Saturday, June 19, 2010

Excuse me, sir, your misogyny is showing

Don't call me bitch.

Oh, I can call myself a free bitch, baby, or Bitch Queen of the Universe, or a babe in total control of herself, but these are different than 99.9% of conversational use -- they evoke power, turning the classical definition of 'bitch' on its head.  Reclaiming the word, turning it into a compliment rather than a tool used to remind women of their 'place.'

So what is a bitch?

Let's check out the top definitions at Urban Dictionary, font of all things worth knowing.

(1) Word used to describe the act of whining excessively. (2) Person who rides specifically in the middle of a front-seatting only car meant for 2 passengers or less. (3) Modern-day servant; A person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status. (4) Term used to exclaim hardship.

A bitch is someone who whines irritatingly, someone who takes the worst seat in the vehicle, a servant who performs degrading tasks, or something awful that happens to someone ('Wow, that's a bitch.')  Catching the theme, here?  You don't want to be a bitch.  A bitch is annoying, cowed, humiliated by others, hardly human, more of a thing.

"Don't take things so personally.  Just because I say something is a bitch totally doesn't mean I'm calling you a bitch.  Chill out."  Nope.  'Bitch' is misogynistic language.  Look around -- who's female around here?  Me.  Just me.  Scuse me while I stand the hell up for myself.  Examine: who 'rides bitch' in any sort of vehicle?  The woman.  When someone is another's 'bitch,' they are subservient.  This phrase is almost uniquely used to describe men put in emasculating situations, because guess who's the bitch all the rest of the time?  Women.  You quote Pulp Fiction with your buddies:

"Does he look like a bitch?"
"Then why'd you try to fuck him like a bitch?"
I think this describes the bit where Marsellus Wallace is raped.  Note: 'to fuck him like a bitch' = rape.  Bitches are raped.  Other people do what they like, sexually, with bitches, regardless of the fact that the bitch is actually a person.  I feel threatened that you guys quote this, giggling: bitches get fucked.  Fucking is something that males do to others rather than a fifty-fifty between two consenting individuals.  Bitches get raped.

You following?  The word bitch pertains to women.  Look around.  I am the only woman here.  And if I weren't, you can bet your booties I'd still be hollering about it, because you'd still be talking about me, you'd just also be victimizing several other ladies, too.  And even if you're definitely not talking about me, I'll still be talking about it, because calling a woman a bitch because she's strong and opinionated is not okay -- it's a way to silence her.

*I spent the weekend in rather loathsome company and BOY DO I HAVE THINGS TO SAY.
**Calling a male a bitch is a whole 'nother post, reflecting classic heterosexual insecurity with anything that stretches the boundaries of masculinity.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Even the term 'bitching' (also when used on dudes) specifically means 'whining, gossiping, being annoying' = a WOMAN. Of course being a woman is as contagious as rabies!

    Sorry for the crappy weekend.