Well, anonymous user, it depends on who you ask. It is the socially-accepted understanding of that gesture in the Unites States and other countries. However, the same meaning is true for a “thumbs up” in Italy. The meaning, thusly so, is formed and maintained by the culture in which the gesture was understood by a majority of the population to hold that particular interpretation. The same is really true for anything in our culture that is widely accepted, including road signs and symbols. Maybe, just maybe, you could be the one to make the middle finger a symbol of unity instead of a “bad word”. (I’m down, if you’re down… Let’s do it!) 🙂
Thanks for contacting!