Picture this – I’m in a club (underage) with Malibu & Coke in one hand and the other I wave about as though I’m conducting an orchestra. I’m singing along to Missy Elliot’s catchy song She’s A Bitch. That beat, the music video – you must have seen it. Everyone in school knew the hook. We didn’t really think about the meaning. None of us questioned the term. We just sang along and tried our best to emulate Missy’s super cool style and robot-like moves.
I’ll be honest with you; I have used the term myself in the past once or twice. I’ve used it in support of one of the girls. You know the scenario, the BF cheats on your mate, the girls rally round and the other woman? Yep she’s the one tarnished with the term, often with little thought paid to the BF who is also in the wrong.
I read an article that suggested Missy uses the word ‘bitch’ to illustrate the image of a successful woman that works hard; but with all these different connotations floating around it can get a bit confusing. There’s the Boss Bitch (good) who is actually a ‘a bad bitch’. Not to be confused with the actual Boss that’s a bitch (bad). When your sister won’t let you borrow her top – she’s a bitch. The hairdresser that takes off 4 inches instead of 2, bitch. And the women that slays in her LBD, of course she’s a bitch.
But what if they’re not? Like, what if the woman in her LBD has been working hard to get the body of her dreams? The hairdresser, perhaps she was feeling really ill that day but rather than cancel your appointment she honoured it and did her best? Your sister, what if she was planning to wear the top you asked to borrow for a job interview – her first one in months? What if the boss, that may not be treating you right, was going through a really difficult time at home?
I’m not excusing bad behaviour. I’m just trying to look at the psychology of the bitch from another angle. Like in the earlier scenario, I think women are good at rallying round. Whether it’s with cups of tea, glasses of prosecco or the endowment of girl power upon one another, we’ve got the girl group thing down. I know every one of you lovely women reading this are really nice. Far too nice to ever call anyone a bitch, but with the advancement of technology and the bias of social media, even the nicest of women can feel a flash of envy or fall into the trap of branding a woman before hearing her story. Taking a pause to understand first, to offer support in our work and everyday lives could make a real difference to another woman. It’s going high instead low. It’s the Michelle Obama thing to do and we all know, she a Boss.
By Tara Alexis
Tara Alexis is an actress, writer and Company Director of TAORA Productions. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram and find out more about her production company at their website. (photo by Daniel Sutka)