I Am Not a Bitch
And neither are you.
When I really thought about it, I felt offended when a former partner used the b-word to describe me, or my behavior. (He, incidentally was questioning also whether others thought he was a bastard. So there are TWO b-words.)
You see, I’m big into authenticity and was telling myself it was just him being honest about his experience.
And then more recently I’ve been catching myself referring to my OWN behavior as bitchy. Hmmmm. What’s up with that?!
Lately, I’ve been present to the true origin and meaning of the word “bitch”, and I do NOT mean a female dog. 😉 It’s all part of the patriarchy- you know, the thing that started thousands of years ago when men became too scared of women’s power. These days, there are so many things in place in our society that keep women feeling disempowered. Like the implication that we are meant to be thin, sweet, always at your service, and always at the sexual disposal of men. Using the b-word to describe women and/or their behavior is-point blank-a continuing of the patriarchy.
Do we as women sometimes feel irritable, angry, even rageful? Hell yes, we do! (And so do men.) Those feelings are all part of the normal range of human experience. Is it respectful or empowering to use the word “bitch” to describe that state or behavior? Absolutely not.
The word bitch just cuts off who the person really is. As soon as that label is used, the person is simply dismissed. She is not seen for what she really is, a woman feeling a feeling under the umbrella of “anger”. No one really has to feel compassion for her when she is labeled a bitch, do they? Nor do they have to hear what she is saying. If they don’t like the delivery method of her expression of feelings, they can just slap a label on her and be done with it. That feels like a closed door.
Yes, women (and men) sometimes express feelings in an unconscious way. And no, that is not optimal for the health of a relationship. We don’t have to accept being treated badly by others. We can choose when to walk away, end a conversation, or even a relationship. I’m not encouraging putting up with abuse here.
I will be honest. I’ve been feeling angry more often than usual lately. There are some situations in my life that I’m feeling resistance to, and that is manifesting in the form of anger at times. And rather than put myself down by using the b-word, I can use the feeling words I referenced above. I can choose not to speak when I might be impulsive and unconscious with my words, IF I catch myself before that happens. And if I go there, I’m still not a bitch. I’m human. We all go unconscious sometimes. We all get short-tempered sometimes. We all blurt things out sometimes, without thinking. That does not make any of us a bitch OR a bastard.
We as women have not always been so kind to each other either. That, too, is another result of the patriarchy. When we put each other down, we keep ourselves powerless. When we put ourselves down, we perpetuate the patriarchy.
How are we ever going to live peacefully and in harmony, embracing the good qualities in women and men, in the masculine AND the feminine, if we don’t stop this cycle?
I, for one, am recommitting to treating myself and others with love and respect. We all deserve it.