how you earn money and who signs your paychecks. Not only is it essential to know if you should pay quarterly tax payments, but you need to know what your tax liability is and the deadline to submit your taxes — unless you want the IRS visiting.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts