– The lowest hanging fruit in the arsenal.
– Hangs threateningly over a woman’s head
– Is ready to act on cue, ready to spew venom at the slightest sign of disapproval
Political correctness shied away from this phrase ages ago when it was introduced as a sexist slur for a woman with a strong sex drive. This was back in the 14th century.
Later, around the 15th century, the phrase evolved to insult a man in order to demean him by calling him a woman.
A lot has happened since then.
Bras were burnt, sexist terms were reclaimed, protests were initiated to try and make things easier for her lot. We came up with telephones, pagers, computers, mobile phones and a whole lot of other inventions meant to make communication easier. It has been 700 years or so.
What, then, lagged behind with droopy shoulders and puzzled eyes? The lonely bitch trying to find some method in its usage.
Cut to December 2016. She is still trying to straddle two different roles. The one expected of her and the one that slips out with fierce intensity once she’s had enough.
She is wary of the constant barrage of opinions. She is exhausted with the frowns and creased eyebrows when she is assertive, outspoken and disagreeable.
She is a bitch when she bats her eyelids, twirls her dupatta and acts coy. She is a bitch when she announces she is craving for sex.
She is a bitch when she is direct, ambitious and ‘masculine’. She is a bitch when she is not direct and forthright.
She was a bitch about 700 years back. She remains a bitch 700 years later. She was never reclaimed, despite efforts.
Quite a bitch of a description. Yes? Now, how many of us have entered these hallowed halls?
If I were to make a fair guess, I’d say every woman out there.
Bitches can’t catch a break.
Whether you are a Hema, Rekha, Jaya or Sushma, aapki pasand detergent powder honi chahiye.
If not, you are probably the ambitious bitch with hyper-masculine interests. If you are the boss at work, we couldn’t be prouder. Actually, we could. If you were to play a good wife too and whip up something delicious at home when both you and your partner get back from work after an equally exhausting day.
If not, the fruit plops on you with a venomous thud and just like that, you are a self-centred bitch.
Now, the curious case of the desi bitch is one worth looking into.
She doesn’t have it as easy as her counterparts. She has to earn basic privileges. She has to dole out her smarts by and by. Her battles are inseparably linked to her daily grind.
She is a bitch when she is haggling with the sabzi wala (vegetable trader), refusing to be outsmarted.
She is a bitch when she elbows out the beefy man who tries to feel her up on the subway.
She is a bitch when she argues with her in-laws. She is a bitch when she refuses to sacrifice. No exceptions.
She plays multiple roles every day and a single term slurs all of that into insignificance every day.
Bitches can’t catch a break.
Bollywood, for the longest time, had the chaste, obedient heroine on the one hand and the vamp on the other.
She played the perfect bitch with signs of overt sexuality, attracting the hero’s attention temporarily, only to be erased out of the narrative finally.
When heroines took up this space and started gyrating to item numbers, good old Bollywood decided to sanction all of it, because, well, she is not a bitch if she is not acting out of character; she is not a bitch if she ends up with the man she is supposed to marry.
Thus, bitches, you see, can’t catch a break. Bitches are multitaskers. Bitches are trying to figure out right and wrong. Bitches are trying to stand up to generalisations.
Bitches are trying to get rid of the very phrase.
Show ‘em some love, will ya?