Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is "Love You Biotch" Really Love?

Terms of Endearment or Slinging Insults? The Double Meaning of Women-Hating Words.
By Brianna Savoca

**WARNING: Explicit content and offensive words are included in this post.**

Slut muffin. Whore. Hoe bag. Biotch. Are you offended yet? Should you be offended?

After watching "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami," a reality television program on the E! network, my boyfriend's mom and I discussed the use of these typically women-hating words. For readers who are not familiar with this TV show, Kourtney and Khloe, two of the Kardashian sisters, often call one another "whore" or "biotch" on the show.

My boyfriend's mother said she hated the way two sisters called each other such degrading names. However, the Kardashians typically use whore or biotch as a term of endearment while engaging in casual and humorous dialogue on the show. Thus, the Kardashian sisters embrace these ordinarily derogatory terms. This is true for many television programs, movies, and even informal conversation between girlfriends.

Biotch seems to replace hun, sweetie, chick, or cutie in casual greetings and good-byes. One example I overhear constantly on campus is, "See you later, biotch!"

Still, today's conversation made me wonder- What should our societal protocol be when it comes to the usage of these words?

When it comes to casual, conversational use of slut, hoe, whore, etc. are we further perpetuating the negative connotations of these words? Or are we embracing them, thus reversing the normal harmful repercussions of women-hating words?

A certain shock value accompanies these words. However, some of the shock
may come from societal interpretations of the words based on standard norms.

For example, "bitch" carries a certain amount of shock value. The definition of bitch is a lewd woman, a woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing, or a weak man. On the contrary, a bitch usually is a powerful woman. Most men feel threatened by a powerful woman, so bitch has become a negatory insult and patriarchal slur towards women.

Therefore, using bitch as a term of endearment or in a positive, casual manner, lessens these harsh, negative connotations of the word. One could argue using "bitch" in a positive tone amongst girlfriends actually empowers women. However, calling a women a "bitch" in a negative light simply perpetuates the derogatory associations of the word.

Should feminists of the world embrace these terms? Let's try it.

All you wonderful hoe bag, bitches, slut muffins, and whores can do anything you put mind to. Fight patriarchy, and embrace your femininity. Be a bitch, and be proud of it.

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