This Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word f…k. The intersection of the word f…k and the law is examined in four major areas: First Amendment, broadcast regulation, sexual harassment, and education. The legal implications from the use of f…k vary greatly with the context. To fully understand the legal power of f…k, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped. Drawing upon the research of etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, psychoanalysts, and other social scientists, the visceral reaction to f…k can be explained by cultural taboo. F…k is a taboo word. The taboo is so strong that it compels many to engage in self-censorship. This process of silence then enables small segments of the population to manipulate our rights under the guise of reflecting a greater community. Taboo is then institutionalized through law, yet at the same time is in tension with other identifiable legal rights. Understanding this relationship between law and taboo ultimately yields f…k jurisprudence.
I edit the abstract in case you object to the word “f…k”.