Alright, alright. I’ll admit, I’m spending way too much time on this damn McCain calling Clinton a bitch by proxy controversy. And really, I thought that I was done with it, too. But then, via Broadsheet, I found a really kick ass editorial from the Washington Post on the subject. It’s by Andi Zeisler, one of my all-time fave third-wave feminists and the co-founder of Bitch Magazine.
So here goes: Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn’t respond to men’s catcalls or smile when they say, “Cheer up, baby, it can’t be that bad.” We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn’t apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn’t back down from a confrontation.
So let’s not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we’ve done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine — and sees uncompromising speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world.