This story also appeared on CBS DFW.

Is It Okay For Women To Curse At Work?

Carol Cavazos, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, September 16, 2011 

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It’s not every day that you hear a corporate CEO swearing like a sailor. But after Yahoo!’s female chief was fired, the public got an earful from her penchant for profanity, which has led some to wonder if it is okay for women to swear in the workplace.

An interview, posted on YouTube, between the recently fired Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington shows just how sharp, and salty, the ex-chief can be when pressed.

“You are involved in a very tiny company,” Bartz said in the video. “And it probably takes a long time to even convince yourself what the &#!$ to do. So, I don’t want to hear any crap about something magical the fine people of Yahoo! are supposed to do. So, &#!$ off!”

CBS 11 News asked people in North Texas: is it shocking that a CEO, much less a female, would talk like this?

“If it’s okay for a man to do it, a woman should be able to do it too,” said Matt Grant, who is visiting the Metroplex from Kentucky.

“If you’re a professional, you shouldn’t do that stuff,” said SMU student Maureen Mullin. “It is okay if you’re with your friends and stuff, but definitely not in a professional way.”

Dr. Rita Kirk is a professor teaching communications and ethics at SMU in Dallas. “When you play in a man’s world,” Kirk said, ”there are times when women feel like they need to use the same language that everybody else uses.”

Women can change the game by doing what comes naturally to them, Kirk added. “To be more affirming, find ways of compromise and use those things that are not as divisive that sometimes men do.”

So then, does Kirk ever swear?

“I do. And it’s not one of my stronger assets either,” Kirk admitted. She is now working to replace the four-letter words with a five-letter one. Her new ‘swear word’ is glory. “To me, it is the same sort of expression, where you just say, ‘Agh, glory!’”

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