Ladies, Please Listen, Bitches Don’t Mean Women

Courtesy of akacp01.blogspot.com
Courtesy of akacp01.blogspot.com

Do you still remember Mean Girls’ Ms. Norbury, the character played by Tina Fey? When the full tilt jungle madness war among women erupted, she resolved the issue insightfully. She told the ladies in school, “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Probably, female artists today need a grand lecture from Ms. Norbury. They obviously need some enlightenment on their usage of “bitches.” Well, they don’t call each other sluts and whores, but the context on how they use the word “bitch” is worse. It’s already getting out of hand.

The word “bitch” has been used in mainstream music for so many years already. However, in 2007, Britney Spears solidified the label by uttering her signature line “It’s Britney, Bitch!” in her “Gimme More” hit from her Blackout album. Beyonce, for her part, seems not to mind when she commanded “Bow down, Bitches” in her 2013 song, “Flawless.” Just recently, Madonna asserted she is a bad bitch in her new song, “Bitch I’m Madonna.” Self-confessed “Bitch” Meredith Brooks must be feeling guilty now. Almost all women of pop today have been using the term to refer to fellow women. It’s derogatory, in case they want to be reminded.

The context they denote the term “bitch” is rather problematic. It is as if “bitch” is interchangeable with the word “woman.” By any standard, the two terms will never be the same. The negative connotation of the word “bitch” is degrading women every time it is being used. To use the words interchangeably is tantamount to attributing women to being mere objects in society. It’s never cool to use the term “bitch,” no matter how prevalent the practice is. Using it only disregards the historical and socio-political significance of women. No matter what the circumstance is, women are not the same as bitches. A woman partying eventhough she gets so drunk should never be called a bitch. Clearly, it does not help that a fellow woman is using a derogatory term towards another woman. 

In connection to feminism, the mentioned artists have been a big player in the recognition of women in the arts. However, the rather limiting definition of feminism they have is also alleviating the brand of women empowerment they promote. It’s puzzling how evident the contradiction in their works is. For instance, why advocate gender rights when you cannot even call another woman appropriately? How is it even possible to stand for gender equality when you support labeling? 

On another note, male artists have also been using the term “bitches” in their songs. How do they use it? Jay-Z has “99 Problems but a bitch ain’t one.” Li’l Wayne seems proud in saying that “Bitches Love Me.”  Female rapper Nicki Minaj teamed up with male musicians in her song “Only.” She even sang, “Had to show bitches where the top is, ring finger where the rock is.” Interestingly, she sang this along male artists like Drake, Li’l Wayne and Chris Brown, who all used the term “bitch” in their verses. How amusing!

Many will argue that this should not be an issue anymore, as the term “bitch” has already been popularized across all media. People can even hear young girls calling each other bitches. Nonetheless, normalizing this does not mean that it is correct. It just reflects that wrong perspectives about women have been socially reproduced. The role of women as an important player in society has been disregarded. In any case, these should never be tolerated nor accepted.

SHARE