The B word

Julia Frugoli JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Sat Jun 15 18:27:40 EST 1996


OK, since it's being tossed around, I'll put my 25 cents in on this one 
too, with some qualifications.

The word "bitchy", which has been applied to most women at one time or 
another, strikes me as having several levels of meaning and so whether 
or not it's a good quality depends on how it's used.

If bitchy means a women is forthright about what she wants, 
straightforward in her dealings, and doesn't back down just because 
someone else wants something too, then bitchy is a good quality.  In 
this case it's usually being applied by people who've never seen a woman 
handle power in this way.

That being said, I've met women who are just plain mean, difficult to 
work with no matter what, and even sneaky, who wear the label "bitch" 
with pride. They like being able to hurt people just by opening their 
mouths.  They don't seem to understand that the same steamroller 
behavior that's being labeled "bitch" in them is labeled "bastard" in 
men, and nobody wants to work for or with either gender of the above for 
very long.  In this case, being bitchy is not a good thing.

Like gay people reclaiming words that have been used to hurt (dike, fag, 
and such) for their own, women can reclaim bitch when it's used in the 
first way.  When it's used in the second way, an examination of whether 
one respects other human beings as such is in order.

Waiting for the Northern blot to wash,
Julia Frugoli
Dartmouth College

visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
409-845-0663
FAX 409-847-8805



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