Why such an insanely controversial title ?
It all began one lazy morning when I was sitting in the back of my car on the Highway, my windows rolled down as I enjoyed the cool breeze. “You Bitch#$*” the loud expletive shook my very being up and forced me to peep out. The crude profanity emanated from behind the veil of the helmet of a paunchy man on a motorcycle and the target of his crassness was a woman driver in the i10 just ahead of him who had had to apply sudden brakes owing to a confused dog or perhaps a bitch running across the road.
The incident passed , as did the day but somehow the word’ bitch’ stuck up in my head and kept replaying like a spool in a loop.
Why is bitch such a bad word? Why is it used to malign women? My curiosity was piqued and I wanted answers. Like a restless kid I googled to see what it was that the bitch did to attract such a stigma.
My research that went late into the night didn’t reveal much. Just as I’d suspected, the bitch is equally if not more loyal, sensitive, alert, loving, and faithful as any dog.
Hence continued my quest for the elusive answer…
Many women have had the experience of being labeled a “bitch,”
And, most of the time, it has to do with social stereotypes about how women should behave.
Back in the old old days the word was associated with women who apparently lacked character with the insinuation that a bitch in heat had many suitors. However that too is debatable for it is not the doing of the poor female dog ..she’s merely the pawn in the hands of mother nature itself . How many times have we witnessed a ‘bitch’(a literal one here) being harassed by the males?
Besides, it is the bitch that goes through the ordeal of pregnancy and then weans the pups and nurtures them without any help from papa dog. And yet she is the one who is vilified perhaps only it ibecause she is the female of the species. A classic case of the victim being victimized . How fair is that? Unfortunately the same finds parallel in us homo sapiens too.
When women began gaining more freedom (such as the right to vote) ,this new found freedom that women possessed upset the male-dominated society making anti feminist men of the time feel threatened, possibly leading to retaliation through name-calling.
In modern times the term has come to symbolize women who speak their minds, who have opinions and don’t shy away from expressing them. It is synonymous with an assertive, liberated, opiniated woman who does not exactly conform with the society’s idea of how ‘Good, Proper Girls’ should be.
Assertiveness is an asset not a negative trait. Assertive women are often mistaken for being “bossy bitches.”
At the workplace if a man is ambitious he is a go getter ,an achiever but if a woman is determined and striving she’s well a ruthless conniving bitch, the stereotype of a woman being that of a loving, caring and warm person— but not particularly a go getter.
Women are projected as being either competent and calculative or dumb and gentle doormats who no one takes seriously. .
Think Marilyn Monroe — the uber-femme archetype. People remember her as a ditzy blonde,” Halvorson says, “but she wrote poetry; she was someone who had a lot of depth.” But then we were never told about this side of her.
Ernest Hemingway was also a strong proponent of the term during this time. He was known to expand the meaning of “bitch” to a more modern definition. He used it to represent favorable qualities such as ferocity, edginess, and grit.