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Taboo, the word which merely lasts for a second when uttered, can prove to be catastrophic enough to leave its unceasing and far-reaching impact. Desiccating one’s pulpy life whilst deteriorating the very victim’s milieu is what the meaning behind this word ‘taboo’ is capable of as well as overpowering an individual with divine powers is another capability of taboo. Diving deep into what a taboo is on earth in the truest sense only brings a single notion to my sight. A girl getting lashed and being called out insensitive for she brought up the awfully sensitive topic of periods in front of the male elders or the male members of her family. Another one is a boy or a man being called out girlie or even as someone who doesn’t deserve the tag of a man just because he offered his hand in cooking and cleaning purposes of the household. On the other hand, a man getting justified even after his aggressive and violent behavior and a woman getting lambasted for she has a hint of aggression in her behavior or a marking a woman shedding tears as common and a man doing the same as embarrassing is the other side of taboo in which, under certain circumstances, an individual can even relish the existence of taboos. Well, these do not stop here with just girls and boys, men and women, the roster of what is considered socially unacceptable or at times individually too and is unconventional according to the ancestral roots one beholds or old age beliefs of our common ancestors. That’s an elucidated answer to what is a taboo, but in the most comprehensible and lucid manner, the answer would rather be a belief very close to being an omen that is more than enough to make you seem like an unmannerly, insolent, presumptuous rebel of the very society you have your feet on. You will be labeled as an insoluble element of the society who finds delight in opposing what’s widely established and followed. A rebel trying to show off his\her ostentatious western attitude while defying the elders and their stigmatized clauses. Being an objector in the mass of followers of social and communal behavioral guidelines and paradigms isn’t considered outstanding but would rather be deemed as an unthinkable and unacceptable attitude.

Based upon their origin taboos can vary. Yes, you heard it right taboos too have their own identity, form, and category even though they are often seen demolishing someone else’s foundation of identity and personality. From cultural taboos, which are the prohibition of certain activities within a specific cultural group, such as asking a woman’s age in the west is a taboo to religious taboos which is the banning of such activities which are seen as foreign or as an aspersion, such as consumption of beef and other red meat in certain religions is often recognized as a horrendous activity and then finally food taboos, the restriction of certain food items or the ways of eating in a particular occasion. Sociology recognizes taboo as one of the four types of norms. Norms, often overshine logical and scientific justification due to their prolonged period of running and functioning and also because of the weeny number of questions raised against them in the past. Taboos are quite mighty, considering the fact once someone gets an earful for not acting accordingly, he or she is sure to rethink his or her thinking regardless of how logical or rational it is. The feeling of guilty or the thought “It would have been better if I would have acted accordingly.” is sure to rush through their veins at least once, after he or she confronts the public. An example of this would be someone with a bold and unafraid aura, getting shamed by the public for not following the set of laws laid out by and under a respective ground. If that individual isn’t mentally firm there are high chances of him deviating from his clause and logic, and strengthening the particular taboo by being another believer and supporter of it. And even if he or she is rigid and unwavering, the overbearing ambiance of the taboo due to its number of followers is quite effective to bury a hole in his or her very thinking and perception thereby causing a sense of dubiety within that individual. And this happens due to the lack of union. A single person combating and then getting smothered after some time, another would come up with the same opposition and again would get suppressed by the mass. And the cycle goes on and on.

As time advances, taboos change, get modified and sometimes even new ones appear. It is to be mentioned that taboos too lose followers and then eventually disappear and on the other hand, some generate and propagate to a much larger number of masses. An example of this is how the keeping of the maiden name has been more generalized in recent years and now it isn’t considered a taboo at all as well as girls wearing pants is considered as general as boys wearing the same. The aforementioned examples do have their intensity still prevailing but comparing them to the past gives us soothing answers. Suicide and suicidal thoughts top the list of current taboos not because suicide was discovered recently but because of the rise in the number of suicides in the 21st century, people tend to dodge the topic and not participate in anything related to it because talking about it is parallel to encouraging and letting someone else have this very idea according to those very people, which is completely fallacious. Studies have shown that talking to someone who has suicidal thoughts or even sharing a word or two on this topic and showing a bit of concern would instead bring a person back to stability and stop someone else from veering into that direction in the future. Similarly, the incest taboos are slowly disappearing in complex societies and also child insurance and life insurance were for a long time taboos and then became acceptable.

At this point and so down the article I would like to flip the coin and bring out all the positive contributions of certain taboos. Swearing would be the first and foremost one in this roster. But what is swearing? Taking a pledge or an oath. No, swearing is the use of taboo words, words that hold offensive and derogatory meanings. Swearing in today’s world is way too common, teenagers do so to seem cool, and elders do so to relieve stress to a certain extent as well TV shows and songs exhibit those to garner viewers by displaying what was not at all common until some 7 to 8 years ago. The use of taboo words does give us satisfaction because we all are somewhat inclined towards following what’s not liked much by the general public and what we are restricted from doing. After all, the more the satisfaction from that expletive the more is the intensity and impact of that curse word. The overt use of such words without considering the person in front of us as well as the environment we are in is the wrong use of the freedom we are given. Cursing at someone elderly, respectable, or honorable is lousy and so is cursing at parents and family members. By making swearing a taboo, individual protection is indeed taking place. A person learns the congenial words for different events as well as doesn’t become the prey of wrath and grudge. Teenagers are being lessoned every time an expletive slips out of their mouth which does invoke the fear in them to abide by what was taught or what is reckoned appropriate. Another one would be a bit grotesque but has to be shone the light over, and it is nothing other than cannibalism. The devouring of human flesh by another human. Cannibalism, even though bags reports and evidence of having been practiced a lot in the olden, currently, even if not publicly, still exists in some corners of the earth. Not bringing up how heart-wrenching it must sound to some, and even me, the ailments and health implications propounded by it are lethal. Even though most of the parts of the human body can be feasted upon with equal risks as that of other meats, TSEs ( transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) and BSE ( Bovine spongiform encephalopathy ) also known as mad cow disease are to be expected and welcomed once the brain of someone else is digested. Alcohol taboos are contributing to better health by delimiting the consumption of it as well as smoking taboos which largely reduces the risk of developing lung cancer and leaving earth way too early, etc etc.

The word taboo as stated by reports is of Polynesian origin and was brought by Captain James Cook to the English language, which means disallowed or prohibited or forbidden. Taboos have become a part of everyone’s life. Its darker side being darker than its brighter side has often made it to the top of most of the hot topics and it also evidences me writing this article on taboo from my perception of the first pronoun. Old age taboos often tend to ignite controversies in today’s world whereas today’s apprehension isn’t much appreciated by our older generations. Victimizing individuals, being a core part in the process of establishing one’s followed beliefs or would rather call it taboo, is abhorring and absurd and so is, objecting to a social belief that has a good cause and is lucrative for the humankind, just for personal profit, being defiant isn’t tolerable and equitable. Abortion to incest, LGBTQ to sex, menstruation to mental illness, and the roster of taboos can be pulled up to infinity. Taboos have been a part of human society since time immemorial and getting rid of them isn’t possible instead differentiating blind faith taboos and taboos that are superstitious from taboos that are rational and logical with proper answers to the questions of why and how must be done. It isn’t as easy to write it but is passable when every voice would come together then it would be louder than a lion’s roar.

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