There are perks to being a bitch. Bitches make their own rules. Bitches are so busy running things that they don't have time to worry about things like "being nice."
It's a great time to be a bitch, since it appears bitches are experiencing a real bitchaissance of aspirational bitchiness, but I don't mean "bitch" as in "interchangeable with the word 'woman,'" because it isn't. A "bitch," someone who's really "bitchy," is generally a woman who truly does not give a fuck about what you think of her. She's someone who isn't being a woman in the "right" way.
In her new book Yes Please, perfect human/magical unicorn goddess/award-winning comedian Amy Poehler shares personal stories from her career, as well as handy sex advice ("If you don't eat pussy, keep walking") and some essential wisdom: Being nice isn't always that great. Poehler isn't afraid of not being liked or being thought of as "bitchy," because bitchiness shouldn't be a bad thing.
It's time to take bitchy back.
When you really get down to what "bitch" really means, what you end up with is a description of a woman who isn't cooperating with the general conventions of how women are supposed to behave. As feminist author, Guardian columnist and general badass Jessica Valenti writes, "The word has become a kind of shorthand the world uses as a pseudo-slur against women who don't adhere to the nonsense standard of femininity that says we have to eat shit with a smile."
Words like "pushy," "angry," "bossy" or "bitchy" are code for "isn't being a nice girl and girls are supposed to be nice." Being bitchy isn't the same as being flat-out mean or inconsiderate. You can be bitchy and respect the humans around you. But bitchiness isn't apathy either. Being bitchy is about exercising your right to not be pushed around. Bitchiness is being painfully honest and calling out bullshit that no one else has the nerve to point out.
The word "bitch" is so heavy with patriarchy, and with a history of being used as a pejorative term against women, that reclaiming it might not be everyone's steez—and that's OK. It's also OK to not want to be bitchy, or be called bitchy. But bitchiness has value, and "bitch," as a consciously reclaimed term or idea, shouldn't be a bad word.
1. Bitches get stuff done.
Back in 2008, former head Saturday Night Live writer, Emmy Award-winner and "Weekend Update" co-host Tina Fey defended Hillary Clinton and suggested that more women voted for Barack Obama in the presidential primary election because Clinton is a "bitch":
"Let me say something about that[...]She is [a bitch]. And so am I. Bitches get stuff done. That's why Catholic Schools use nuns instead of priests . . . At the end of the year you hated those bitches, but you knew the capital of Vermont."
As a former plaid skirt, let me just say: Those bitches were scary as shit and they haunt my dreams TO THIS DAY. They did not have time for nose-pickers or tardiness or general fuckery. I usually can't remember what I ate for breakfast on any given morning, but I KNOW my multiplication tables.
2. Bitches get what they want...
. . . . in bed.
3. And they don't fucking care if you like it.
Jessica Valenti writes for The Nation: "The truth is that we don't need everyone to like us [ . . . ] We need to tell young women that not being liked, as hard as it may be, is often a sign that they're doing something right."
Bitches don't need a stamp of approval.
4. Bitches aren't doormats.
5. Bitches don't put themselves down to make other people feel better about themselves.
Valenti continues in a piece for The Guardian:
"I'm sick of powerful women who rely on self-deprecation and likeability to make people feel comfortable with their success [ . . . ]Tell us how you really got there. I know it wasn't just 'taking a seat at the table' or because you stopped saying sorry."
You're a bad bitch. OWN IT.
6. Bitches don't apologize when they don't have to.
7. Bitches deserve to brag once in a while.
In Yes Please, Amy Poehler talks about her power-friendship with Tina Fey: "We host ALL the shit and RUN THIS TOWN cuz we COME CORRECT." Give credit where credit is due. Bitches deserve credit.
***In a study conducted by NOT A SCIENTIST (me).