Bitch: Words and Phrases

Topics: Bitch, Profanity, Third-wave feminism Pages: 7 (2057 words) Published: October 14, 2006
General usage
Most Common Uses: You're a bitch.

Stop being so bitchy.


I'm gonna kill that bitch.

There are many forms and phrases in which you can use the word bitch, however these are the most common. Bitch is also frequently used in Hip-Hop, as stated below. Bitch is a wonderful word. Use it daily. Hourly.

The former specialised meaning is retained and in widespread use among dog aficionados and breeders, but derogatory usage has become so prevalent in the last century that the term has acquired a profane connotation and is often considered unacceptable by broadcasting regulations and Standards & Practices manuals. It was first used on U.S. television in the 1980s on the nighttime soap opera Dynasty, but has only recently been removed from the FCC's list of "grossly offensive" words, meaning that if said in the right context, it is permissible.

By extension, the adjective "bitchy" — unpleasant, fretful or querulous — and the verb "to bitch" — to complain, especially habitually and without any helpful intentions — are also used, although they are widely considered less offensive than the noun. Neither the adjective or the verb are normally used in formal language. A good example is

Under the impulse of second-wave feminism, some women began to reclaim the word bitch, subverting its original, derisive meaning by instead using "bitch" to celebrate the qualities of strong, capable women. The 1968 BITCH Manifesto by Joreen is a perfect example of reclamation; in the words of Joreen, "Bitch is Beautiful."

Integral recognition of the female character, with its inherent ambiguities, is expressed not only using the traditional caring roles of lover and mother - considered by many to be assigned to women in a patriarchal division of labour - as well as their idealized extreme in sainthood; but also in their counterparts, whose nature has been often denied.

Some feminist theories state that women are often defined in terms of their relationships with others, with men being allowed more independent identities. Such theories suggest that social mores reflect this in the abnormal or inordinate character of women who do not marry, since their primordial role was to provide comfort and satisfaction to the "master of the house". A humorous "feminist" spin on the term defines B.I.T.C.H. as a Babe In Total Control of Herself.

The singer Meredith Brooks in her 1997 song Bitch attempted a reclamation of the word through a feminist usage. By beginning the chorus with "I'm a bitch" and ending it with "I do not feel ashamed", Brooks refuses to feel ashamed of her selfishness, vulnerability and independence, insisting that they can and do coexist with more stereotypically feminine qualities.

Men too have reappropriated the word "bitch" as a colloquial term of endearment (e.g., "good night, bitch"), although such usage nonetheless remains edgy in most circumstances, and would usually be appropriate only when jokingly addressed to a close friend or familiar person who could be expected to correctly interpret the jocular intention underlying this usage.

"Bitch" and sexual availability
The early — and largely still extant — usage of bitch as a sexually available person has been extended to imply subservience towards the user. In the context of prison sexuality, a bitch is a lower-hierarchy prisoner, typically physically weak or vulnerable, who is dominated by more senior prisoners and forced to adopt a servile role. According to convention, these inmates are used as sexual slaves or traded as personal property. To call a male a "bitch" usually suggests that he is sexually passive in this manner. As a result, calling a man a "bitch" can now imply a general passivity or timidity that, while not necessarily sexual, is still very much an insult.

My Bitch
The phrase "my bitch" is used when one partner (male or female) is claimed to be available sexually to a particular...
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