Are you a bitch?
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.
Interview, of Me, in Iowa, In Which I Talk About Writing
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