Why Do People Still Openly Use Sexist Language?
Trigger warning, this story has the word “Nigger” in it. People say horrible, racist things. Still the N word is not in open usage, the B word remains so.
Racism and Sexism are abhorrent, but if language is an indicator, most people, including myself and the reader, have probably used the B word, “bitch”, without even noticing. And whereas we can be sure we would never use the N word, in either private or public use, it has achieved a level of reclamation that B words have not. Could we please just switch the good usage to “biatch” or some other nifty variation?
There is no denying that women, and some men, have tried to find new improved versions of Bitch, such as in Bitchin, or to denote a strong, independent woman, or proud gay man. There are even publications and more to re-brand it. However, in its most common usage it is still said with a nasty, and accusatory tone.
It has been casually thrown about by President Trump, and is very dear to his rallying campaign bigots. He has used the word in the famous Access Hollywood tape (Why can’t we just all call that the misogyny tape?) And Trump also famously used it to criticize NFL players who chose to take a knee as a form of silent protest against police violence. There are probably several more examples; the man apparently has a potty mouth yet somehow remains incoherent to more advanced, naughty toddlers. The point is that no one barely mentions this, although Omarosa (Who our racist sexist, president has called “a dog”) has an entire book of lurid tales wherein Trump has — shockingly! — possibly, probably, used the N word. Although Omarosa calls him out as a sexist, bigoted narcissist, the gist of all this is that people are going to be alarmed about racist language even as we just shrug at the use of the B word. It’s not a harmless thing, though.
Politicians, in particular, and pundits prolifically, carefully avoid use of the N word. They know that blatant racism does them no favors. They have just enough decency — or maybe judgement — to purge the word “nigger” from all narration. Yet, even they comfortably ignore casual and demoralizing sexist language. Its history, and its use when applied to men “son of a bitch,” accuses the person’s mother, of behaving like a angry dog, or worse, a dog that has a depraved, and slut-shaming ‘dog in heat’ connotation.
We should all purge with the B word, and probably the C word, too, from polite conversation. To those delicate snowflakes who may screech — “Oh no! political correctness has run amuck, think of it this way, to call a person (either sex or gender) a bitch may be fun and bold and empowering in certain context and company, but when someone angrily calls you, or a loved one, “Stupid Bitch,” “You Bitch!” you won’t approve. If it is said to hurt your daughter, wife, friend or significant other of any kind, it won’t help.
However, especially during the 2016 campaign, we all saw bitch woman themed bumper stickers. We saw campaign buttons and signs, reading “Trump that Bitch,” or “Life is a Bitch, don’t vote for one,” or any of the oh-so-hilarious slogans people have openly used to disparage Hillary Clinton. People also use it to disparage women who are republicans, too. It is a completely non-partisan, sexist slur. Think about it to any degree at all, and the hostile historical origins of the word are revealed to be cruel and misogynistic. Also, it has most likely at one time or another been hurled at almost every woman who has lived and breathed in the history of time. It is beneath a civilized society.
There is little hope of seeing “bitch” thrown to the dust bin in history any time soon, but hopefully, especially if political correctness is replaced with just thoughtful courtesy, it will become more and more rare.
There is ample evidence that swear words do relieve and express emotion usefully, but it has also been observed that unless someone, some where polices and discourages their use, the utility of their expression is powerless. In other words, four letter words have to have some kind of taboo to remain as words that work for us. But, bitch, does not fit into that category, being as it is a five letter word, and a nasty one at that.
I look forward to the day then, that I cannot even write the word “Bitch” any more than someone can write the word “Nigger” without consequence. Even Mark Twain has been criticized for its use. It took time for the N word to receive that kind of censure, Let’s take the time to eradicate the B word in the same way.