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.