August 21, 2014

If I call you a b*tch, it’s not a compliment

In case you live under a rock and weren’t aware (and I say that without judgment as my own rock has grown considerably the last couple of months) Weird Al recently released his latest album. Greatest? That’s a debate for the ages. But it is pretty darn good.

I can’t decide if this is my favorite song on the album, or just my favorite video, but it is pretty darn fun:

It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized the whole song is basically a series of “shaming.” Which, I can’t lie, makes it even more amazing the song was so popular. Because “shaming” is SO out!

Isn’t it weird how we’ve turned nearly every form of criticism – fair or unfair – into “shaming”? Why did we have to create a completely new word/category for something that’s a normal part of the human experience? (I’m slightly a linguistics nerd, so I wonder about these things. Like, why “alot” is grammatically incorrect to describe “a great amount” when “a lot” is a piece of land. Still makes no sense to me.)

Anyway, after pondering it for a while, I think I’ve come up with my answer. We have to create a new category to (essentially) shame people for being rude to us, because being rude is cool now.

Or, more specifically, being a b*tch.

I guess it makes me a fuddy-duddy, but I find the whole “b*tch pride” thing to be pretty…lame. To put it mildly. And try all you want with the word reclaiming girl power yadda yadda, it doesn’t wash. It’s just an excuse to go through life being a jerk with impunity.

If a man were to proclaim how “proud” he was to be a “powerful a-hole,” we’d roll our eyes and say, “That’s great, dude, go back to the frat house.” Or file an HR complaint.

But if a woman wants to call herself a “powerful b*tch” and treat people accordingly, well, she’s just trying to get stuff done, she’s too strong for you, she’s got “leadership skills.” Or:


Translation: if you won’t put up with my particular brand of psychological abuse, you don’t deserve the rare expressions of respect and affection.

It annoys me because it’s such a low standard. And it’s also a lie. I’ve had a bunch of jobs in a variety of industries – retail, law, energy, human services, education, real estate – and the majority of my employers/supervisors were women.

I had female bosses who were strong, intelligent, capable leaders. And I had female bosses who were b*tches.

Never both at the same time. Not once.

You know why? Because, contrary to what the plethora of pins on pinterest tell you, they aren’t the same thing.

“Like a defenseless city is a person who lacks self-control.” ~ Proverbs 25:28

B*tches aren’t strong. They are the helpless victims of their own impulses.

Online, it takes the form of mouthyness or weaponized sarcasm. In real life, it looks like bossiness, impatience, bullying, steamrolling, or simply general rage.

Of course, this is America, and if a woman wants to call herself a b*tch, that’s her prerogative. But can the adults in the room please stop pretending it’s some kind of virtue?

5 comments:

  1. I agree completely! And those same proud Bs go around campaigning for strict crackdowns on childhood bullying. Mix your messages much?!?

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  2. THANK YOU. I am so DONE with all of this "she's not bossy, she has leadership skills" crap. Let's call it what it is. Being a b*tch isn't something to pride yourself on. Although, I know at least one person who was completely proud of her b*tchy attitude in high school and college. And she surrounded herself with similar friends....and then wondered why she not everyone like her. HM, LET'S SEE.

    Anyway, I think attitudes like that are completely selfish. And I totally agree with you.

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  3. Completely agree with you. I don't get friends calling each other b*tches. When did that become a compliment?

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  4. Completely agree with you!!

    Also, if you loved "Tacky", you should hear "Word Crimes"! It's insanely funny (and so true)!

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  5. Great writer, great post. I've always lived by the idea that meanness is merely a sign of insecurity. B*tches are mean, and you're right, being powerful and successful isn't even close to being the same as a b*tch.

    Lauren

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