In the never-ending search to find things to be offended by, part of the feminist left has determined that “bossy,” when applied to girls and women, is inappropriate. Really. There’s a whole campaign with big-name celebrities and liberal partners like Upworthy, Teach for America, La Raza, The Girl Scouts and the AARP. Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Garner and Jane Lynch have all signed on.
Apparently, when some girls are called “bossy,” they tend to behave less, well, bossy. That outcome is clearly detrimental to girls’ self esteem and willingness to take leadership roles. To which sensitive, informed Americans can only respond, “Huh?”
But no lefty whine is too irrelevant for the media to ignore. On the March 10 “World News,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer breathlessly called BanBossy “the powerful movement to change one word, and the future of America’s daughters.” On ABC’s “Nightline” on March 11, correspondent Cynthia McFadden cited a study from the Girl Scout Research Institute. “A third of the girls who don't want to be leaders say it's because they fear being called bossy, or being disliked by their peers,” McFadden said. “Nightline” featured Facebook COO Sharyl Sandberg, who’s behind BanBossy suggesting that, instead of calling your daughter bossy, say that she has “executive leadership skills.”
But while the speech police are busy handing out citations, perhaps they could inform the public how they stand on the other B-word. Once considered a dirty – or at least an inappropriately coarse – word, “bitch” is now in common use in entertainment media. Given that it’s gender-specific, obviously insulting and, as often currently used, is shorthand for subjugation, honest feminists should find “bitch” far more troubling than “bossy.”
How common is “bitch” on TV? In just one week, from Friday March 7 through Friday, March 15, there were at least 50 uses of some form of the word on entertainment TV. It’s now a staple on late night talk shows, but it also turns up in primetime entertainment. On “Chicago Fire” a gang member demand of a female EMT, “Open the door, bitch!” The crime drama “Blue Bloods” used “son of a bitch” three times in one episode. Some more examples:
“Twisted” on ABC Family:
“You got an A? I studied all week and only got a B.”
“Well, I guess American history’s my bitch.”
“Community” on NBC
“Why the hell do you have all those muscles if you’re gonna bitch about moving boxes?”
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBs
“Aw, man, he was talking about how he was gonna knock my teeth out if I touched her. I said, ‘Try me then, bitch.’”
On the late night comedy show “At Midnight,” host Chris Hardwick said of a picture of a dog sitting in a car, “We’re not 100 percent sure, but the dog is angry. He is impatient, and he’s waiting for his bitch wife to get out of the shopping mall.”
Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad,” was making the rounds on the late night talk shows, and the hosts wanted him to talk about saying “bitch.” (It’s a trademark of his “Breaking Bad” character.) He did it on “Conan.” On “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Paul said, “I think the audience [for “Breaking Bad” is still growing. Still people say ‘please call me bitch.’ It’s ridiculous.” He went on to tell a story about a sweet old lady who asked him to call her “bitch.”
The following night on “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson, the host said to actor, “You’re going to have to say it your whole life.” Paul responded, “Yo bitch! It is so funny the reaction. Any time I say ‘bitch,’ people just love it.” Ferguson said, “You did well with it. You made it your thing.”
Clearly, “bitch” is now in common use, thrown around casually, used as a punch line in comedy and an exclamation in drama. It still mostly applies to women, and in addition to its traditional insulting meanings, it’s gathered the additional connotation of subjugation. To be someone’s “bitch” is to be owned – something feminists are supposed to find offensive. What’s more, it’s the liberal entertainment elite that use the word like punctuation.
So we can expect a “BanBitch” campaign any day now, right?