Using the word ‘bitch’ on me isn’t exactly an insult, but it certainly says a lot about you…

Posted on 13.12.2011

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Over the past two weeks, I’ve been called ‘a bitch’ no less than three times. Every single time, it was said by a guy. To me. In a way that was not nice.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word since then, since it’s not exactly a word I use often anymore. All females go through that stage of deciding that they are, in fact, a bitch sometimes, and we’re usually quite proud of it during that stage. And we stay proud of it, to an extent. It’s like a coming-of-age thing. But after we turn 23 or so, we kind of drop that word and move onto more mature words and phrases that mean the same thing, like ‘self-assured’ and ‘possessing a spine’.

I’ve been thinking about gender as it applies to the word bitch, and this is the conclusion that I’ve come to:

To get it out of the way, there are entire groups of people who refer to women as ‘bitches’ or ‘hos’. I’m not necessarily talking about those people in my opinions, although I do acknowledge that they exist and that artists like Snoop Dogg and NWA made those words everyday terms to many.

Women:

When a woman calls another woman a bitch, it generally means that the woman in question (‘the bitch’) is mean or rude. It  is also often (as my friend Deb mentioned when I ran this whole thing by her) accompanied by at least a little bit of respect. A good example of this would be like Miranda in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. Total bitch, but highly respected and not to be fucked with.

When a woman calls a guy (not man, men aren’t bitches) a bitch, it is derogatory and generally means that the guy in question is immature, unable to control emotions, not rational, catty, antagonistic, etc. It’s a highly sexist thing for a woman to call a guy a bitch, but we do it often in the worst of cases.

Men:

When a guy calls another guy a bitch, it means that ‘the bitch’ is a wimp, feminine, and most  likely fits some, if not all, of the above characteristics of the case above (when a woman calls a guy a bitch). I have tons of guy friends who would never utter the word to a woman, but use it on their other guy friends all the time (I’m looking at you, Bret. You’re my favorite bitch-caller of all of them).

When a guy calls a woman a bitch, this means almost the same thing as when a woman calls another woman a bitch, but in the case of men, I’ve got a personal experience: EVERY TIME that a guy has called me or one of my friends a bitch, it is usually just after the woman tells them point blank that they won’t be taking any of their shit. But the word NEVER comes with respect when it’s coming from an angry guy.

While there are some cases where the word ‘bitch’ in regards to a chick is warranted (once again, talking to Bret in regards to his ex-wife, who was quite honestly a total, actual bitch), it’s not as often as some people would expect.

I have never had a guy call me a bitch without one of the following reasons. It has never been said to me except for when I’ve turned down unwanted sexual advances (most often in bars and clubs), said ‘no’ in an authoritative manner to someone, or specifically said (as was the case on my vacation) that I wasn’t going to play games/put up with bullshit. Immediately following all three of these instances is when the ‘bitch’ line has come out of a guy’s mouth.

Considering I DO have a vagina which I am proud of, I’ve grown up being pretty accepting of the b-word. When a guy calls me a bitch these days, a few things happen:

1. They immediately lose points for even daring to try to use it on me in a hurtful or derogatory fashion.

2. I learn that they just realized they don’t have control of a situation, and it is scary or intimidating to them.

3. I learn that they are not used to hearing ‘no’ or dealing with self-assured women.

4. I smile. Glad you finally noticed that I don’t put up with shit from anyone. Wanna see my spine? It’s pretty solid.

These are just my experiences of the word ‘bitch’ in my lifetime. That’s 30 years. Maybe they’re not 100% socio- and anthropologically accurate, but they are accurate for me.

So guys, be forewarned: when you call a woman a bitch, you are effectively saying that you dislike not being in control, and have just showed us your weak spot. Also, keep in mind that anything you say to us isn’t nearly as terrible or hurtful as the shit we think to ourselves, about ourselves, on a daily basis. The word ‘bitch’ used by a guy in regards to a woman is for amateurs or people with a low IQ.

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Posted in: language, life