A bitch—not a ‘Woman’

Marufa Yasmin Antora :

Sprayed bitch font graffiti with overspray in black over white. Vector illustration EPS 10


There is a common slur that got really popular in recent times – ‘bitch’. It is now one of those words which had undergone various semantic developments over the course of its usage in contemporary English. The word ‘Bitch’ is not an acronym and stands for exactly what it sounds like. There are many definitions of a ‘Bitch”, but the most complimentary definition is a female dog. Those definitions of bitches who are also homo sapiens are rarely objective (!). 

Educated and modern men are seen to call women bitches when they do not get what they want from them. And if a woman turns a man down for a date, she is a bitch. Similarly, when she climbs the career ladder faster than him, she is a bitch. If she becomes his boss and turns down one of his ideas, she is – you guessed it right – ‘a bitch’.

Whenever female acts confident or prove that she does not need anyone to support her then she is considered a ‘Bitch’. It is generally agreed that a Bitch is aggressive, and therefore unfeminine. She may be sexy, in that case, she becomes a Bitch Goddess, (a special case which will not concern us here) but she is never a “true woman.”  

Many women are obviously constrained by conventional stereotypes of how women should be – selfless, kind, enabling of others, calm and supportive – the good girl essentially, that the real girl inside gets denied. The patriarchal society has made them believe that the Girls who are “bossy” grow into those women who “nag”, on the other hand, boys of all ages are “authoritative” and “natural-born leaders”. When men go out for a drink or hang out together it is considered positive social interaction or “networking”; when women get together, they “gossip”. Women had made to take insults on their chin and say nothing to maintain that ‘good girl’ image in front of men and society. Thus, the ‘good girls’ find it hard to compete or ask for a pay rise because they are not sure if they deserve it or not. As a result, they tend not to shout or get angry about all the inequities they face as women. 

This society has outlined humanity as male, and female as something other than the male. In this manner, females may be human solely by living vicariously via a male. To be able to live, a female must comply with serving, honor, and adapt a person and what she gets in exchange is at best a shadow life. Bitches refuse to serve, honor or adapt anyone. They demand to be absolutely functioning mortals, not simply shadows. The demand for a fully functioning human being creates a social contradiction.  

With the constant struggle with self and social norms, some women hate being called a “bitch”. But in reality, the women under the tag of a bitch embrace all the dynamic qualities that men have always hoarded for themselves while they reduced females to ‘women.’ “A bitch—not a ‘woman’—is who all women must aspire to be.”

While explaining about this The US feminist magazine BITCH writes on its website: “When it’s being used as an insult, bitch is an epithet hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and do not shy away from expressing them and who do not sit by and smile uncomfortably if they are bothered or offended. If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we will take that as a compliment, thanks.”


According to ‘The Bitch Manifesto’ by Joreen (1968)- ‘Bitches’ have some or all of the following characteristics.

  1. Personality- “Bitches are aggressive, assertive, domineering, overbearing, strong-minded, spiteful, hostile, direct, blunt, candid, obnoxious, thick-skinned, hard-headed, vicious, dogmatic, competent, competitive, pushy, loud-mouthed, independent, stubborn, demanding, manipulative, egoistic, driven, achieving, overwhelming, threatening, scary, ambitious, tough, brassy, masculine, boisterous, and turbulent. Among other things. A Bitch occupies a lot of psychological space. You always know she is around. A Bitch takes shit from no one. You may not like her, but you cannot ignore her.’’
  2. Physical- “Bitches are big, tall, strong, large, loud, brash, harsh, awkward, clumsy, sprawling, strident, ugly. Bitches move their bodies freely rather than restrain, refine, and confine their motions in the proper feminine manner. They clomp upstairs, stride when they walk, and don’t worry about where they put their legs when they sit. They have loud voices and often use them. Bitches are not pretty.’’
  3. Orientation- “Bitches seek their identity strictly thru themselves and what they do. They are subjects, not objects. They may have a relationship with a person or organization, but they never marry anyone or anything; man, mansion, or movement. Thus, Bitches prefer to plan their own lives from day to day, action to action, or person to person. They are independent cusses and believe they are capable of doing anything they damn well want to. If something gets in their way; well, that’s why they become Bitches. If they are professionally inclined, they will seek careers and have no fear of competing with anyone. If not professionally inclined, they still seek self-expression and self-actualization. Whatever they do, they want an active role and are frequently perceived as domineering. Often, they do dominate other people when roles are not available to them which more creatively sublimate their energies and utilize their capabilities. More often they are accused of domineering when doing what would be considered natural by a man.’’

Bitches’ area unit sensible samples of however women will be robust enough to survive even our society’s rigid, retributive socialization. Therefore, if taken seriously, a Bitch could threaten the social structures that subjugate women and consequently the social values that justify keeping them in their place.

A woman ought to be proud to declare that she could be a Bitch, as being Bitch is gorgeous. It should be an associated act of affirmation by self and not negation by others. Not everybody will qualify as a Bitch. The foremost outstanding characteristic of all Bitches is that they discourteously violate conceptions of correct sex-role behavior.

Image Source: Vector Stock.

Artist: CarabusTauricus

About the writer:

Marufa Yasmin Antora is a story analyst, writing coach, scriptwriter, and content creator. Many of her series and solo shows have been filmed and were telecasted on different Tv channels in Bangladesh. She is now working in the Business Development Sector of a well-known IT company. However, she was a full-time writer, translator, and content creator in a very reputed media agency in Bangladesh. Being a former teacher, she has additionally done several projects for Sesame Street Bangladesh (USAID). She always tries to promote human welfare through social reforms which reflect in her writings too.

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