Author Topic: What does "bitch" mean now?  (Read 22857 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2012, 11:58:14 am »
The cultural hold-out from that social contract is that any word that insults women is by default more heinous than any word that insults men. Chivalry isn't quite dead yet.

 ???  Um, see my post above re examples of use of the word "bitch" by millionaire rappers whose music sells millions of copies to millions of people, who win Grammys and star in movies and get profiled in the New York Times and the New Yorker and are basically the toast of modern pop culture.

Or perhaps you can point me to 8,222 similarly offensive uses of the word "dick" in songs by women, including more than 100 with the word in the title itself?

As for the c-word, I believe you're incorrect about its heinous status being due to chivalry. I think it's heinous because it is sort of on par with the "n-word" (when used by white people) or the "f-word": the ultimate offensive slur used against a historically oppressed population. There is no equivalently heinous word for men (dick) or white people (honky) or straight people (breeder) because those groups, collectively, have been historically privileged.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2012, 12:01:19 pm »
Perhaps it depends on the slur, but I was never happy or comfortable with reclaiming "queer." And, curiously, the only people I ever met personally, face-to-face, who had no problem using that word, were invariably at least a decade younger than me, if not more.

Yeah, I've always wondered about whether offensiveness lingers regarding the q-word, considering it's in the title of a TV show and the name of a field of academic studies.

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Offline Marina

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2012, 12:06:18 pm »
Katharine, you are right - some words are just not worth reclaiming.   I didn't think of the rap definition, just the mean definition, but calling someone a bitch is not a great thing do do.   I think we sometimes forget when we say these things.  The C-word is just plain ugly - ugly to hear, ugly to read, ugly facial expression to say it - it's a violent word, almost.  (Although words are used for a purpose in literature, I think)   I remember reading something that some young women had written and were tossing it around online, and that one isn't worth reclaiming either.  :)   I have used the word "balls" to refer to courage or lack of, and the unisex A-word, but I guess I'll just stick with the good old "F" word when I'm mad enough to curse!  lol  :)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2012, 12:11:47 pm »
Good way to put it, Marina.

Though I'll have to say I'm not really fond of using "balls" to mean courage. That's insulting to women, as well.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2012, 12:20:42 pm »
Yeah, I've always wondered about whether offensiveness lingers regarding the q-word, considering it's in the title of a TV show and the name of a field of academic studies.

At the risk of wandering way OT. ...

While I watched the first season of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy faithfully, the title did make me a tad uncomfortable. It might be interesting, and maybe revealing, to know why the show was named Queer Eye and not, say, Gay Eye. Interesting (to me, anyway) to note also that except for Ted the food guy, everyone else on the show was a lot younger than I am. I might be guilty of stereotyping here, but I would also expect that younger stylistas and fashionistas would be just the type to "reclaim" the word and use it archly.

"Queer Studies" may be a received title for an academic field, but, again, I suspect that name came from academics of a younger generation than me.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2012, 12:22:29 pm »
Though I'll have to say I'm not really fond of using "balls" to mean courage. That's insulting to women, as well.

I would think so.
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Offline Marina

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2012, 12:23:08 pm »
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Though I'll have to say I'm not really fond of using "balls" to mean courage. That's insulting to women


No, never in regards to a woman, definitely offensive there.   To be honest, the only time that one ever comes up is when I'm upset with the state of politics!   Also, this word can be a negative, mean brazenness, or being too "nervy".

Now everybody's going to think I curse all the time, but hardly ever - I have to be really furious to do it!   Otherwise, it's bad form.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2012, 01:07:59 pm »
???  Um, see my post above re examples of use of the word "bitch" by millionaire rappers whose music sells millions of copies to millions of people, who win Grammys and star in movies and get profiled in the New York Times and the New Yorker and are basically the toast of modern pop culture.

Or perhaps you can point me to 8,222 similarly offensive uses of the word "dick" in songs by women, including more than 100 with the word in the title itself?


I think you're missing my point. Rappers, etc. use all the curse words they can on purpose. Its part of their "schtick." I'm talking about plain-old everyday discourse.

As for the c-word, I believe you're incorrect about its heinous status being due to chivalry. I think it's heinous because it is sort of on par with the "n-word" (when used by white people) or the "f-word": the ultimate offensive slur used against a historically oppressed population. There is no equivalently heinous word for men (dick) or white people (honky) or straight people (breeder) because those groups, collectively, have been historically privileged.

I don't think most people who find the c-word or n-word heinous speech are thinking "that person shouldn't be using such offensive language against these poor, oppressed people."
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2012, 01:25:21 pm »
I think you're missing my point. Rappers, etc. use all the curse words they can on purpose. Its part of their "schtick." I'm talking about plain-old everyday discourse.

Oh, sorry. I thought when you said "culture" you meant culture. But you mean everyday discourse, as in what I hear people say in person? Even then I'd say "dick" and "bitch" are at least equally common.

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I don't think most people who find the c-word or n-word heinous speech are thinking "that person shouldn't be using such offensive language against these poor, oppressed people."

That's pretty close to exactly what they're thinking. Oh, they wouldn't say "poor, oppressed," maybe. How about "disadvantaged" or "less privileged" or maybe they'd just say the name of the group itself: black people, women, gay people. Whatever you like.

The point is, slurs used to insult those groups carry more power to hurt and offend than slurs used against dominant groups. As a member of two out of of those three dominant groups, I can attest that I'm not particularly stung by "honky" or "breeder," nor have I known any other members of those groups who were. They're more like, "Yeah, OK, fair is fair, there should be some insulting term for the other side." But in practice, they just aren't as insulting.


Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2012, 01:36:49 pm »
I can't use any of the words you guys mentioned.  I don't know if it is because of the way I was raised (my mom always took great pains to tell me what a lady does or does not do) or if I refuse to be like the boors who call others names.  I do admit to calling my sister-in-law a bitch when she attacked my brother, but it was done in a fit of anger and I was ashamed immediately after.  I also know how I feel when I'm called a bitch, which is not often, but when it happens it stings.  Once I was walking in the hood and I refused the advances of some dude.  He called me everything but a child of God, and he seemed to take great pleasure in calling me a bitch.  I let it go.  Consider the source.