The Bitch Conundrum

Thought Catalog

I struggle with the word bitch. On one hand, I don’t think a man should call a woman a bitch, ever. On the other hand, sometimes a woman acts like a bitch, and I’d like to call her one. Or I’d like to call her one as a joke, or in the sense of “you’re my bitch”. But I always feel immediately guilty when I do, no matter the context. The conundrum for me is this: can and should women reclaim the word “bitch” the way we’re trying to reclaim “slut” (with movements like Slutwalk), or the way other minority groups have reclaimed slurs intended to be used against them?

My biggest issue with reclaiming “bitch” is this: men generally don’t see it as the powerful, gendered slur that it is, because it is so commonly and freely used. So much so in fact, that once when listening to drive…

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