Is It Ever Okay To Call A Woman The B-Word?

January 26, 2012  |  

by Charing Ball

Is there ever any justification for calling a woman the B-word?

If I’m judging by most of my proudly feminist friends and Queen Latifah, who once belted out, “Who you calling a Itchbay” before socking some disrespectful dude in the eye, the answer is an infatuate no.  Now we can’t go through life socking people, even though we may want to, but none of us likes being referred to as bitches – even though we are quick to call someone else a Itchbay if they push us far enough.

People talk a lot about how rappers like to use the B-word gingerly in their songs.  However, the word is employed in much of media – from movies to TV shows and even in magazines. The word itself has even found a home in the political spectrum with commentators using the word to label female politicians, whose politics differ from their own.

But recently, there appeared to be glimmer of hope and promise of a Itchbay-free day.  Jay-Z, fresh off of his latest baby-making venture, supposedly wrote a poem for his new child Blueprint IV…err…I mean Blue Ivy, saying: “Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/ I didn’t think hard about using the word Beyotch/ I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/ Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.” Awl, that’s so sweet. A proud new poppa, feeling the joys that only a new baby could bring, has inspired Jay-Z in such a way that years of protesting by C. Delores Tucker, couldn’t.

Problem is that the reports were wrong. And even as Blue Ivy coos her way to stardom on Glory, nothing will stop Jay-Z from using the B-world. Not even the big B (eyonce) herself.  Way to stand your ground for something you believe in Jay.  Nevertheless, while some folks are outraged by Jay-Z’s denouncement of the fraudulent report, some are wondering what the big deal is.  Sure the B-word is defined as a female dog and has been traditionally used to demean women, and emasculate men, but it’s not like when these rappers say it, they are calling all women bitches. Right?

Many of us are still so inhibited by our nature to be seen as the idyllic version of womanhood; you know the woman that is selfless, always kind and smiling, never raises her voice or temper and knows how to be seen and not heard, that any presentation to the contrary ultimately brings responses of scorn and contempt.  And yet some women, who desire to be liberated by the restraints offered to them by the ideal woman, have fully embraced the B-word and even go as far as to use it as a terms of endearment.  You could probably go on Facebook right now and find hundreds of profiles, which read something like; First name “the baddest Itchbay” Last name.

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