Taboo Taxonomy in Detail – v1.0

TABOO TAXONOMY 1.0

The following are each of the taboo categories I’ve defined, followed by a list of topics that fit within that category.

I think it should at least be ok to talk about each of these topics somewhere, in a place common enough that each person could access that place easily enough when they need it. Home? With a friend? On a safe online location? Somewhere.

Whether or not we should actually be able to DO or SHOW the described action or item in private or public I think is up for discussion for some of them.

What is missing?  Feel free to tell me!

 

BODYBIGOTRYMENTALCULTURAL

BODY

BODY PARTS, FUNCTION, EMITTANCE
BODY DIFFERENCES
BODY IMAGE
SEX
REPRODUCTION
AGING
DEATH

BODY PARTS
penis
vagina
vulva
uterus
clitoris
cervix
scrotum
prostate
anus
rectum
colon
breast
pubic hair
body hair
women’s underarm hair
men’s back hair

BODY FUNCTION
defecation
urination
menstruation
breast-feeding
nose picking
ear cleaning
bb-cleaning
flatulence
diarrhea
constipation
pregnancy and complications
defecating in public (BODY or SOCIAL)

BODY DIFFERENCES
disabilities
height differences, various asymmetrical differences

BODY EMITTANCE
feces
urine
ear wax
bellybutton lint
sweat
pus
blood
smell of urine, etc

BODY IMAGE
nudity
eating disorders
weight issues
too large
too small
anorexia, bulemia, etc.

Female specific health issues
Male specific health issues

SEX
sex acts
masturbation
anal sex
deviant sex acts and behavior
flogging
kink/fetish
bondage

STDs
female orgasm

sex w/ minors – incest, pedophilia
sex with power differential
sex with students
sex with animals – bestiality

sex work
sex workers

coprophilia (skatophilia)
necrophilia

REPRODUCTION
Pregnancy – wanted and unwanted
Infertility
Abortion
Post-partum depression
Birth control
Ambivalence about motherhood
No instinct to want to have kids

AGING
Weaknesses due to aging
Looking older
Wrinkles
Admitting your age as you get older

DEATH
Assisted Suicide
Euthanasia

BIGOTRY

SKIN COLOR
SEXISM
GENDER
RELIGION/LIFE PHILOSOPHY
NATIONALISM
APPEARANCE
SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS

From Wikipedia:
Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

SKIN COLOR

Specifically, how skin color =/= human race
People of very different dna can have the same skin color. So, we can conclude what about each of them?

We’ve known since 1950 that determining race based on skin color is a social, not a biological construct. Yet we (global we) persist in using this system. And the benefit is what?

SEXISM

GENDER
Genitals we have
Gender we feel we are
Gender(s) of the person we are attracted to
Gender that we want to express
Issues we run into from birth through adulthood figuring out the terrain of this unfitting dual system we supposedly must fit into.

RELIGION/LIFE PHILOSOPHY

NATIONALISM

APPEARANCE
Disability
Size
Height
Weight
Fitness
Fashion
Clothing
Hair
Car

SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS
Class
Caste
Prior Criminal Activity
Status from:
Money
Position
Bruteness

MENTAL

Relationship with the self or an intimate other

SHAME
SHADOW SIDE
ADDICTION
MENTAL ILLNESS
GRIEF

SHAME

SHADOW SIDE
Anything about ourselves that we cannot look at, that we are in denial about.
(May be anger, may be our people-pleasing tendencies.)

ADDICTION

MENTAL ILLNESS
Depression
Suicide

GRIEF
Disenfranchised Grief –
grief about something that cannot be mentioned or
is not acknowledged by society at large or
cannot be acknowledged by anyone in one’s life

Not sure about where these go or how they fit in:
wrath
greed
sloth
pride
lust
envy
gluttony

Cruelty
self praise
grandiosity
Critical, condescending, judgmental
Contempt

Betraying those I love
other’s secrets
Feelings

Letting one’s identity get too tied to one’s position or what one Does in the world

malice aforethought
wishing someone dead to release one from obligation

Having too high of expectations

CULTURAL

Relationships among many

WAR, WAR-RELATED VIOLENCE
MARRIAGE/FAMILY/INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
PARENTAL
VIOLENCE TOWARD OTHERS
SOCIAL GESTURES, EXPRESSION

WAR, WAR-RELATED VIOLENCE
War experiences
Events
Images
Punishment, including capital punishment
Torture Methods
War/Torture Experiences

MARRIAGE/FAMILY/INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
Ambivalence about marriage
Gay marriage
Polygamy, polyandry
Polyamory
Affairs/Adultery
Open marriage
Consanguinamory (consensual incest)
Platonic Relationships – between groups that are typically sexually attracted to each other
Family Estrangement
Should we not talk about this for fear of encouraging others to pull this malicious stunt?
How does “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives” resonate with you?

PARENTAL
No parental instinct – not knowing what to do when you have kids
Child abuse
Incest
Handle child’s curiosity about all of these taboo subjects, including body, sex, skin color
Potty training
Breastfeeding in public
Having a favorite child
Disliking a child
Admitting to serious depression while a parent
Admit that breastfeeding can be arousing
Father’s/mother’s rights/responsibilities

Any limits to discussing any of the above? Anything taboo about what a parent can discuss or do?

VIOLENCE TOWARD OTHERS
Bullying – how do we define what is not ok?
Do people need to just grow up and get a thicker skin?
When is it acceptable horseplay and when is it bullying?
Rape
FGM/Circumcision
Slavery/Human Trafficking
Power differential – Person of authority/power taking advantage of another
Spousal Abuse
Cannibalism
Animal Abuse

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, CUSTOMS, GESTURES
Swearing
ok? not ok? sometimes ok?
Do people need to just grow up and get a thicker skin?
Should words never matter?
What is a swear word anyway? And who decides this stuff?
Open Ambition
Revealing creativity, intelligence, authenticity, empathy, conscience, standing out from the crowd.
How much do you hold yourself back from the reaction you anticipate from others?
How much should you care?
Asking for what you want
Thinking for oneself
Is this as taboo to you as it seems to me?
Lying/Cheating/Stealing/Plagiarism
Speaking out Against
Government
Church
Family
Professor
Police
Doctor
Speaking About
Difficult personal stories
Shadow side
People’s motivations, agendas
Emotions, feelings, weaknesses, human failings, loneliness
Money
Where does your money come from?
Customs/Gestures
Handshake
Eyes/gaze
Greetings, taking leave
How to be in a conversation

Violent language as opposed to nonviolent communication

 

Not sure about where these go or how they fit in:

FEMALE DOMINANCE
TRAVELING TO CUBA (OR ANYWHERE FROM ANYWHERE)

Failure to recycle
Driving gas guzzlers
cell phone ringing during performance
smoking in public
eating meat/not eating meat
jealous of child’s possessions or best friend (coveting)
cliche’
steroids
having too many cats
white socks with sandals
not supporting the troops

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Breaking away from tiny localized taboos – tabooettes

driving around at 2pm on a workday

doing the dishes and winging it as I make hot water in the largest dirty bowl or pot rather than a particular dishpan (breaking dad’s rules – big taboo – took me till I was in my 50’s … my gawwwd … didn’t even realize it)

taboos in the art world …
quilters don’t have as easy of a time of offering quilts around taboo subjects as, say, painters do.

improv comedians (as well as other jobs) and often struggle with the issues of taboos and with balance between not losing their authentic voice, considerations of the audience they are performing for and just their own personal boundaries.  I think performance art like this may have different considerations………or not, I guess, depending on the comedian.

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Should we talk about taboos?

Does talking about them in an exploratory fashion, not in a celebratory fashion, encourage people to partake of some of them when they otherwise might not? (Family estrangement – if people knew how much this already happened, do you think more people might do it? Is that good or bad?)

“We shouldn’t allow gay marriage because that begs the question for us to answer polyamorous marriages.”

“We shouldn’t allow any god-believer of any sort into a humanist organization because they’ll infiltrate and take over.

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Celebration of Taboos Disappeared

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Ways of Transforming Taboos

Respectful discussion
Thinking about the kind of world we want to live in
Reading banned books
Telling our stories and listening to others’ stories
Living the change we want to see in the world

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Taboos we should keep

Difference between Talking about a taboo and Acting out that taboo
I think we should at least be able to Talk about every topic in Some adequate enough, common enough forum.

killing another human

killing another animal – with conditions

anything sexual with a minor – discuss.

most paid sex work in our current environments – how to ensure that people doing it are doing it of their own accord?

??something about the environment??

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Shouldn’t everything be ok to at least talk about?

What is ok to speak? not ok to speak?

Voicing an opinion that is negative about something that someone else cannot change about themselves.

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Submitted by a reader – I’m considering how to fold this into the existing format:

I think you might consider adding two items to your taboo lists “guilt” and “morality or moral standards” (however you wish to phrase it). In a discussion during the last election cycle with a Christian fundamentalist the lady commented that we (meaning herself and me and the president) didn’t share the same moral standards. I responded that she was right the president and I respect the rights of all people and she didn’t. That ended the conversation. I have also noticed that alot of people bitch and complain about something that has happened or is happening when it is clear to others that they are at least partially if not wholly responsible for the situation they are in. With the tragedy of the destruction of the twin towers in New York there was no national dialogue or recognition that we (the collective we the people past and present) share some of the blame, that our public policies towards other countries and our personal actions helped create the fear and the hate that  drove men to destroy those symbols. The new Pope finds himself in a difficult spot unable or unwilling to admit that his predesessors made mistakes, are guilty of some errors in judgment, that some policies and practices of the Catholic Church have been and are wrong. Guilt is something people avoid adressing, or at least their own guilt! They are always, it seems, ready and willing to condemn others for their guilt!

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Submitted by a reader – I’m considering how to fold this into the existing format:

Another item to add to your taboo list is responsibility. This is connected to guilt BUT also different from guilt. It is part of the debate over government debts, budgets and financing, and shutting down the government over the issue of health care and debt ceilings. BUT everyone steps around the issue of what do we owe to those who are less fortunate than we are, or do we even owe them anything? It is found in the complaints from ultra Conservative Christians/Republicans about welfare fraud, health care. One man commented that “if people want health care they can get a job. He refused to address the issue of people being unemployed, wanting work, and not being able to find work, or finding work that doesn’t cover expenses. His whole attitude was NO one should get something for nothing. He feels he owes nothing to anyone else. It is seen in the current comments from Tea Party folks that the federal government is ONLY there to secure ou
r borders and our national defense. There is no recognition that we all benefit from public road systems, clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, a safe food and drug supply all courtesy of our federal government. Often the comments and complaints come from retirees who are getting social security and medicare payments all courtesy of our federal government and the agencies, laws and programs it runs.  Do we have a responsibility to help those in need, to look after the general welfare/wellbeing of ALL of our people as well as visitors (legal or otherwise) to our country, to look after our planet (protect it from exploitation of the few for their personal benefit at the expense of the rest of us). All questions on people’s taboo list.
One more thing. Look at the issue of Educational Reform. No where is anyone discussing the responsibility of Parents. Honestly teachers can’t teach if kids aren’t in school or constantly misbehave, or they don’t do their work. It is the Responsibility of parents to motivate and encourage and help their children learn.

These (guilt, responsibility, morals) aren’t exactly what I would consider “cultural” or “mental” issues, they are connected to religious beliefs but aren’t usually a part of religious doctrines. I guess they are “social or societal” issues.

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Creative Commons License
Taboo Taxonomy by Laura Mappin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 

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