My daughter was describing a friend of hers and at the end of the rambly convoluted story she said, “but sometimes she can be a bitch. Oops, I guess thats bad, I shouldn’t say that.”
I told her not to use that word around me because it is imprecise. My best explanation without making a word “bad”.
Bitch is such a crappy, short-hand term for whatever someone doesn’t like about some woman or girl. It can be used to say she is nasty, mean, sharp, intolerant, rude and/or unreasonable. Bitch as a pejorative is often used by folks who don’t know what pejorative means, but not exclusively. It is a word that crosses socio-economic and gender lines.
Bitch can mean aggressive, powerful, pushy, intimidating. ambitious and just plain “out of line” in a male dominated world. Fairly easy to see why this irritates me, but not so easy to explain to a 12-year old without giving a “Women’s Studies 101” lecture.
Still. My daughter has a better vocabulary than that. And I expect her to find a way to use it. Same thing goes for the “Boys are dumb” comments she and her friends sometimes make. Those words don’t tell a story no matter how much T-Shirt makers insist that putting boys down, raises girls up. Insults are not power.
Fine line to ride here trying to teach my kid to not embrace casual sexism, racism, elitism or any other “-ism”, without her making her (or me) sound righteous.
That said, having had “Bitch” flung at me more than a few times, I find it unacceptable coming out of the mouth of my daughter.
Brings out my right hook(s) “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexual exploitation and oppression” and obviously we are not there yet.