I got into a fight with a friend of mine some years ago about the connotation of the word “Bitch”. It was offensive to her; it was a term of endearment and empowerment to me. We fought over things like this frequently, so we aren’t friends anymore. However, I still find that word empowering in my own kind of way.
By definition, we know the dog relation to the word (Merriam-Webster). Additional meanings include ”Lewd or immoral woman”, “malicious or spiteful woman”, “Something that is extremely difficult, objectionable or unpleasant.”. Bitch has German and Old English roots with its first documented use being in 1675.
Even with these meanings and it’s seemingly apparent degradation of women, the word is becoming transformed in our ever-evolving vernacular with it’s meaning changing, especially within Urban and Pop culture. Think rap music in the 90’s to women calling themselves “bad bitches” just recently. I find it to be a wonderful descriptor with an edge that is a touch taboo. I have been pissing off our society in some way, shape or form for most of my life. I have gotten to the point where I kind of like doing so. On that very special occasion where I have something just right to warrant being called a bitch, I am proud!
I take pride in my aggression. It’s been cultivated and forged in stressful fires and difficult situations. That inner bitch has protected me and kept me safe, she also has given me strength and courage. This bitch lets me speak up and speak out and defend my family and my child. She is brash and fearless. I admire her. I am proud to be her.
I understand why some women are put aback when the word is used maliciously towards them. The spiteful and ill intent used by someone yelling, “you bitch” at the top of his or her lungs. I have been witness to a few arguments where men call each other bitches and unfortunately it doesn’t have the same affect for them as it does for me.
Bitch Magazine and Bitch Media work to provide a more positive view of the word. The 1980’s band “Bitch” gain notoriety for their live Alice Cooper-esk performances. In Downtown Seattle, a breakfast company called Biscuit Bitch helped me recover from an exceptional hangover the day after my wedding. If you search YouTube you can find a demo track called “Bad Bitch” with songs of the same name by French Montana and Bebe Rexha.
The word is changing and evolving and I am proud to be able to see this happen. If we should ever speak, call me a bitch and I’m sure it’ll make me smile.