You're NOT a Pet: Why We Shouldn't be Calling Women Bitches
Bitch. According to any reputable dictionary, it’s the English word for female dog. In popular culture, it’s taken on an entirely different meaning – bitch = woman. In earlier use, a bitch was a woman who needed an attitude adjustment. Now, depending on the tone, context or adjective placed in front of it, it can be a term of endearment just as much as it can be an insult. I won’t deny that I sometimes jokingly call my close girl friends “bitch” but it’s hit me that I really shouldn’t do that. The word, no matter how we twist it, is a derogatory term. It isn’t endearing, it isn’t cute and it really shouldn’t be funny. Bitch implies that women are animals, to be trained to follow simple commands and kept on a leash til the owner feels otherwise. But as far as I know, unless she was raised by savages or was forced into a very abusive situation, no woman shits in the yard, sleeps in a kennel or feasts on Kibble and Bits for dinner. Women are not pets, but that’s what calling them “bitch” suggests.
Might I be overgeneralizing? I would argue that I’m not. See, "bitch" is indiscriminate. It isn’t like “hoe” or “slut,” which we understand to mean that the woman is a harlot or sex object. Hoes and sluts are not the type you “wife,” take home to mom, or have kids with. On the other hand, you can wife a bitch, impregnate a bitch, or take a bitch home to mom, in much the same way that you can smash a bitch and leave her for a new bitch.
If we use bitch and woman interchangeably, then your mother, aunt, and every other woman you respect is also a bitch. How many men are telling me to “hold the phones” because to them a bitch is just some woman you’re trying to bed, or one who has an attitude and won’t let you bang her? Well Mister, let me inform you, if that’s the definition of bitch, then your mother was a bitch to somebody at some point in her life. Food for thought.
There are a few uses of bitch that irritate me more than any others.
1. Bottom Bitch
I read a great article on this topic which explained why being a bottom bitch is really an unfortunate position for a woman to find…no put herself in. I totally agree with that author’s view. It’s a sad place to be where, not only are you his bitch, but you’re at the bottom of the pile, a last resort, the lowest in the deck of his bitch cards. You might think you’re the queen to his king, but the man is a jack and you’re the joke(r). Once women realize that the bottom bitch is a lower class position, they usually decide they want to be the…
2. Main Bitch
Now this I would find amusing, if it weren’t so sad. You want to be numero uno. Sounds good in theory, right? Except that being the first means that, very likely, there’s a second, third, maybe even a tenth. You’re just another card in the deck, and should he decide to shuffle, you might end up in a less favourable position. Do you see how that doesn’t work too well for you? Thought you might. So you decide, “I’ll be the…
3. Only Bitch
Did you miss the part where I talked about being a bitch just makes you his lap dog? Be the only, drop the bitch.
4. Bad Bitch
This is by far the one that irritates me most. Ok, so you’re an independent woman--you take care of your own, handle any issues that arise, and don’t need a man to support you. Great! Except that most “bad bitches” are just little girls in grown women’s bodies with self-esteem issues, blindly following the “bad bitch leader” Nicki Minaj, and hoping that no one will see through their self-doubt and insecurity. Let’s be literal for a second. A bad bitch, as in a female dog with behavioural issues, is usually put on a short leash, beaten with a rolled up newspaper, and when all else fails, taken to the pound where they might be put down. In other words, a bad bitch must be tamed and trained. So if you think you are a bad bitch with your IDGAF attitude, you’re really not strong and independent, you’re just waitingfor the right trainer with the right whip and leash to teach you to fetch and roll over.
5. Bitch Nigga
I won’t even get started on the word “nigga.” That’s another post altogether. I’ll just leave that one alone…for now. This is the definition given on urban dictionary for “bitch nigga”:
“A man who, instead of behaving in a manly way, such as standing up for his actions or staying out of other people's buisness, behaves the way a woman, or bitch would, participating in gossip and talking behind other people's backs, with the ultimate goal of causing drama, like a woman (bitch) would.”
This is probably the biggest insult you could throw at a black man. So, a man who falls outside of the much-too-strict definitions of manliness, is accused of being a woman? Well goddamn, didn’t realize being a woman was such a wretched thing.