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The word that is used to keep women in their "place"

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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:03 PM
Original message
The word that is used to keep women in their "place"
"Bitch." That word is like the trump card to keep a woman in her place. I used to hear my stepsons use it in that manner, probably without even being consciously aware they were doing it, until I ... eh ... 're-educated' them.

What do I mean? I mean that it's the supreme insult that gets pulled out when a woman steps outside a man's comfort zone. I hate the way it's used. I hate it. Yes, some women ARE bitchy. So are some men. But the way it gets used is to slap a woman down if she asserts herself or dares to be in any way sarcastic toward a man. I cannot think of any word that's used in the same way toward a man who asserts himself. The only equivalent for men is the way some people use the word "fag" toward a man who DOESN'T assert himself.

Don't like the way a woman at work questions the way you're going about a project? She's a bitch. Don't like your ex-wife calling you to ask when the child support check will be there? She's a bitch. Don't like a female comedian on TV talking about male hygienic lapses? That's because she's just a dumb bitch.

Are there words you hate the way I hate the word "bitch"?

(By the way, the word "slut" runs a very close second with me...again, it's used to control women's behavior, and there is NO male equivalent pejorative.)
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Asshole is closest male equivalent to bitch
But yeah, it doesn't seem to carry the same baggage with it. When you call a guy an asshole you are condemning him as an individual. Whereas with bitch it's more than about you as an individual. You've stepped outside of the bounds of acceptable feminine behavior.

Personally, I think slut and whore are even worse because they are shaming you on the deepest personal level. When someone calls you that they are deeming you damaged goods unworthy of love.

And of course, there's the dreaded c-word, which encompasses every nasty image conjured up by all the other pejoritives combined.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I call both genders asshole
(I frequently refer to myself as such). After all, everyone has one, but not everyone has to BE one! I refuse to use "bitch" in any circumstance. Slut is a special circumstance - a friend can use that to me in a teasing manner, but anyone who's not a close friend who calls me that is gonna need a closed casket.

I think I've only called another woman the "c" word once, and that was a complete psychotic I was working for who was trying to get me fired because she didn't approve of my lifestyle (my boss was a friend of my husband's ex-wife, which is not a good situation). (I'm not insane, I didn't call her that to her face.)

I've been tempted to use the B or C word with women like Ann Coulter, but instead I just call her a shrieking psychotic. ;-)
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I also use many of those terms jokingly with my friends
It's kind of an understood thing. We do it when no one else is around. It's when the terms are used deliberately and in earnest that they are really ugly.

Ann Coulter is a buffoon. That's one of my favorite words to describe people who are pompous, hateful, insecure, bullies.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. i used it once, too
a 'friend' who was trying to not pay me $18,000 for a piece of land. it's a very involved story, but when i found out what her plan was to not pay, i could think of no other word to describe her.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. the c word is also used for men in the uk!
i have a british friend who uses it on himself when he has done something horribly wrong. we use it as a joke on him, but he would never use it on a woman. i guess that sting says it in the lyrics of one of his songs, too, referring to a group of guys.

i was glad to see that word used for men, though!
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. I'm not glad to see it used anywhere, ever
It's one of the most vile words in the English language, reducing women to their genitals and if applied to a man, it's even worse: it's saying you're so bad you're a woman's genitals -- not even good enough to be a prick or dick.
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. My 14yo son...
called me a bitch and I slapped him for the first time in his life. It was more a reflex than anything but I don't imagine he will ever say it again.

The term itself doesn't bother me--I am one of those proud alpha Bitches(with a capital B)but to hear it from my son in a derogatory manner was too much.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I suspect it's probably the way he used it
I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that he'd used it because you told him something he was doing was wrong or stupid and wouldn't be permitted - you see, you were stepping outside of subservient femininity and giving him instructions. That's what I mean by re-educating my stepsons. Thou Shalt Not Call Thy Stepmother A Bitch Because She Does Not Cater To Thy Whims, or Thou Canst Go Live Full-Time With Thy Control Freak of a Mother!
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. ROFL!! n/t
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Exactly
I honestly take pride in the way my sons treat me and others but puberty is definitely a challenging time.

He would never dare to call his dad a prick or other name so I can't dismiss it as just "rebellion."

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UCLA Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Good for you!!
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UCLA Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. I totally agree. Its used as a way to keep women from challenging men.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. means female dog
means if you don't roll over on your back and submit you are challenging authority, in the pecking order.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. No, it's RAPE
because that's what men have used to threaten us with and control us with forever. It's why the rape laws have never been wholeheartedly enforced and why even with shield laws, the only way to get a rape conviction is to be either over 90 or under 10 or a nun.

Rape defense attorneys NEVER respect those shield laws and will bring a victim's sexual history up repeatedly. The judge says "strike," but the damage is done with a jury. "What? She wasn't a virgin? She had boyfriends she slept with? The slut! She MUST have wanted it!"

Don't kid yourselves on this one. Men have never wanted to prosecute their brothers for rape. It's too convenient to have us live our lives with background fear and hesitate to go where we want when we want because we know we're never truly safe.

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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Rape is also used
to make women who've been thus mistreated feel in some way that THEY are dirty or damaged. It's an assault that leaves even more of an emotional scar than a similar, strictly-physical assault. I mean, think about it. If you get mugged and the mugger beats you unconscious, is that something you admit only to your closest friends, in private? No, that's something you tell the world about, and prosecute to the limits of the law.

But rape - no, that we feel we must hide. WHY? The person who is raped IS NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING. The person who is raped DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG. Rape is the crime that somehow makes the VICTIM feel guilty and dirty. It's the rapist who is dirty! The person who has been raped is a crime victim and should receive exactly the same respect as any other victim of assault, robbery, mugging, etc. But that is not the way it works. We sometimes don't even tell our husbands or partners about it, because we're afraid they won't want us when they know we've been "soiled" in that manner!

Oops, sorry, my soapbox is showing.
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chicaloca Donating Member (704 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. This reminds me of a great quote.....
"If a woman who wears sexy clothes secretly wants to be raped, then does a man who wears an expensive suit secretly want to robbed?"
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. Runners up:
Hysterical, PMSing, bitter, dried up, frigid, prude, pig, easy, nagging, ditzy, ball-breaker, piece of ass, hag, old-biddy, emotional, irrational, demanding, etc. etc. etc.

I also really hate being called a GIRL sometimes. Not always, but there are certain situations where that really chaps me.

And...this isn't a name but I just get so frigging, and I mean head-exploding vein popping kick someone's ignorant ass, mad when I'm told to "calm down" because I showed the slightest bit of irritation or got animated about something.


Calm down....Just thinking about it makes me :argh:
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-05 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. shrill-Gov. Romney used that one on his Dem female opponent
women's groups in Mass. rightfully criticized him.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. I dislike "Girl" when it's used
opposite of "men"

I worked for a company a few years ago and in the summertime, we had a company picnic. THere was a water-balloon toss game, and it was divided into two teams:

The MEN
and
The GIRLS

Well....why isn't it the MEN and the WOMEN? Or the BOYS and the GIRLS? Why MEN and GIRLS? Of course, the person organizing this wasn't the brightest bulb in the shed, but it's so insidious. Girls are girls, and men are men. Men are older, more responsible, egletarian. Girls are, well, girls.

I call myself a girl. I shudder calling myself a "woman" because it makes me feel my oh-so-old age of 29. But I don't consider myself a "girl", if that makes any sense. I refer to other females over the age of 14 as "women" and other males over the age of 14 as "men".

I think a 39 year old professional male would take quite the offense if someone were to call him a "boy" or to put him on a water balloon team made up of equally aged and qualifed males and call the team the "boy's" team. But it's perfectly acceptable for a 39 year old professional woman to be called a "girl" and to be on a water balloon team with equally aged and qualifed females and call that team the "Girls" team.

The TV show "The Apprentice" was guilty of this. Donald Trump and the male contestants always called the female contestants "The Girls". But they were never The Boys. They were THe Men's Team. They were the Girls' Team.

It just goes to show that in our society, you're either an old bitty, a harpy, a nag, or you're an uneducated, green-behind-the-ears newbie "girl".

I'm not explaining it well....I'm a little hungry. But it's paternalistic. That no matter what the age of a woman, she's still no better than a girl. She's no better than a 12 year old. No smarter, no more talented, no more drive. She's may have a career and an education and a family and a husband and a child, but in our eyes, she's just a 12 year old waiting to get her first period, the little darling.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Calling a grown woman a girl
is the same kind of deliberate denigration as calling a grown man of color "boy."
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Lady President Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
14. Slut, tramp, whore, etc.
I hate all of the very popular words indicating sexual promiscuity. If a man and a woman have sex, the man is a "stud" and the woman is a "slut". It makes me insane that the same act can be viewed in such positive terms for men, but so negatively for women.

I'm not thrilled about being called a girl either. :grr:



*** This is definitely the oddest subject line I ever written
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
17. yes, bitch is a big one
if you have an opinion, you are a bitch.

if you want child support, you are a bitch.

if you don't change your schedule to accomodate the man, you are a bitch.

if you ask for communication, you are a bitch.

ugh. no more hanging around people like that for me!
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FizzFuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
18. "Thank You! If you call me a bitch it means I'm taking care of myself!"
"So, thank you!"
:)
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Logansquare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. I say, "Oh, you ain't seen BITCH yet!!!"
and walk toward them with that craaaazy look in my eyes.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-05 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. b.i.t.c.h.
B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself

..........and..........

B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman

..........and..........

B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle anything

Me? A bitch?! Why, yes, yes I am.

:evilgrin:
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-05 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
26. Bitch, slut, whore
Edited on Fri Jun-17-05 10:35 PM by Eloriel
etc.

What do you think men are calling the women they're punching out, or kicking in their pregnant stomachs, or raping -- before, during, after?

That's what I always think about. People aren't violent towards people they respect. These words are the epitome of disrespect.

Studies have shown (and I really ought to find a link for this) that whenever homophobia rears its ugly head -- pending anti-gay legislation or some other similar "newsworthy" stuff -- there is a rise in violent attacks on gays. Why would we think it's any different for anti-woman language? It isn't.

And I probably don't need to tell this crowd that violence against women is still pandemic. Some time tonight several women will be raped while being called -- or thought of as -- bitch, slut, whore or cunt. Several others will be beaten, and someone or several may die at the hands of a mate because he thinks she is not better than a bitch, slut, whore or cunt.

I can't stand it, I really can't. And it's impossible to get men to see this.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. It's not impossible to get ALL men to see this...
I know a number of men who would NEVER use those terms toward a woman, any more than they would hit one.

Thankfully, there are decent men out there. I'm married to one of them.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-05 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
27. The word "bitch" doesn't bother me anymore.
It used to make me very upset when someone referred to me as one. I realized one day that most of the situations where the word was used toward me were situations where, for once, I took control of my actions and made my own decisions. After that moment I made the decision to own that word.
When people sometimes ask me to describe myself I will use "bitch" as one of the words. It always gets a response (usually a slightly open mouth look or a double-take). I explain to them that being a bitch means that I have taken charge of my own life the best that I can. I make my own decisions and I accept the consequences of my actions, whether positive or negative. I stand up for what is right, whether it is the most popular view or not.
I have often wondered what would happen if every woman commandeered this word for themselves. What would happen if we stood up proudly every single time someone called each and every one of us a bitch? IMO, if the word were claimed by every woman as a positive word (not the original meaning pertaining to dogs, but the meaning that is meant to be harsh and abrasive) it would lose most of its power. And I have noticed that since I claimed the word most people no longer fling it at me as a way to hurt me. They know that it doesn't have any power on me.
BTW-I refer to men as sluts also. I work w/ some younger women and I have heard them often refer to men of loose morals w/ the same word. I think that this word might die out eventually as a way to hurt just women-but that's just from observation.
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