Rego: It’s not OK to call her a b*tch: Here’s why

Shay Rego

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Whether you’re looking at an argument on Facebook, watching an episode of “The Office” or listening to music, the word b*tch seems to get thrown at a lot of women when they do something someone doesn’t like. In many situations, it’s used by a man trying to regain control over the situation or as a criticism.

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College is a time to shape our social skills and learn good morals. Especially at Colorado State University — where we are a Ramily — we all need to open our minds a little more and see the truth beyond the word “b*tch.”

Using b*tch to refer to a person was — and has always been — a way of demeaning someone, specifically a woman. Sure, you can use the argument that its origins are as a term for a female dog, but using it in relation to a person is meant to degrade them.

According to the dictionary, “Around the year 1400, it gained currency as a disparaging term for a woman, originally specifically ‘a lewd or sensual woman’ and then more generally ‘a malicious or unpleasant woman.’”

In a society where women have been historically put down and are still underrepresented to this day, there’s no need to find more ways to insult women.

Men insulting women has always been a disadvantageous playing field.”

Cisgender and transgender women alike receive an unfair advantage in life against men, something that’s highlighted in Philip Cohen’s article published in The Atlantic. Women have to fight for power harder than men, but men still find a way to silence women.

When women are already systematically oppressed, there is absolutely no need to call a woman a b*tch on top of everything else women go through. Calling a woman a b*tch is a very childish way to win a fight. B*tch is intended to hurt, demean and possibly silence a woman.

It’s not to say that society shouldn’t swear at women or that women deserve different treatment in arguments than men; it’s only that one specific word that disrespects and undermines a woman’s existence. A word used to silence women for so long should not be coming offensively out of a man’s mouth.

There are other ways b*tch is used to reclaim power. Women call other women a b*tch as a term of endearment, as in “Oh b*tch you look so pretty in that dress!” or referring to their closest friends as their b*tch.

It’s not to say a man cannot call a woman a b*tch in a purely joking demeanor or in a way to talk them up, such as “You are such a bad bitch,” but a man calling a woman a b*tch as an insult is disrespectful. 

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Women also call other women a b*tch in a non-friendly tone and use it as an insult. However, a woman calling another woman a b*tch as an insult is still very different than a man calling a woman a b*tch because there’s a different power dynamic. Men insulting women usually creates a disadvantageous playing field.

If you are using the word with malicious intent, you have no business calling a woman a b*tch.

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @shay_rego.