Call a woman a bitch and you might get cut, call her a bad bitch or a boss bitch, you probably can get her number and the panty draws. Yep, all you have to do is add an adjective to the front of it that’s deemed to be a positive to the negative word bitch and bam; you have officially transcended the word bitch. You have been officially cleared to use it whenever you want to use it.
It started with Lil Kim in 1996 when she released her debut album, Hardcore. She had a song on it entitled Queen Bitch from which her nickname was derived, as she was called The Queen B from that time on.
Four years later, in 2000, Trina came out with an album titled Da Baddest Bitch and bitch officially became a part of the African American lexicon as a term of endearment if a woman called another woman a bitch, as in “bitch please” or “I’m partying with my bitches tonight”.
Don’t get me wrong, male rappers have been using the word in lyrics since the 80’s but most women frowned upon it and had something to say negatively about the person using the word. Male rappers were always being ostracized for using it in raps, but when Lil Kim came along and coined herself as the Queen Bitch it began to take on a different form.
Not only do women use it unabashedly, men do it also. It’s become part of people’s everyday vernacular unless it’s being used in a negative way, in a form of malice.
This goes to show you that if a person hears something enough, they will become it. Black men called Black women bitches for so long in their music that Black women embodied it and started calling themselves it. They used the Power to Define and re-worked the word mentally to take some of the sting out of it; just as Black men did with Nigger (more on that in a coming post).
The problem with the re-working of the definition is that a large amount of them became the slang definition of the word before the adjectives were added. (A. a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman. B. a lewd woman. C. disparaging and offensive).
Isn’t this how Black women are viewed today by other races? Is this not how Black women are portrayed in the media?
Now, 16 years after Lil Kim sought to make being a bitch a positive thing through her music of female empowerment, she helped create a segment of Black women that have embodied being bitches. They believe that being unpleasant, lewd, loud, and offensive is their right. They see nothing wrong with acting like this in public, and they dare anyone to say anything about it, because that’s when they really snap and unleash the bitch.
I also noticed that women seem to like artist that use the word bitch throughout their music more than artist that don’t. It seems that the more you use the word bitch in your music the better your record sales are. Subliminally this word triggers a response in women that makes them gravitate to the artist that use it, thus keeping the usage of it in main stream hip hop, it’s related industries, and in any form of media that stands the bitch image up as a commodity.
The real question is, who profits from this image and how does it affect Black women?