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9 Times It Pays to Be a Bitch April 24, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in attitude, bitch, cosmo, gender.

Today’s G.I. Jane discussion concerning the empowering “Suck my dick” line made me really think about the significance of the equality of verbalization, attitude, and actions. In the film, Jordan is not empowered by her femininity-she gains respect through her attempts at becoming more masculine so that she can more easily fit the soldier and group-mentality image. This particular part in the film reminded me about the word, “bitch.” First of all, I don’t really understand the transformation of that word being used as an acceptable form of salutation. The whole “beyotch” phenomenon is beyond me. What I really have problems with, however, is the way that strong women, women who say what they want and try to get what they need, are often categorized as being bitchy. On the cover of the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, an article entitled, “9 Times You Won’t Burn in Hell for Being Bitchy” caught my eye (sorry, I couldn’t find it online). The introduction to the article reads, “Somewhere lurking inside of you is a real bitch. No, no, it’s a good thing–a key survival trait even–because there are times when nothing less than a take-no-prisoners attitude will work.” The article then goes on to explain the 9 times that you can be bitchy, including: Saying No to a Favor, Getting Retail Reparations, and Pressing an Issue with your Boyfriend. How ridiculous. Why, when a woman puts herself first or simply does not have time to do something for someone else, does not want to get swindled, or wants to find out what her man is actually thinking, is she deemed a bitch? Men would not be categorized the same way. How did this process even happen and why is this mode of thought still being encouraged?

The article also includes “3 Great Bitch Lines,” which divides “Smart Bitch Phrases” and “Bad Bitch Phrases.” Here is one of the three example used:

  • “Smart Bitch Phrase:

Excuse me, but I was actually here before you and would like to sit down/go next.

  • Bad Bitch Phrase:

Hey, beyotch, you just stole my seat/cut me in line!”

Hold up. Do people even talk like the Bad Bitch Phrase? How is showing this example conducive at all to the article? Also, how is the Smart Bitch Phrase even bitchy? Someone care to enlighten me?


1. lindamc - April 25, 2007

I agree with you on the infiltration of the “bitch” …but on slightly different note: The suck my dick phrase surfaces again in Whale Rider! What do we think about that? The grandfather tells the little boys that if (something happens I can’t remember what…they fail?) then he will cut off their dicks. This was an extremely shocking scene in the film for me: with the little girl outside the window and her grandfather telling all the boys to “watch their dicks.” Clearly a phallic reference to the power the men had in the tribe over the women and right the boys had to “wave the big sticks” while the little girl did not. (Pun intended).

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