There was a time in my life not so long ago that I began many sentences with the phrase “Not to sound like a bitch, but…” And I saw no problem with that statement until I read an article where the author noted that if you start a sentence with “Not to sound mean but…”, the chances are that what you’re about to say is mean. And you know that it’s mean, so why dissemble about it?
After reading that article I had an epiphany. I still often feel the need to put a disclaimer on myself, especially for people that don’t know me well. More often than not, I’m likely to say “I know this is bitchy but whatever, I’m a bitch and this is what I have to say.” When did the word bitch become the new ‘queer’? Or the new ‘N word’? Is bitch the newest of a crop of derogatory words that the intended victim has turned into a celebration of sorts?
In one of my favorite episodes of “The Simpsons”, Homer finds himself confronted with a gay man and proceeds to tell him that he hates when gays used the word queer to describe themselves. I quote “That’s the word we came up with to talk about you!” Isn’t bitch just more of the same? Many women are more inclined than not to call themselves a bitch before anyone else has the chance to do it for them. I know that I’m one of those women.
The antiquated belief that argumentative, stubborn, tactless women, (i.e. strong women who say what’s on their minds) are bitches still holds true today. I feel lucky that I work in an industry that is largely female-dominated and nurtures the type of balls-busting female I’ve always admired. But as secure as I sound, I definitely worry that perhaps my strong personality is why I’m single. Or maybe that I am perceived largely as a bitch by any and everybody I meet. But is being a bitch so bad??
I believe that most people know more about themselves than they’d like to admit to. I think that a huge part of becoming an adult is being able to admit and embrace your own shortcomings. So here’s my confession: I’m an arrogant, domineering, mean sometimes, busybody and sometimes downright bitchy. However, as one of my personal heroines, Tina Fey noted in a past episode of SNL “I’m a bitch…deal with it. Bitches get stuff done. Bitch is the new Black.”
Watch Miss Fey's full appearance here, the YouTube video is too shitty to use.