The origins of bitchery

Because I am paid very well to be a bitch.

Seriously, though, this thread made me think about it. In my office, there are a number of very powerful women (it’s not 50-50 in terms of gender, but maybe 30-70, which isn’t bad). Of course, us poor powerless minions gripe about the senior people all the time, but I can’t recall the last time we referred to a woman as a bitch. We tend to call all the senior people assholes or bastards or some such when they do something assholish or bastardish (why, yes, I do have a mouth like a sailor, why do you ask?), so bitch isn’t a term we use to refer to a strong, independent woman. Bitch seems to be reserved for a woman who takes personal pleasure in squelching someone else, or manipulating the system to advantage herself or disadvantage others.

I guess at this point in my life, I wouldn’t take being called a bitch seriously; it’s kind of on par with being called a meanie. It’s such a weak word, in my opinion. Very high school, even. Great OP – hadn’t thought about the word before and it’s interesting to see what everyone thinks.

The only person who thinks I am a bitch is my husband, and then only on rare and special occasions. Everyone else thinks I am quite nice. I DO get what I want however, it’s just that I’m so durn nice about it that most folks can’t see the bitch of it.

Because you need to honkhonk pay attention – what are you doing?! – hey, I /like/ my front bumper! middlefinger :wink:

Yeah, I’m only a bitch when I’m driving. What can I say, I learned to drive in Northern VA. I’m more like passive-aggressive with rude customers…

It’s interesting to see the different meanings that everyone attaches to “bitch.” Me, I’m an equal opportunity insulter. I call anyone who’s being petty, unreasonable, or snide bitchy, whether they’re male or female.

It’s the mark of familial greatness. I am a Bitch descended from Bitches.

::: mumbles something unintelligible, sideways-glances at all the bitches, and steers clear :::


I’m 49% bitch, 51% sweetheart. Is it my fault some people insist on pushing their luck?

Almost got a T-shirt once that read “0 to bitch in 4.5 seconds”. Didn’t get it because I can beat that time easily!

I think we need a new word, or need to identify a current word, that we can use to describe those women who are truly rotten, unprincipled, nasty people. Because since “bitch” has the connotation of both the above AND a strong, won’t-take-shit female, there needs to be some differentiation.

Me? 95% of the time I’m a laid-back, easy-going, sweet-natured girl. The other 5% of the time I find it necessary to be a bitch. But life’s too short to contribute to the nastiness in the world by being a bitch 100% of the time.

I think some women who say, “I’m a strong, confident woman, and people who feel threatened by me call me a bitch” might possibly be overlooking the fact that their version of strong and confident comes across to others as mean, vindictive and nasty.

I once worked for a woman who told me that she would not ever let anyone take advantage of her again. She operated from the mindset that everyone was trying to screw her over, and she distrusted everything. So she treated everyone as if they had already screwed her over. She could be very generous one minute, and then screaming at you about something inconsequential the next. She loved to play mind games. Told me once that everyone in the store hated me and complained about working with me, and if I didn’t change my behavior, I was out. But instead of cowering under the onslaught, buckling down and working extra hard to please everyone, I decided to approach things a little more openly…not my usual avoid conflict response. I went to each person, privately and individually, and said, “I know it can be a hard adjustment when someone new joins the team, so I want to know what things you think I could improve on to make this transition easier. Where am I screwing up, not fitting in, am I doing anything that just drives you crazy, even if it’s something simple like not putting the stapler back in the right place.” I got no complaints from anyone, except about the stapler thing, and in fact most people were surprised I was asking and told me they enjoyed working with me. I never told them what the boss had told me (not until much later) but I did learn that she had tried the same manipulation on one of the other girls who had been well-received. She had to crush the spirit out of anyone the team really liked in order to keep the team’s loyalty fixed on herself. She wanted no one who could challenge her position. When it got so bad that employees were asking to be transferred, quitting rather than continue to work with her, she finally got fired. But to this day she insists that she “retired” and that people just have it in for strong women. She really doesn’t see that her treatment of people was counter-productive in the long run. Everyone was just out to get her because she was strong and confident. It doesn’t dawn on her that other strong, confident women who work there inspire an even deeper loyalty than the fear-based one she received.

Well, yeah, there are strong, confident women, and then there are crazy ones. But there are also lots of crazy men out there, too.

But you don’t have to have a personality disorder to be perceived as a bitch. You only need to not conform to the image that a lot of people have of women being sweet and kind, no matter what.

I think bitch is so overused that it’s really lost all meaning. Seems to me we need a new word for women that actually are crazy, mean, vindictive, and nasty.

I am not A bitch… I am **THE ** bitch. There’s a big difference. Thanks for asking.

I work for state government and we are limited to a flat number of pay raises in each classification. After that, no matter how hard you work, you’ll never get another pay raise. The day I “topped out”, I walked into my boss’s office and told him to kiss my ass. It was quite liberating.

I think some might, but I don’t think that I am. Of course, nobody else does either, I know! Now, that Omarosa gal on that one season of The Apprentince, was deluded that way when she was clearly just a nasty, off-her-rocker grade-A bitch.

I actually very rarely get called a bitch, and that’s most likely only behind my back when I’m enforcing something someone doesn’t like at work. But hey, that’s my job, y’know?

I recognize that the assertive qualities are also those that are called bitchy sometimes, and that there may be people that can’t tell the difference.

Although if someone is indeed out to screw me, I can instantly turn into 100% bitch in a heartbeat, with no regrets. It’s good to be able to do that. I don’t do it very often.

Two years ago, we got our very first female canine (AKA a bitch). We’d only had males before, and in observing her, I do see how the term ‘bitch’ has migrated from referring solely to a female canine to referring to human females as well.

Pumpkin has our male canine completely under her control. He toes the line, even though all she did to let him know she was boss was growl at him a handful of times the first week she was with us. And the dogs get along fine because both of them know what’s expected.

Some people don’t like it when a human female takes control and says ‘this is the way it’s going to be.’ Hence the term ‘bitch.’ But sometimes that’s a good thing to do. With men, I believe they call it ‘leadership’ or ‘assertiveness’.

So why am I bitch? Because being assertive is much less stressful than being a wishy-washy doormat, and it helps others to know what to expect.

Dit-to. This really needed to be repeated.

It took me some time to discover My Inner Bitch; I started out as a really nice, polite, quiet girl with “doormat” sort of engraved on my forehead. Confrontation terrified me. Authority figures were always right, at least as far as they heard from me. I pretty much accepted every type of behavior even if I hated it.

Ten years in the bar/restaurant industry, the last five of which have been spent behind the bar, and you wouldn’t recognize me anymore.

I wouldn’t say I’m a bitch on wheels or anything; there’s still quite a bit left of that really nice polite girl, but she doesn’t take bullshit as her due anymore.

Bartending’s a bitch. You gotta match it or you’ll never survive. :stuck_out_tongue:

One of my bartending T-shirts read: “I am not a bitch, I am the bitch and it’s Miss Bitch to you.”