I’ve been doing some thinking about word usage and it seems to me that there may be a difference between how men and women use the term “bitch”. It seems to be a bit harsher when a man uses it then a woman…is this accurate, or is it just a perception. How do you use the term? Is it offensive to you. Please discuss among yourselves.
It seems that among the straight men I know that it is used as a slightly more polite alternative to C**t, with many of the same inflections and meanings(I can’t really speak for gay men, but it does seem to have a different usage with them) …while women tend to soften the term.
In Ireland, for ladies, people use the word “wagon”. I know nothing about its etymology, but it’s derogatory without being as bad as bitch.
I’ve just re-read the OP and realised I was utterly off-topic.
Just ignore me.
“God, what a wagon” or “I like the way that bitch’s rear is wagon”?
Again with the butt-oriented comments, Lieu?
But, back to the OP. I have female acquaintances who use “bitch” and “girlfriend” interchangeably. But usually when I hear a guy use it, he’s saying that a woman is a nasty, surly, unpleasant hag. I don’t know why there’s such a difference in how it comes off, but there always seems to be a bit more venom when guys say it.
Maybe it’s because I hang around with a lot of outspoken women, but I don’t consider “bitch” an insult.
When I get called “bitch” by someone trying to get under my skin, I find it laughable. It usually means that I had the nerve to speak my mind or stand up for myself and/or my beliefs and that is the only retort they can come up with.
Male or female, it doesn’t matter. I do think that men use it more as an insult then women do, but personally it has no effect on me.
But, as usual, YMMV.
For some reason, in my town, “bitch” is a gender-neutral term, applied to males and females alike. It’s not unusual to hear, “God, he’s such a bitch!” Around here, “bitch” is a word which means a “bad thing” rather than its more traditional usage, such as in “Cleaning the house is a bitch!” or “That computer is a bitch to use.”
I have a love/hate relationship with the word “bitch”. I do bridle at its usage as an insult, but my reaction is stronger when a man uses it as a put-down. On the other hand, when a man calls me a bitch, I figure it says something about him and it’s generally when I’m behaving in an assertive manner that I get called that. Also, I’ve noticed men only call other men bitches when they mean to say a man is like a woman or in a lesser position. That’s why men saying it bothers me more. Most women I know say “bitch” in an abstract way–sometimes, it’s more an expression of envy than contempt. (ie, “skinny bitch.”)
“Bitch” used in a joking manner is fine by me.
To my knowledge, I’ve never had a woman call me a bitch and mean it as an insult, but I’ve had plenty of men call me a bitch for many reasons (like turning down a stranger’s random offer for sex, arguing with a boyfriend, or refusing to break the rules for a customer).
At least among my friends, all straight males, “bitch” is used far more as a verb or generic insult than one specific to women, but women are more likely to be refered to as a bitch, though I can’t recall a single occasion of actually calling a woman a bitch to her face. Lemme try and clarify a little here…
VERB- “Quit bitching”
GENERIC INSULT- someone (Party A) does something someone else (Party B) doesn’t like. Party B calls Party A a “BITCH!”
GENERIC INSULT APPLIED TO A WOMAN- Driving through a parking lot, someone (who happens to be female) is in the way. “Get out the way bitch!” This is said with the windows up, at a low enough volume nobody outside the car hears.
Now that I’m thinking about it, if a man does something to piss us off, he’s an “asshole.” A woman does the same thing, she’s a “bitch” But bitch can be applied to men, it’s probably more (supposed to be, anywhay) insulting.
In the OP, the term c**t was mentioned. I for one will NOT call anyone this, even jokingly. Actually, I can’t recall ever having said the word. Don’t know why I find it so mind-bogglingly offensive, as I curse wildly during normal conversation. I have actually offended and shocked sailors…true fact
My experience and usage:
When used as to a woman, it means she’s a nag, inconsiderate, or has unreasonable expectations. (E.g., "bitch on wheels) It’s a rather mild epithet, and can be used jokingly.
When used as to a man, it means he’s a sissy and/or a whiner, i.e., that he’s being a “woman.” It is rather stronger when used as to a man than as to a woman, but it is also much more likely to be used in jest.