Years ago, when the word “bitch” first became part of our vernacular, it was at once both shocking and liberating. Power women wore the term proudly. Coffee mugs, with the boldly proclaimed #1 Bitch, dared take up space with other office coffee mugs. Villainous evening soap actresses of the 80’s practically owned the word.
Yet at the same time, the word became almost too easy to use. Women started being called bitch for doing anything that did not gel with another person’s standards. Some men used “bitch” to put down any woman who appeared to threaten their intelligence. Women easily resorted to expressing put downs of other women with the “b” word.
And “bitch” is actually one of the nicer terms used to bring down a woman’s character. How about the whore, sluts and ever vile “c” words? They have taken over our language. It bothers me.
Not that I’m old Mrs. Decorum. Afterall, I came of age with SNL, Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Things were put out there not only for shock value, but also because previously taboo words were now accepted and funny, part of who we were.
Really though, enough is more than enough. When I read tweets about a current reality show, I am saddened at the way males and even females discuss the women on the series. They are called by horribly deragatory terms in almost every tweet! The male stars? For the most part, they escape derision. Unless they happen to have a romance with these “skanks”. Then those males become language fodder and their masculinity is called into question.
Women are the ones who’ve become fair targets for generalized verbal abusiveness.The hurtful words are now so popularized, I believe it’s too late to rein them back in. And that’s just too bad, because women are so much more than skanks, bitches and whores.