Haibun on how to get up the strils

For the dverse prompt. To write about taboo subjects is difficult, because a priori it means some people are going to find what you say offensive. If what you wrote offended no one, it wasn’t taboo. If anyone is offended by what I have written, tough. I am merely pointing out a few of the subjects that political correctness obliges us not to mention.


These days everyone, including adolescents, talks about sex, swaps photos of their private parts on the social media. We can all rant and rage our political slogans, however ignorant, violent and vicious. These days, the taboos are the politically incorrect. I could cite so many that would cause offence to the people who believe they are progressive and open-minded, like saying it isn’t feminist or liberating to choose to wear a burqa, it’s retrograde and subservient; to point out the wholesale abuse of human rights (especially where human means female) in many African countries that has got absolutely nothing to do with colonialism; to say that there are more important things to worry about as the planet slips into extinction mode than the états d’âme of people who refuse to choose between M and F on their passport application forms. I could go on but I’ve probably offended enough people for one evening.

spring comes to the tree

buds burst birds sing rain falls

life goes on


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

76 thoughts on “Haibun on how to get up the strils”

  1. I have had a shit evening so far, mainly the men in my life, there are a lot of them. Driving me mad,you made me smile, thank you Jane, Taboo relaxed me even made me smile 😁

    1. I’m glad it made you smile. I make my husband laugh when I give out about things in the news.
      We have a very good journalist who writes about the victim culture, how nobody is allowed to criticise anyone else any more, and no is responsible for anything, it’s all in their genes etc etc. She gets a lot of abuse, logically.

      1. Somehow the world has lost its way. Everything is so politically correct. You cannot say anything about anything! Arrrrrrrrrgh! Oh! Another thing why is everyone bulk buying toilet rolls….no bull shit? No shit at all! 😜

      2. Ha ha! I hope the stocks of loo roll are adequate. It always astonishes me when I see the quantities people think they need to have in. Do they intend spending the next six months on the toilet?

  2. About the kids swapping body part pics, the prosecutors office routinely charges the kids with felonies for doing it. The crime they are charged with is transmitting child porn.

    1. It doesn’t seem to stop the underage girls who keep popping up on twitter. They were talking about protecting school kids from having their photos being used without their consent ie school kids who swap pics of themselves with boyfriend and boyfriend posts it on snapchat. The protection is in the form of counselling after the fact, not pointing out to them why children should not be sending picture of their private parts through the social media, because that infringes their freedom of something or other.

      1. The days of cell phones and a universe of porn combined with young people is an unstoppable disaster. Laws are terminally inadequate to deal with it.

      2. Yes, and they feel inadequate if they’re not doing what they think everybody else is. I think what confused me about this interview I heard was that nobody was saying there is something not right about a thirteen year old girl sending naked photos of herself to her boyfriend. The indignation was about the boy (little toe rag) who posts the pics without her consent and how to give psychological help to the abused girl. I might be completely off track here, but it seems to me that somebody ought to be telling them, just don’t do it!

      3. The last thing you said, yes they should, and they should start telling them early and often. The days where kids’ cellphones almost become an extension of their personalities and their contact lists and social media become very similar to a hive mind, it’s difficult, at least for me, to relate to such an environment to exist within. I think adults are way too lenient with both the age they are giving kids phones and the amount of screen time they are allowing them to have. I’ve known parents who have a basket at the door that the kids drop their cells into when they come home and are timed. These are the rare exception. I don’t know of any schools that enforce cell-free classrooms. Having worked with juvenile delinquents for ~20 years before retirement, I see the mayhem these things wreak in families and with the kids.

      4. Obviously, it isn’t quite at that stage here, but the mentality is the same. Adults seem to abdicate all moral responsibility for their children, teach them nothing except that what you want you get. Saying no to anything is too hard and it infringes civil liberties. Tripe. You’re right about the harm, and the moral vacuity of the lives of some kids.

  3. Hey, your message is correct, forget politically. We were kind of in the same track with the prompt. I tackled porn, and its access for children.

    1. It seems to be verboten to criticise anyone about anything. If kids want to do it, they just need comforting when it goes wrong. For the love of God, where did our sense of responsibility go?

  4. Well there is a big push now on washing our hands. I learned that in Kindegarten. Didn’t everyone? I think we need to wash our hands of political correctness and kill the spreading infection!

    1. It’s the censorship of criticism that is frightening. Someone decides that wearing false braids in your hair is somebody else’s exclusive cultural prerogative so you mustn’t even dare ask, why, who says, how come? So silly to get our knickers in a twist about a bit of nylon when there are millions dying and displaced. We need to get a grip.

  5. I think way too much value is given to offense. When the risk of offense gets in the way of truth and truthful talk, then offense has way too much authority. Which is to say I appreciate your words and the authenticity in the comments after.

    1. Thank you. You echo the words of an avowed left-wing journalist I think writes a lot of sense. She is vilified by all sides, the left-leaning but wrong-headed who insist we tolerate (even encourage) intolerance and separatism, and the right wing intolerants who attack her for defending women’s rights. She still speaks out, defends the right to say where she thinks the left has got it wrong even though they find it offensive.

    1. I don’t even consider them any more. I don’t know what it means. Between the anti-choice Christians, and the anti-equality Muslims, I’d prefer it if they were all kept out of public debate.

    1. Thank you. I think we’ve lost the plot about everything. Anything is allowed if it’s possible to do it, any dubious moral issue becomes written in tablets of stone if there are enough votes in it.

    1. Nothing has any deeper meaning than numbers—bums on pews and votes. Nothing else matters in either the political or religious world. I don’t look to either place for my moral positioning.

    1. I think people are genuinely mixed up, particularly on the left. When I see militant left non-Muslim women defending the right of Muslim men to issue death and rape threats to a kid who criticised their religion (after being harassed and insulted by a Muslim youth), I ask which toilet did they flush their common sense down?

      1. Yes, a lot of that about. I remember Andrea Dworkin writing about soft feminists (for example) who cozied up to misogyny in order to make a name for themselves – Polanski comes to mind.

      2. When it’s an ‘artist’ who’s caught sodomising children, you only judge him for his achievements. When it’s an electrician, you sling him straight in prison, no matter how good he is at fitting light switches.

  6. SMiLes Beauty of Living Life Without Any Aquarium Glass Target
    Audiences or Followers Living Sleeping Truth in Light Dancing Singing
    Seeing Hearing Oceans WHeRE NOT Every Fish is Afraid to Swim

      1. SMiLes There is More
        ‘God’ in Less than one
        Grain of Sand Than all
        Words Ever Created this
        Is How i ‘Hold Infinities
        In the Palm of my Hand’
        As My Backyard
        Yard Now
        i have no idea
        What that means
        But the ‘Frission’ In
        The ‘Autotelic Flow’
        Is ‘The Divine’ that
        Even Science Terms
        i Feel And Sense of a
        Full Body Skin Orgasm
        Coming Free from
        The Melody
        Of Beauty
        With no
        Reason of
        Meaning but Love
        That is Never
        In Containers..:)

      2. To hold infinities
        in the palm of the hand
        to wade through oceans
        crossing a ditch
        to hear symphonic poems
        in the notes of birdsong
        the key of life

  7. Well said, Jane. Sometimes it looks as though folks are looking hard for a reason to be offended. What counts, in the end, is hearts and actions…not slips of tongue or an ignorance of the latest acceptable or unacceptable word.

    1. Exactly. If you’re criticised about anything the knee jerk reaction is to pose as a victim of aggression. Any opinion is as good as another and the ultimate inalienable right is to be allowed to run off at the mouth with no criticism.

  8. I like the truth in your writing…People do get easily offended. I find that if I don’t agree with a post (not yours per say) I just don’t “like” it and move on…

    1. That seems to be the one taboo that nobody transcends—the right to offend. It doesn’t exist any more, so we tolerate any criminal lunacy for fear of ruffling somebody’s feathers.

      1. That’s what I find so despairing about it, that the driving force in this intolerance is the kids! The case that shows the generational divide here is a 16 year old girl who criticised Islam on her instagram account after she was harassed and insulted by a Muslim boy. She’s received so many death threats and rape threats she has had to be taken out of school. Instead of defending her, the majority of her peers think she deserved what she got because you shouldn’t criticise someone’s religion.

      2. It’s reverse racism in so many aspects. If people were held accountable for everything they said, we would all be banned and kicked out…Everyone doesn’t need to like everyone else. It is so demented.

      3. We don’t have to like everyone and everything, and what happened to defending values? Someone might be offended? Chamberlain didn’t want to offend Herr Hitler…

  9. As above, thanks for these words. I also (being completely non-francophone) really liked – états d’âme – state of the soul or mood. French is such a fabulous language – combining the profound with the quotidian – in such an off-hand manner.

    1. Thanks Peter. I’ve always had twitchy fists, but the older I get, the more I feel like dishing out a puck in the gob.
      Yes, French is a language that launches into the spiritual in very everyday expressions. And people use their language properly, with the words in the right order, taking care to pick the right ones. I despair for the English language, listening to people like broadcasters and the so-called educated classes mangling it.

  10. Thats so true, Jane! You are in the right mood. Dont worry about all the differences we got during the last ten years.
    It seems to be a kind of certain tactic. A short period of predetermined freedom, in view of the entire history of Europe to be followed again by feudalism.

    1. It’s an anarchic sort of feudalism then. At least the old kind was a single line of thought that everyone respected (or they were murdered). This new system is all over the place, no logic, contradicting itself everywhere, and as intolerant and dogmatic in its inconsistencies as the old one.

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