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Discussing the B word

varreolas Icon Posted by Veronica Arreola

November 26th, 2008

On Monday I was featured on the WGN News at Nine, a local Chicago station, about the B word - bitch. It went well. No issues about the piece other than they gave me the title of “Dr.” when I don’t have my PhD.

But the negative comments I heard second hand were directed towards WGN. “With all that is happening in the world, why are we wasting time on this?”

OK, I get that. We’re in a fiscal crisis, still in two wars, and in the uber-lame duck period of the Bush Administration. What are we doing talking about the word bitch?

I did the piece for a few reasons:

1] I do believe we can reclaim the word and take the edge off if we embrace what people want us to feel bad about when they call us that - in other words, be proud that we’re strong, opinionated women. Don’t let people use that word on you to make you feel bad.

2] Bitch was central to the sexism in the Presidential campaign. Thus, I believe that it is central to our discussion on media, politics, and feminism to look at how we personally feel about the word and when it is appropriate to use it.

3] As a mom, I have to come to place where I can discuss this with my daughter one day. She’s only five, so I have a few years. But since I have contributed to Bitch magazine in the past and hope to do more, that conversation may happen before other parents. I’m waiting for the day she ends up telling her whole class that “Mommy is in Bitch!” and I get the phone call from the teacher.

So yes, we do have a lot of things to discuss in the media. There are a lot of fluff in the media, but I believe that discussing the word bitch isn’t the top of the fluff list. Celeb baby names is much closer to the top of that list.

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