Thought For The Day:
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”- W.C. Fields
Question For The Day:
What do you call yourself?
So you’re a bad bitch, huh? Okay, so let’s just break that down, shall we? According to Webster’s Dictionary bad is an adjective meaning of poor quality, inferior or defective. Other synonyms listed are substandard, poor, second-rate, inadequate, unacceptable, not up to par, deficient, imperfect, faulty, shoddy, amateurish, careless, negligent, miserable, sorry. Also according to Webster’s, the word bitch is a female dog or wolf. When used as a verb, the word bitch means to grumble, complain, whine or express displeasure.
So, if you are a “bad bitch,” does that mean you are a dog of poor quality who expresses displeasure incessantly? Maybe you are a deficient and shoddy complainer. Or perhaps you are a miserable second-rate whining animal. Could it mean that you are a substandard, sorry hound who grumbles in an amateurish fashion? Or maybe you are a poor wolf-like beast that is, sadly, not up to par.
No matter how you slice it, being a “bad bitch” by definition is a travesty and to proudly proclaim that you are the baddest one of all is just sad. However, this doesn’t seem to stop women everywhere, including celebrities like Nicki Minaj, from vying for the title. Now I know many of you will argue that it doesn’t matter what Webster says, it’s the meaning you give the name that matters. Yet everyone knows that logic only works when you are the one using the word. If you don’t believe me, call any woman you don’t know a bitch and see what happens. Better yet, call a Black person that you don’t know a nigger, and you better have some quick reflexes.
Here’s a story for you. When I was nineteen, I got a summer job at the Waffle House while visiting my parents shortly after they had moved from California to Mississippi. I was a California girl on break from Howard University so I was an emerging young queen from the city. I had experienced racism before in high school but it was generally covert and more of a display of ignorance. Although some of my classmates were clearly racist, they would never dare call me out of my name, at least not to my face. However, I learned that summer that the Dirty South played by an entirely different set of rules. One day while serving a guy who looked like a casting reject from Swamp People, I was called a “nigger bitch” for messing up his egg order. I was stunned. Being called a name like that is one of the things that I knew happened, but I really didn’t expect it to happen to me. I know you’re all wondering what I did. Well, I wish I could say that I let him have it. I wish I could assert that I called upon the spirits of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Angela Davis and opened up a can of whoop ass on him but the sensitive soul in me couldn’t manage to do anything with the offense other than cry.
No matter how proud you are of yourself, when those words are leveled at you by someone who has no respect for you and essentially pisses on all that your rich and profound culture and womanhood represent, frankly… it hurts. So when I consider how a woman would call herself a bitch or a nigger (even if it has an ‘a’ on the end) you have to wonder why she would be willing to inflict this type of pain upon herself.
Even after this incident, I used the word nigga to address myself and my friends for many years. It was kind of a Cali thing, is how I justified it I guess. I’m not even sure when the exact moment came that I decided to retire the term but I imagine it came somewhere around the time I decided to pursue my relationship with God on a deeper level. As one grows in faith and learns more about who God is and who He says we are, it gets much harder to use hateful terms when describing His child. Though I might slip on occasion (because listening to Trump, Kanye or Candace Owens will yank a couple of choice words out the back of my throat periodically), I always come back to the knowledge of who I am in Christ and try to bring my speech back into compliance.
When God created man and woman, the Bible tells us that he declared it was good! The Word of God says that when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing. According to the scriptures, I am not only God’s child but I am a friend of Jesus, justified, redeemed, set free, an heir of heaven, accepted, forgiven, righteous, the temple of the Holy Spirit, a new creature, blessed, chosen, blameless, God’s workmanship, and the list goes on. I am the furthest thing from bad and I am anything but an animal. Whatever name I give myself has to reflect this awareness. There is never a reason to call yourself something you would cuss the next person out for even fixing their mouth to call you. It’s kind of like saying, ‘I’m only a substandard animal if I say so!’ Make sense or nah?
“Queens” don’t answer to or call themselves names that compromise their self respect. The sacrifice of dignity is a game that only the baddest bitches play. It’s too bad that in the end, they’re only playing themselves.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, He created them.”
Ms. C.C, I am so glad that you’ve touched on this topic today: “The Baddest Bitch”. For many years, and even today, I hear our sisters referring to themselves and others as such. I continue to remain in a state of perplexity as to why some sisters think that this is acceptable behavior, while all it’s doing is belittling their self-worth as human beings: QUEENS! I feel the exact same way when I hear our brothers refer to themselves and others as “Nigga(er)s”. Now, I would be a complete hypocrite to say that the “N” word doesn’t find itself entangled in my speech at times, but just as you eluded to in your article, sometimes certain folks “yank a couple of choice words out the back of my (your) throat”. Am I using this as an excuse? No, but we ALL fall short… But with all of that being said, not in my WILDEST of dreams could I see myself referring to another sister as a “Bitch”; I wasn’t brought up that way. The fact that I still have all of my adult teeth and that I can taste multiple flavors of food and beverages solidifies that during my child rearing years, “Mama didn’t play that!” Richard Pryor is and will ALWAYS be my favorite comedian. His trip to Africa, and the epiphany he experienced while he was there, is very germane to this conversation. He said that one morning, he walked onto his balcony to bask in the early morning sunlight. While overlooking his balcony, he saw a multitude of African citizens going about their daily routine. While marveling at this majestic view, he heard a voice that asked him: “How many Nigga(er)s do you see?” He replied with: “None”. And then the voice replied back: “Because there aren’t any”. If we were to take this little anecdote to heart, then maybe, just maybe, our Queens would stop referring to themselves as “Baddest Bitch” and our Kings as “Nigga(er)s. My two cents.
Your FAVORITE Cousin
Yes indeed! Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. And I never heard that story about Richard Pryor. I don’t think any of us can call ourselves growing without coming to this point of reckoning eventually. India Arie said, “Cause the words that come from your mouth, you’re the first to hear. Speak words of beauty and you will be there.” It’s time we get back to speaking life and power over ourselves if we want to evolve individually and collectively.