I personally do not believe in taboos. I believe every subject is open to discussion, without any exception. I believe every subject can be made fun of and every subject should be discussed. The usual suspects of taboos are sex,religion, feelings, politics at times, death, genocide, rape, famine,pedophilia, murder, racism, sexism, homophobia, money, and a few more. The list isn’t exhaustive. Most of the subjects are directly related to your environment. As half Greek and half Burundian, I can attest that what is taboo in one country, isn’t in the other. To come and think of it, I don’t believe Greeks have any taboos. Everything goes, they will talk about anything without being scared or looking to be politically correct. Burundians on the other hand…

Perhaps the way I grew up has made me understand that nothing is taboo.In our own household, nothing was taboo. That isn’t an easy balance to maintain and it doesn’t mean we could say whatever the fuck we wanted. The only thing you had to do, was to be polite and respectful and then talk about whatever you wanted. Perhaps, that is why today, I don’t see any reason to not talk about something.If I wanna talk about something, I will. You can choose to not listen to it, or to criticize me or disagree with me and even curse me if you want, just don’t raise your hands above your hips, violence won’t solve anything.

That kind of upbringing has programmed me to wonder why any subject is taboo. Why can’t people discuss sex, religion, rape, sexual assault, homophobia,famine, war, genocide, racism and so many more subjects? Don’t you think by not discussing those subjects we give them power? I believe we give them power to be untouchable, to be mysterious. As soon as a subject or an idea becomes untouchable,it gains power and a distance is put between the people and that specific idea.As it rises to ultimate power, it becomes more and more dangerous, impolite and blasphemous to talk about the said subject until it reaches its pinnacle and then, it gains the “taboo” status.

Taboo means no questions asked. It is like an axiom in mathematics: you take it as it is, with no proof. Asking questions is synonymous to being nosy,curious beyond the limits allowed by unwritten social rules. I don’t know who went to church as a kid, but we were told to not ask many questions. Just believe, that’s it. No questions allowed, maybe a few, the ones that are easy to answer. If I say I know someone who got raped without naming her, I could very well be told that I am being obnoxious or impolite. Really? Someone got raped and scarred mentally and physically for the rest of her life but we cannot talk about it or ask questions? How are we going to try and prevent something so awful if we don’t talk about it? How can we educate future generations about rape if we, the adults, do not talk about it? What are we afraid of? Talking about rape or murder or sex or money or homophobia means we are violating decency and moral codes written and accepted by society? You know what breaks decency and moral codes set by society? Rape, murder, homophobia, famine, etc.

Taboos are poison, they are a ticking bomb that can explode at a moment’s notice and leave devastation behind. Taboos have only downside if you ask me.Once again, I am not expecting people to agree with me. Many will disagree especially if I talk about religion or rape or women’s rights. None of those subjects will become taboo in my book. I don’t care who you are. If I have a question or if I need clarification, I will speak up. I don’t want any subject to become taboo on my watch! NEVER.

One thing that is universally true is that the best way to fix problems is to talk about them. We must have conversations about those problems or subjects that are difficult to talk about or even agree on. We need to break those ideas down, we need to understand their origin, why they are the way they’re and we must take their importance away. We must be bold, we must find the courage to have an open and honest discussion. We must act that way before we find ourselves not being able to utter certain words in public or in private because we fear some retribution that may or may not come. Taboos are like a cancerous-cell that is ready to spread, enter the blood stream and infect other parts of the body until death becomes a sweet relief.

I really don’t like taboos. I believe I have made that clear. Taboos are a nuisance. Let’s talk, let’s joke even, but mostly let’s be real and refuse that fear creeps in and takes away our ways of talking to each other. No subject is too dangerous or too hard to talk about. Trust me, we can talk about anything.We just gotta do it respectfully, we gotta listen to other people’s opinions and be open minded because we might not know everything about a given subject.Open-mindedness is necessary when talking to people. Please, let’s talk to each other, let’s talk about those difficult subjects, let’s push ourselves to better understand ourselves and to cast away anything that would like to become too serious or untouchable.

Just one man’s opinion

Now, smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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