Friday, January 29, 2010

So You Wanna Be A Bitch?

Bitch- \ˈbich\ (noun) 1 : the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals 2 a : a lewd or immoral woman b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse 3 : something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

Pop culture influences so much…the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we wear our hair, and it most certainly influences our vocabulary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bad English become instantly acceptable. I pay close attention to the trends and some I accept others I reject with staunch fierceness. This notion of referring to a woman as a bitch as a positive thing is something I just can’t get with. This term was once considered an insult but somewhere around junior high I noticed that it began to be a term of endearment among my female counterparts. It was nothing for a woman to refer to her girlfriend as bitch in casual conversation and no one get offended. Now, so many of us proudly proclaim it as a sign of strength and success calling ourselves Da Baddest Bitch, The Five Star Bitch, and The Bitch You Love to Hate or The Last Bitch Standing or Dat Bitch. Successful comedienne’s and female MC’s use the term loosely when describing themselves. There’s even Bitch wine and Sassy Bitch wine to wet our palettes. I liken this trend to the use of the word nigger, although not nearly as profane or with such a deep history of degradation and pain. Nigger or nigga, as some say, is now term of endearment or comradery among many African Americans but a heinous insult worthy of a lawsuit or a beat down when used by another race. If we women refer to ourselves as bitches all day long in conversation, music, books and other forms of media and entertainment can we really get mad when it is hurled at us as an insult? Especially, by the male gender. You did say you were his bottom bitch, right?

I wondered if I was missing something, so I searched Merriam-Webster for a positive definition but was left void. Every definition was negative. I even find the use of the word to describe a strong, intelligent woman almost comical because when the term is used to describe a man it means weak, whiny, whipped---anything but strong. So which is it? Are these female bitches strong or weak because someone has it twisted?

Sometimes bitch is used to describe all women in general. Remember Jay Z’s popular line I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one. Ladies, at what point do we get offended? Anything hip hop calls us in a hot song we are able to shake our assets to we accept….bitch, tip drill, bust it baby, or ho. Remember the popular club joint “It’s Some Hoes in this House?”. My sisters, at what point do we want something more positive for ourselves? This self-degradation has got to stop. I realize me fighting against the word’s use is probably futile since it’s so widespread now. Kind of like the NAACP burying the N-word. It was resurrected by the masses before the dirt even hit the coffin. So, I’ll just say my piece in this blog, agree to disagree with all my sisters who really think they’re bitches (SMH), and cling to old saying, it’s not what I’m called but what I answer to. I am 100% woman, but I’m nobody’s bitch.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like since we feel we can't rise above, we'll just accept it and turn it around to make it a source of empowerment, which is silly. To me, the newly accepted 'Bitch' is nothing more than the old 'Strong Black Woman' moniker. To add insult to injury, we look at this as Blackness. See, we have more power now to define ourselves than at any other point in the history of us being in this country...and look at what we're doing with that power.