After a female John McCain supporter called Hillary Clinton a bitch at a campaign event last week, everyone is abuzz over the B-word. What does it really mean? Is it even a bad word anymore? Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch magazine, answers those questions once and for all in an editorial in the Washington Post:
"Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's catcalls or smile when they say, 'Cheer up, baby, it can't be that bad.' We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back down from a confrontation ... When these people call Clinton (or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Sen. Dianne Feinstein or former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro) a bitch, or even the cutesier "rhymes-with-witch," it's an expression of pure sexism -- a hope that they can shut up not only one woman but every woman who dares to be assertive."