Friday, June 8, 2007

Beautiful Intelligent Talented Confident Happy

Are you a bitch?
Why not?

Words that hurt should be turned around and put to work. Words should be our minions, not our masters.
Take the one above.
This term for a female canine grew into an insult over the years.
Its use marginalized women and convinced us we were powerless.
Fortunately, these people and these disagreed.

Back in the mid to late 90s the reporting staff at the Mountaineer were women, and we lamented on occasion that not everyone is happy when the reporter shows up.
“Hey, you that bitch from the Mountaineer?”
I don’t know if any of us were truly greeted that way, but we got the tone. So rather than be cowed we decided to put it to good use.

The agriculture, sports, and summer student added it to their titles, and so did I. We became AgBitch, SportsBitch, SummerBitch, and me, being the senior reporter, took the esteemed title of SeniorBitch.

It was wonderful. The word didn’t offend us; it made us strong and powerful and I think it even helped us do our jobs. I came up with what the letters stood for: Beautiful, Intelligent, Talented, Confident, Happy.
It made us even stronger. We were the reigning bitches.

Even if a woman doesn’t think of herself as beautiful or intelligent, hearing about it heals that belief.
Soon you are because it’s made you confident.
When confidence shines through you believe in yourself and you honor your beauty both inside and out. This makes you happy.
Since we were already making a living as a writers the talent aspect of BITCH was taken care of and it was constantly being reinforced. We’d greet ourselves with it.
“Good morning, SportsBitch,” or “Hey, SeniorBitch” or “Is AgBitch around? There’s a message for her.”

We’ve gone our separate ways now, but will occasionally greet one another at lunch or in email with Bitch attached to the new title, like Authorbitch.

It’s a good reminder and I think more women should adopt it. Own the word and own yourself, I say.
Use it and be proud knowing that the bitch in me honors the bitch in you.

9 comments:

Reb said...

Well, I guess right now I am a recovering BITCH! I, like you, have never taken it as an insult, but, have always looked at it as: it takes hard work to be a bitch and I am damned proud of the title - thanks! Of course, you have now given me a better reason to be proud to wear the title, I bow to your superior anagram!

Dawn said...

WriterBitch reporting in! I'm just dashing off to work, Leah, and I haven't got time to do this subject justice. I like what you're saying. I'll be back tonight. (That's tonight in NZ!)

Leah J. Utas said...

Hey WriterBitch! I'm looking forward to what else you've got to say.
Thanks Reb. Glad you're wearing it with pride.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Is CrabbyBitch a bit too redundant?

I like it though.

Great post, GoatBitch.

As to you, KiwiBitch, (or sorry, WriterBitch, I'll be seeing you on the usual rounds!)

And hi reb (RecoveringBitch?), hope I'm not scaring you away from leah's fine blog with too much silliness.

Leah J. Utas said...

CrabbyBitch is just fine.
And I'm rather fond of "GoatBitch."

Dawn said...

WriterBitch back after a hard day's work that had nothing what-so-ever to do with writing!

I think this aspect of claiming a word that has the potential to threaten or weaken you, and make it work for you is incredibly powerful.

No one has ever - or not that I've heard! -called me bitch, but if they ever do I just know how I'll respond. "That's WriterBitch to you, sunshine!" In fact, I know that that word will never hurt me, because in my head I'll always hear the voices of SeniorBitch and AgBitch and SportsBitch and with them beside me, it's no big deal at all.

What I intend to do is to use the strength of this "I'm a bitch and proud of it" thinking to get me through the tough reviews that will inevitably appear once the book is out. I want everyone to love it but that isn't possible. Some will hate it and if they're a reviewer then they have the power to hurt me with their comments.

WriterBitch is taking that power back. Thank you, Leah, and your fellow bitches at the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Hey, cuz: When I worked in a kitchen, we all called each other bitch - Kitchen bitch, counterbitch, waitbitch; you get the picture. Friends call housework bitchwork. Now, I guess, I'm rancherbitch (CartSmartbuilder bitch??)- no matter the job description, we should all take pride in being BITCHes!

Virginia Lee said...

I just read this aloud to my 77 year old mama and she very enthusiastically said, "She's WONDERFUL! Not only can she write, but she thinks."

Damn straight.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to email this to every woman I know and love. Maybe even a few men.

Leah J. Utas said...

Good for you, Dawn. WriterBitch takes back the power. That's wonderful.

CartSmartbuilderBitch you're right. We should all be proud to be Bitches.

Oh my Virigina, your comment made me so happy. Thank your mama for me for that wonderful compliment.
And thank you for spreading the Bitchword to your friends.