in which Bitch contributor Veronica Arreola defends the use of the word while many others disagree...
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I think we need to promote using the word Bitch only to describe an empowered or opinionated women. For the younger generation, myself included, it's a little harder. Because we are so often bombarded with the term in the media, and it is used to describe different things, it rolls off the tongue smoothly. There is something seriously wrong here.
I also believe there is a problem with what the media decides to censor. Recently, I heard a rap song on the radio that didn't bleep out the word Bitch, when it was clearly used in a derogative manor. However, the words shit and ass were censored....????
I think there is a gap that needs to be defined here. I don't think the word bitch is offensive in itself, but usage of a word can make any word offensive. For example if someone says about a woman, 'she's a bitch', the meaning is similar to the word 'asshole' or 'jerk'. I don't find that offensive. But I think it's different if the speaker is using bitch to generalize about all women, or to boil the female part of the human race down to the descriptor 'bitch'. As in, 'there's a lot of hot bitches at this party'. In the second sentence bitch is not synonymous with jerk, it's merely a substitute for 'girls' or 'women'. As in, if you're a woman, really you're just a bitch.
While I do agree that it can be reclaimed by empowered women or as a way to acknowledge its history (in the way that a percentage of the black community might accept the "n-word"), the majority of the time it is used on television and in the media is in a derogatory context, and I don't think it should be accepted.
Bitch is most often associated with one who is feminine or has feminine qualities, and that is why it's so offensive. If you call a man a "bitch," you're attributing female qualities to him as negative. It's not very different from calling him "pussy" or "sissy," and I find those worlds INCREDIBLY problematic for obvious reasons.
It's disturbing that a word like "bitch" (which targets a gender) is accepted by the media but a word like "shit," which targets no specific group, is not.
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