Sometimes I really hate popular music. Some of the most insanely backwards trends have been started by it. Sagging pants. Skinny jeans. Tacky jewelry. Spinning rims. And the popularity of calling women Bitches! But almost worse than the use of the word that describes the most wretched of what the fairer sex can represent, it has almost been adopted by women as a term of endearment. A badge of honor. A pejorative turned into a term of respect. (As a black man I think that know a little more about this painful dichotomy than I would like to.)
As I was sitting in the mall for lunch yesterday and I had the pleasure, so I thought, of sitting across from a group of three beautiful young women who were not only attractive but professionally dressed and appearing to be in their late 20’s. Since I usually eat lunch by myself, it is always cool to have a nice view as I eat and collect my thoughts. And a group of three beautiful women is just as good as a rooftop view of the city in my opinion. So as I ate my sandwich and scanned the mall I couldn’t help but overhear the three women dishing about the latest girl talk which usually consists of guys. And as the conversation got more excitable there was a common and quite disturbing theme behind what was being said. BITCH…..BITCH….BITCH! Now I totally understand that when people get comfortable and start chatting that they can get lost in foul language. I have had to on occasion catch myself from having the super potty mouth when I get animated around friends. What was most surprising to me was not how much they were calling other people BITCH but how much they were referring to themselves as BITCH……Girl…..I let him know that I am not the BITCH to be played with….I’m the kind of BITCH that don’t take no shit!……He knows I can be a real BITCH when I don’t get my way.
For a long time men have found it easy to let the word BITCH slide out of their mouths as a way to describe the qualities and characteristics in some women that they found unappealing. And I won’t for one second say that in a more immature time in my life that I have not let that word slide out of my mouth as an insulting way to describe women who I found to be unreasonably difficult to get along with. But what concerned me about the dialogue between the ladies was that they seemed all to eager to embody the characteristics that people define as bitchie as though it some how showed a sense of power.
Just to be totally clear on this issue……Guys don’t like BITCHES. As a matter of fact we revile them. Many guys, like myself can totally stand a little bitchiness. I actually like it in small doses. But the all out Bitch routine is for the birds. And not only is it for the birds, it attracts the same sort of bad karma that it puts out into the world. When guys encounter a self-proclaimed Bitch, they then in turn start to heap upon her that same sort of label. They start to treat her like they would treat a man. With the level of harshness and lack of compassion that guys save normally for other guys that they don’t like. (In my book guys actually turn into the Bitches that they are raging against) But here is the irony. I am pretty sure that it’s always been a certain class of guys who have popularized use of the term BITCH to characterize women in the first place.
She doesn’t want to go out with me?…..BITCH! She doesn’t laugh at my funny and hilariously charming jokes?………..BITCH! She beat me in anything competitive….SUPER BITCH!
So what started out as people mischaracterizing a woman’s strength, individuality and personal choices has now evolved into some women behaving in the very manner that was not a true representation of their spirit in the first place. Hmmmm. Am I saying that some women don’t act in a manner that would constitute someone calling them a bitch? No. But what I am saying is that it pains me to see that some women have been so imprinted with the label that they have embodied the wretchedness of what that word represents.
I love my women to be a little sassy. I like for them to playfully tell me that I sound silly when I go on ranting about something stupid. I appreciate when she can correct me and give me a perspective on something that I did not see myself. Teach me something. And while a certain class of men may call you a bitch for that……..not Jackson! But there is a fine line between being sassy for some people and embodying the ugly characteristics that the ladies from lunch were boasting about. The characteristics that guys suspect that all women have, when truly they have helped to create.