Bitch – it’s a word that all women are taught to fear. It is meant to mark us as cruel, arrogant, outspoken, rude, and angry. It is used to show women their place – to tell us to shut up, sit down, and watch your mouth. Bitches are to be avoided. They are demanding, over-the-top women with convictions and goals that are clearly out of their reach. They are delusional. If a man knows anything, it is to avoid dating “the bitch”. “The bitch” is a psycho feminist who takes men and pretzels them into bitches and, to become a bitch is the ultimate failure of manhood.
As a teenager, I feared being labeled “the bitch,” a title that sticks like superglue. And no matter how much I tried, how much I smiled, how much I placated, there it was. Bitch. I tried harder and, that word stuck to me, latched itself onto the hem of my jeans and trailed behind me like a errant thread. Bitch. It had power over me that I could not deny – shut up, sit down, do not rock the boat.
I was raised by a woman who is the baddest bitch around. She does not take shit from anyone. She does not sit down. When asked to be quiet, she gets louder. She also has the ability to make just about anyone fall in love with and respect her. She is honest, funny, and kind. She does not apologize for her strength.
It wasn’t until my late teens that I realized the true power of a bitch – they are badass ladies. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Angela Merkel, Michelle Bachmann. Bitches. All of them. Bitch is a word that is used to put women into a box. It is a word meant to discourage us, to scare us into submission. It is a word meant to prove to us that its better to be agreeable, quiet, and docile than carry the burden of “the bitch” stitched like a scarlet A onto our blouse, bleeding into our clothes, proclaiming to everyone – this one’s a troublemaker.
Men and women both use the word like acid. It is meant to scald us. Scare us. Maim us. Men use it to warn us that we are too tough, too masculine, too hard. Women use it to quarantine other women as ground zero, beyond help, lost.
But, I am not scared of the word bitch. I thrive in it. I’m not afraid to be a powerful woman, to demand respect. Bitch is a word, not a prison. It cannot break us unless we let it. It can roll right off of us like rain on a window pane. To be a bitch is to be everything that society says we should not. Strong. Demanding. Fearless. Challenging.
I am a bitch. I am that mouthy woman in the front row. The one who won’t sit down. The one who will be heard. I am brave, strong, and kind. I have too much pride. I am too headstrong, not soft enough, and too determined. My goals are too high, my dreams too big.
And if a strong independent young woman threatens you. If a woman in power threatens you. If a woman who won’t sit down threatens you. If you think that the word bitch can contain me, stifle me, stop me, then you probably need your head examined. Your word does not scare me. It does not imprison me. It does not deter me.
Every time I walk into a room, I know am the biggest bitch there and, I revel in it because being a bitch is my legacy and, my legacy is to reach for the stars, dream big, and spread love and nothing, not your word or your opinions, can shackle me to the ground.