My dear friend, Kallan, posted a blog on labels this morning. Toward the end, she talks about the label “bitch”. I dislike labels and always have because I’m me and there’s no one else like me. (At least I hope not. One of me inflicted on the world is enough. 😀 ) However, as you can see here, on my Facebook page and on my Twitter header, I proudly own the “bitch” label. Do I consider it derogatory? In most cases, yes. But I chose and choose to make it a source of strength:
I came of age when the women’s lib movement was a toddler. Every boss I had from my first job until I started my own business was male. Most were a generation older than me. Without exception, they were all chauvinists. Because I was female, they attempted to pigeonhole me into the role of just a secretary or just a bookkeeper. Also without exception, every single one of those men wouldn’t advance me because at some point (they assumed), I would abandon my job to get married and have babies.
The problem arose when I ventured to voice an opinion on an operational procedure. Although my bosses knew how good I was at my job (if I hadn’t been, they would have found someone else), they refused to acknowledge that I might have a better idea on how to do something. Any man who persisted in pushing an idea would have been labeled a “bulldog” or at the very least, “go-getter” and patted on the back. Instead, I was labeled a “pushy bitch” and my ideas poo-poo’d as not having merit simply because a woman wouldn’t know these things. Because I knew I was right, I continued to push to have my ideas implemented. And I continued to be called a bitch.
Rather than backing down and forgetting about making things better so I wouldn’t be called something derogatory, I decided to turn that label into a positive. (After all, a female bulldog is a bitch, right?) When someone would call me a bitch, I’d answer, “Yes. But if you think about [idea], you know I’m right.” I got my ideas implemented.
It may be an antiquated thought in today’s world but I’m a bitch because I’m not afraid to voice my opinions, refuse to be talked down to, and know my own worth. In other words, I’m a strong woman. Almost twenty years ago, I saw a snippet in the newspaper that took the word and made it into an acronym: Being In Total Charge [of] Herself. (I can’t find who coined it. I’ve wrongly attributed it to Hillary Clinton but I think she’d agree.) I’ve thrown that acronym in the faces of those who call me a bitch since then. Those who know me will stop, think, smile and agree. Those who don’t will at least stop and think.
So yes, I will tell you I’m a bitch and proud to be one. Besides, it rhymes with another label: witch… 😉