Author Topic: What does "bitch" mean now?  (Read 21241 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2012, 04:59:59 pm »
When I first heard swear words, I thought they were something only kids said and that adults hadn't heard of them.

 :laugh:
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2012, 01:15:07 pm »
Re our discussion of genderizing body-part insults, here's an excerpt from a Slate interview about the book Ascent of the A-word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years, by Goeffrey Nunberg. The whole interview is worth reading for those interested in the origins and useage of profanities, vulgarisms and obscenities (including how these terms are distinct from one another).

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/09/the_rise_of_the_asshole_lexicon_valley_talks_with_linguist_geoffrey_nunberg_.html

BOB: So let's talk about the war of the sexes. It seems that asshole is pretty much mainly the province of men, as an epithet and maybe as a set of behaviors. You just don't hear many women being called assholes. But you do get to hear a lot of men being called assholes, mainly by women for the way they've treated women.

NUNBERG: You rarely, almost never, hear a woman being described as an asshole for doing to a man what a man would be called an asshole for doing to a woman. So, I think that there are lots of cases where we ought to call women assholes in the name of gender equity, where we don't. We call them bitch. But why should we use a word that's gender specific for this particular kind of behavior? I mean, it isn't as if this suddenly flows from some basic, primitive female malignity. It's because she's got a swollen sense of entitlement just like the guy does. And if we had any sense of gender equity, we'd call her an asshole, too.

BOB: So what's going on there?

NUNBERG: Well, I think there's a kind of sexism that reads the kind of aggressive or arrogant behavior that we call assholism in men as having a different source. When a woman does it, when a woman is aggressive or arrogant in that way it has to do with some particularly female drive or something, that really isn't the case. I mean that's just not how it works.

BOB: So, to paraphrase Sissy Farenthold, we will know when women have achieved some measure of gender equity when asshole women can be called assholes right alongside asshole men.

NUNBERG: You betcha. Look, if Eddie Fisher's an asshole for leaving Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, then what is Elizabeth Taylor when she leaves Eddie Fisher for Richard Burton?

BOB: Fuckin' bitch!

NUNBERG: [laughing] There you are.



Offline brokeplex

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2012, 02:19:08 pm »
the culture has been increasingly vulgarized decade after decade, words are used in public now that no one in "polite society" would have used 50 years ago. I guess that is progress, at least we are less inhibited about some things.

but then......... there is also political correctness balancing that out with new inhibitions and restrictions. the more things change the more they stay the same.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2012, 10:06:50 pm »
the culture has been increasingly vulgarized decade after decade, words are used in public now that no one in "polite society" would have used 50 years ago. I guess that is progress, at least we are less inhibited about some things.

but then......... there is also political correctness balancing that out with new inhibitions and restrictions. the more things change the more they stay the same.

Sure seems that way some times, doesn't it?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2012, 12:59:49 am »
the culture has been increasingly vulgarized decade after decade, words are used in public now that no one in "polite society" would have used 50 years ago. I guess that is progress, at least we are less inhibited about some things.

but then......... there is also political correctness balancing that out with new inhibitions and restrictions. the more things change the more they stay the same.

Exactly right. I think it's that what was offensive in an earlier era isn't in ours, but vise versa. And so on, into eternity. No need to even label them a matter of "vulgarities," "polite society" or "political correctness." Swear words that would have been horrifying 50 years ago hardly raise an eyebrow today, and racial slur just the opposite. In another 50 years, it will be a whole different set of variables, but still probably the same situation: one thing is OK now, the other newly appalling.