It’s hard for me to call another woman a bitch these days. I can’t bring myself to do it. There was a period of about two years, around the time I was 19-20, that I used ‘bitch’ a lot. I also cursed a lot. It was freeing, because I’d come from a household where my father never cursed, and my mother only cursed when she was angry.

So I got to college, and found all of these freewheeling young negroes who used curse words as easily as they breathed. So I did too. And then I got older, and it got old, and I found myself saying these words that didn’t mean what I meant, and I realized my vocabulary had lost its nuance.

I don’t curse in my writing, and I don’t curse in conversation anymore, unless I’m BB-messaging to one of my most beloved friends.

I can’t bring myself to call another woman a bitch. Even when Hillary Clinton was pissing me off hourly during the primaries, and I came so close to it, I couldn’t get over my hesitation (unlike aforementioned friend, whose response was something I’ll laugh at for years to come: “I’ll call that bitch a bitch all day long. Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch!”).

But last night, when I heard that Palin was attacking Obama by doing her passive-aggressive riff and suggesting he was linked to terrorists, I immediately messaged my friend. To wit:

“I FUCKING hate that bitch.”

My vitriol surprised me, and also the Wife, apparently, who wrote back, rather mildly: “Wow. Tell us how you really feel.” It’s really difficult for me to quote myself in full, mostly because I’m itching to erase the f-word from that sentence. But I won’t. It would be dishonest to do so.

I have a laundry-list of reasons why I think Palin is an awful human being, and her attack on Obama, coupled with her performance at the debate, really brought them to the fore. I think she’s disrespectful and low, unserious, incurious, anti-science, conniving, and anti-feminist. But more than that, she represents faux populism. She’s the mean girl that’s trying to get the attention of the people she thinks hold influence. And she’s talking to them about us. She’s blowing on that dog whistle, and winking furiously, and we’re not supposed to get it.

9 thoughts on “Bitch.

  1. LH October 7, 2008 at 10:39 am Reply

    I guess context really is everything.

  2. ladyfresshh October 7, 2008 at 11:53 am Reply

    i couldn’t do it for hillary either. i have a serious dislike for palin though and wouldn’t be surprised if she gets to me someday soon

  3. blackink October 7, 2008 at 12:12 pm Reply

    An understandable reaction. I’ve tried to keep my anger in check about the Hockey Mom, too. But yesterday, pretty much, pushed me over the line. She’s willfully race-baiting and folks need to be willing to call her and McCain out on these gutter, identity politics.

    That she’s the apparent future of the conservative movement worries me greatly. I just hope the Idiocracy can see through this gambit.

  4. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Yeah, she inspires great anger in me as well. During the VP debate I was literally shaking with anger and anxiety, and I actually want to see her personally suffer for the things she says, in some way. It’s not just her, it’s everything she represents. She’s no longer part of the Republican party that is drawing on anti-intellectualism and Christian conservative small-mindedness; she is an anti-intellectual Christian conservative. And the obvious racism and terrifying violence they’re eliciting from their crowds is really worrisome. But I actually don’t think she’s the future. The conservative movement as it is is going to have to die and change.

  5. ladyfresshh October 7, 2008 at 1:27 pm Reply

    @quad – i really think she is going to splinter the conservatives. it’s waaay too insulting to their intelligence for them to stand for this. while i know they tend to ‘tow the party line’ silently their loyalties must be seriously stressed with the last 8 years and now palin HAS to be breaking that camel’s back.

  6. SpottieOttieDopaliscious October 7, 2008 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Palin’s appeal to conservative voters basically boils down to the fact that her biography is similar to theirs. She has laid out no other substantive reason to vote for her other than the fact she’s white, folksy and not much smarter than the average citizen.

    Actually I think the scary part is that she knows that we get it; she just doesn’t care.

  7. cindylu October 7, 2008 at 6:57 pm Reply

    I rarely use bitch to describe anyone. I think it all the time though. Especially when driving. When I got to college I spent a lot of time around avowed Chicana feminists who called out any such words (they also called people out for homophobic language).

    I say f— a lot more now. That’s a recent development. I came up in a household where I got soap in my mouth if I cursed. Later my mom threatened us with jalapeños. It worked. I wouldn’t curse. It helped that my parents didn’t curse either.

    I felt like cursing a lot was just being lazy. There’s so many other great FCC-approved words and insults one could use.

  8. Lauren October 8, 2008 at 9:39 am Reply

    During the VP debate I was literally shaking with anger and anxiety, and I actually want to see her personally suffer for the things she says, in some way. It’s not just her, it’s everything she represents.


    And Shani-O, that last paragraph? Preach it.

  9. shani-o October 8, 2008 at 1:20 pm Reply

    Spottie: That’s why she makes me so angry. She’s smarter than the people she’s talking to, but she’s playing dumb.

    Lauren: thanks!

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