This has always been a question in my mind for most of my adult life and now with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being called a “fucking bitch” on the steps of our Nation’s capital, there is no better time than now to address this issue. If we speak up, are we powerful or a bitch?
I’ve been called a “bitch” numerous times throughout my life and I’m sure many other Women have as well. It’s a term that has been used when men feel backed into a corner, intimidated, wrong, or overall just ignorant. I’ve been in past relationships where I was called a “bitch” because I didn’t bow down to his opinion and instead had my own. I have been called it when I’m walking down the street and simply don’t want to give my phone number to a random guy because I’m happily married. I’ve also been called it by males who have seen my success in school and determination in work who try and undermine that with a single word. So why does my success, power, or confidence suddenly make me a “bitch?”
Men feel no remorse for this word and in this case Rep. Ted Yoho simply excused it with being “passionate.” That same form of “passion” with expressive and vulgar words would be exactly the reason that a male would call a Woman a “bitch.” If we put emotions into things we are then viewed as weak. If we put too much emotion into something and voice our opinion loud and proud, then we’re a bitch. There is no middle-ground for a Woman to be anything else.
I’ve worked for a male that was very expressive and explosive with his emotions. If he was frustrated you would know it right away. He would scream, curse, and hit things. It was almost like a temper tantrum but it was always excused as he’s just very vocal and it’s “just how I am when things don’t go right.”
Imagine a Woman throwing an adult temper tantrum in the workplace. What if she’s screaming and cursing at objects and pounding her fist on them? Would that be excused with “that’s just how I am?” Probably not.
How many times have you questioned whether you should say something for fear of sounding like a bitch? I’ve done it countless times, especially in my workplace. I wonder if I should dial back my tone and re-word things a bit differently. Maybe this would help to come off more gentle and less aggressive. These moments of having to stop and reflect are where I can’t understand why it’s so difficult for males and some people in general to accept a powerful voice coming from a Woman.
If you’ve never directly been called a “bitch” then chances are you’ve been told you’re “acting like a bitch.”
This is the scapegoat version and the number one cop-out for saying something so crude but taking no blame. The excuse is usually, “I didn’t call you a bitch, I said you’re acting like one.” What’s the difference?
To see so many powerful Women be degraded by a single word because a “man” can’t accept a Woman with her own conviction and the confidence to express it, is probably something that we’ll never understand. But, just because we don’t understand it, doesn’t mean that we must accept it. And the same way AOC has spoken out about it, we can too.