Phoebe can’t swear

Ted Lasso Season 2 — SPOILERS AHEAD

In Ted Lasso (season 2, episode 8) Phoebe, Roy Kent’s niece, is expelled from school because she swears.

Roy swears incessantly. Her teacher swears, Keelly swears, Rebecca swears. Everyone swears, not just her micro-bubble—everyone in the Ted Lasso universe (as a reflection of our real world society) swears.

Yet Phoebe, an 8 year old girl, along all the other girls and some of the boys, cannot—as in: strictly prohibited—swear.

I started wanting to make the claim that this is unfair. Yet the only rudimentary sensible claim I can make is ask:

Why do we think this is going to work?

But as I’m writing these words, I realise, something even crazier happens: it does work.

Kids grow up in a society that everybody swears all the time. On TV, on the internet, at school, inside the house, outside the house, at the park, at the shops. Yet they are taught that they cannot swear themselves—until they achieve adulthood. At that point, not only can they start but are also expected to swear—as well as: deter (as they were detered) non-adults from swearing.

How can this seemingly mad cycle be sustainable?

If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.

It’s not a mad cycle. It’s a perfectly reasonable one. Kids are taught that kids cannot swear and this is exactly what they learn. They start swearing when they are no longer kids and when it’s their turn as adults, they teach exactly what they learned. Perfectly reasonable memetic model, in accordance with everything else humans do.

Such is the way, I realise, my argument should be about justice after all.

All humans equal before swearing.