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Tina Fey, Hillary, and the b-word....

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 06:29 am
I entitled this "Do you want a bitch to be our president?" first but thought it'd just be too incendiary during a time when tempers seem to already be flaring. (It'd get a lot of responses tho! ;-))

Ever since Tina Fey's SNL commentary ("Bitch is the new black,") I've seen variations of "sure, Hillary's a bitch, that's a good thing." I'd already taken issue with that and thought of starting a thread when I saw this from Joe Nation:

Joe Nation wrote:
Bitchs are good. Bitchs get things done.


Now, this was on a humor thread, and he may not have meant it. I love Joe and I don't want to pick on him, that's not the point. The point is that I keep seeing that kind of thing and am curious about what people mean when they say that. Curious about whether YOU think bitches get things done...

I know that sometimes strong women are labeled bitches even when they're not. I'm all for strong women.

I don't have much use for bitches, though. And most of what I've seen -- and what I'm talking about here -- is not arguing with the notion that Hillary's a bitch, but saying yeah she is, and that's a good thing.

Dictionary definition:

    bitch (bĭch) n. 1. A female canine animal, especially a dog. 2. Offensive. 1. A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing. 2. A lewd woman. 3. A man considered to be weak or contemptible. 3. Slang. A complaint. 4. Slang. Something very unpleasant or difficult.


"Spiteful" is the word that kept coming up over several dictionary definitions. That's very much my understanding of the word, too. I simply don't want a spiteful president -- nor do I think spiteful women are more likely to get things done.

Your thoughts?
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real life
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 06:39 am
Hillary has had her career handed to her because of who she married.

I don't consider her a strong woman at all.

Spiteful? yes, but not strong
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 07:00 am
real life- I have always considered Hillary a very strong woman, even if I disagree with her politics. I don't think that she had her career "handed to her". I think that in some ways, with reference to Bill, she was "the power behind the throne".

The problem with the word "bitch" is that it is so sexist. The same qualities that make a man a competent, forceful leader, confers the appellation, "bitch" if that leader happens to be a woman.

Having been through the feminist years, and before, I have a good sense as to why women have had to do the sorts of things that labeled them "bitches". In the early days, (1950's-early 60's) the vast majority of women who got past the secretarial pool were those who were extremely strong, motivated, and often ruthless. It was a self selected group, and only the toughest survived.

As more and more jobs were opened for women, the less strident, more laid back sorts of gals were able aspire to the boardroom. But somehow, the name "bitch" stuck.

In a way, women have had the same problem as any other minority. The people who had been in charge, (and considered being in charge their right) become intimidated when another group aspired to their positions. It is a lot easier to dismiss a woman as a 'bitch" than to realize that maybe she got the job that you wanted because she was better qualified.

Hillary has been the first female contender in history to aspire to the presidency. Forty years ago, even the idea of a woman president would have been dismissed out of hand. No more. And THAT is threatening to men.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 08:04 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
In a way, women have had the same problem as any other minority. The people who had been in charge, (and considered being in charge their right) become intimidated when another group aspired to their positions. It is a lot easier to dismiss a woman as a 'bitch" than to realize that maybe she got the job that you wanted because she was better qualified.

Hillary has been the first female contender in history to aspire to the presidency. Forty years ago, even the idea of a woman president would have been dismissed out of hand. No more. And THAT is threatening to men.


That may be the case for older men in general but I don't see it in the under 50 group as much.

"Bitch" is a pejorative that is pretty much equeal to the word "a$$shole" that would be used for a male. Both are often applied to bosses or people in a postion of authority who demand that things be done their way regardless of whether their way actually makes any sense and they seldom listen to conflicting points of view. Anyone that does disagree with them and makes it known in any way quickly finds themselves on the way out. A "bitch" or "a$$hole" tends to have a "my way or the highway" sort of attitude.

The only reason I can come up with off the top of my head as to why somone would support the notion that a bitch (or an a$$hole) "gets things done" is that the person saying it thinks they are perfectly aligned with them. They often do "get things done". But they usually leave a large wake of problems behind them that they just don't care about and leave others to deal with.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 10:24 am
I do consider Hillary as spiteful and overbearing. These are her personal
traits and she might get the job done, but at what price and who are the
casualties?

There were and are many female leaders in other countries around the world, in Germany there is Angela Merkel. She has been called many things but to my knowledge she has never been called a bitch (or the equivalent in German). She gets the job done too, yet her demeanor is much softer, she is much friendlier and she is not considered a backstabber.

There was Margaret Thatcher, a tough cookie, but she did have charme.
Indira Ghandi was very much loved - she was prime minister from 66 to
77 and again in 80 - 84. Benazir Bhutto should be not forgotten, and
she was elected twice in a country where women have less rights and
power than in most western countries. It is very unfortunate that she
was assassinated.

Point is, women in power are not that rare any longer, I don't buy into the
just-because-she-is-a-woman-they-call-her-a-bitch to discredit her, Hillary is not very likable, or as the Latinos would say - sympatico, and
she does very little to polish up her personal image. Those few tears
she shed were mighty poor acting.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:17 am
Quote:
Point is, women in power are not that rare any longer, I don't buy into the
just-because-she-is-a-woman-they-call-her-a-bitch to discredit her, Hillary is not very likable, or as the Latinos would say - sympatico, and
she does very little to polish up her personal image.


C.J.-You may be right as far as Hillary's personality, but that does not alter the fact that bitch is a word used for females. I have never heard her being called an a$$hole, which is gender neutral.

Let's look at it another way. Suppose there was a candidate who was very overbearing African American. If instead of referring to him as an a$$hole, one spoke of him as an "uppity n*****"

The point is, instead of focusing on personality, as the word "a$$hole" so inelegantly connotes, the person is being labeled with a perjorative that is on one case sexist, the other racist. See the difference?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:27 am
You seem to be arguing against the people who say "yeah she's a bitch and that's good," then, Phoenix. You're saying that it's never OK to call a woman a bitch?
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:27 am
Quote:
Bitch" is a pejorative that is pretty much equeal to the word "a$$shole" that would be used for a male.
Not even close. Asshole is gender neutral for one thing. There is no equivalent word for bitch andall that it implies when it is used as a pejorative.

We have, of course, taken the word back. (We being feminists.)

A cover from the top magazine for dykes.

http://ccb.lis.uiuc.edu/Projects/youth/jsnow2/Bitch.jpg
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:30 am
Oh yes, I do see the difference, Phoenix, and I agree with you.
Note, that I did not use the word "bitch" in my post, and frankly,
I don't like to use the word for any female, and what is so puzzling
to me is that the first ones to use the term in public for Hillary are in fact
women themselves. Probably along the same lines when black people
can call upon themselves as "uppity n*****" but whites cannot.

I feel, that most women think along these lines too: it's okay for a
woman to call another woman a bitch, but it becomes sexist when men
do it, thus Tina Fey's usage of the word.
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:40 am
CalamityJane wrote:


I feel, that most women think along these lines too: it's okay for a
woman to call another woman a bitch, but it becomes sexist when men
do it, thus Tina Fey's usage of the word.


This is so obvious I didn't think it even needed to be pointed out.

Since we are living in a patriarchal society, the sme word for a man (dick) carries a far less pejorative nature to it than the equivalent female words. The C-word, for instance, conveys a woman who is a bitch to the nth degree. Pussy conveys weakness. When someone is said to have balls. It conveys courage.I could go on and on but you get the point.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:42 am
Roxxxanne, jeez, any chance of you taking it down a notch?

Are you being a bitch, in your own estimation? Is that a good thing, and if so, why?

What is the "feminist" meaning of "bitch"? Is it ironic or not?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:51 am
sozobe wrote:
You seem to be arguing against the people who say "yeah she's a bitch and that's good," then, Phoenix. You're saying that it's never OK to call a woman a bitch?


In the best of all possible worlds, it is better to diss the behavior, and not the person. Unfortunately, this is not the best of all possible worlds, and people WILL slam at each other.

I think that the problem is, that women are so used to being insulted, in ways large and small, that they don't even perceive it when their very nature is being insulted. That was why I correlated the scenario with both women and African Americans. Women still don't always "get it" when they are being insulted for being a woman, it is so pervasive in our culture.
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Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 11:53 am
sozobe wrote:
Roxxxanne, jeez, any chance of you taking it down a notch?

Are you being a bitch, in your own estimation? Is that a good thing, and if so, why?

What is the "feminist" meaning of "bitch"? Is it ironic or not?


It is not ironic at all. Tina Fey nailed it. I am a bitch, deal with it. If a man calls me a bitch and I say yeah, I am, deal with it. What else does he have have left?

http://www.thickbook.com/images/misc/bitchphd.jpg
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DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 12:41 pm
real life wrote:
Hillary has had her career handed to her because of who she married.


simply because of nepotism, eh ?

unlike l'il george dubya, right?

howz about john quincy adams?

jeb bush ?

the cheney girls ?

michael powell ?

if what you say is true, hillary would have been the dem nominee a long time ago.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 06:34 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
C.J.-You may be right as far as Hillary's personality, but that does not alter the fact that bitch is a word used for females. I have never heard her being called an a$$hole, which is gender neutral.


Methinks the reason you haven't heard anyone refer to her as an a$$hole is because it isn't as geneder neutral as you are claiming it to be.

I can't think of a single instance in my entire life when I've heard a woman referred to as an a$$hole.
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real life
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2008 07:45 pm
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
real life wrote:
Hillary has had her career handed to her because of who she married.


simply because of nepotism, eh ?

unlike l'il george dubya, right?

howz about john quincy adams?

jeb bush ?

the cheney girls ?

michael powell ?

if what you say is true, hillary would have been the dem nominee a long time ago.


Do you seriously believe she would've been on the board of Arkansas-based WalMart if her husband was not governor of Arkansas?

Do you seriously think she would've gotten a partnership at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock , one of the oldest law firms in the country, after less than two years with the firm[/u], if her husband had not been elected governor of Arkansas the year before[/u]?

Do you seriously think she would've been elected Senator from New York if her husband had not been President of the United States?

Give me a yes to any of these and tell me why you think so.
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talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Apr, 2008 10:43 pm
Regardless, the Clintons work well together as The United states was the foremost economic force which George W. has fritted away in a needless war to shore up his manhood.
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Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 12:38 am
fishin wrote:
Phoenix32890 wrote:
C.J.-You may be right as far as Hillary's personality, but that does not alter the fact that bitch is a word used for females. I have never heard her being called an a$$hole, which is gender neutral.


Methinks the reason you haven't heard anyone refer to her as an a$$hole is because it isn't as geneder neutral as you are claiming it to be.

I can't think of a single instance in my entire life when I've heard a woman referred to as an a$$hole.


That is because we have the word "bitch" which is worse than an asshole.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 09:07 pm
http://nymag.com/news/features/46011/

Tina Fey comes into play here.




The Feminist Reawakening

(buncha somewhat random snips from a five-page article)


Quote:



Quote:
Of course, we weren't delusional. Even before Tina Fey declared, "Bitch is the new black," before female outrage had been anointed a trend by the New York Times, many women were clued in to the numerous gender-related issues that lay, untouched and unexamined, at some subterranean level of our culture:



Quote:
In particular, the campaign has divided women and the men they know on the subject of race. Indelicate as it seems to bring up, the oft-repeated question is, why do overtly sexist remarks slip by almost without comment, while any racially motivated insult would be widely censured? A few women told me that when they raised this issue with men, the discussion broke down, with the men arguing that racism was far more pernicious than sexism. "If you say anything about the specificity of Hillary being a woman, you're just doing the knee-jerk feminist stuff, that's the reaction," said one woman who asked not to be identified in any way. "Thinking about race is a serious issue, whereas sexism is just something for dumb feminists to think about." The point is not to determine whether it is harder to be a white woman or a black man in America today, nor which candidate would have more symbolic value. At issue is the fact that race is, as it should be, taboo grounds for criticism, but gender remains open territory.



Quote:



Quote:



Quote:
None of this is to say Obama hasn't had his own stereotypes to confront during this campaign. He has faced criticism for being "too black" or "not black enough." He's had to battle the unfounded yet persistent Internet rumor that he's a radical Muslim. And when his controversial pastor evoked questions about race and patriotism, Obama promptly dealt with the matter, giving one of the most complex and sophisticated speeches a politician has ever delivered.

There has been clamoring for Clinton to make the gender equivalent of Obama's race speech.



Quote:


Quote:
The past few months have been like an extended consciousness-raising session, to use a retro phrase that would have once made most of us cringe. We've parsed the gender politics of the campaign with other women in the office, at parties, over e-mail, and now we're starting to parse the gender politics of our lives. This is, admittedly, depressing: How can we be confronting the same issues, all these years later? But it's also exciting. It feels as if a window has been opened in a stuffy, long-sealed room. There is a thrill at the collective realization. Now the question is, what next?

0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 09:41 pm
Thanks for posting that, I will read the entire article when I get the time. It is amazing to me how sexist remarks and misogynism in general are given a pass. Even . right here on A2K, posters would never get away with equivalently sexist stuff they post if people of color and not women were the target.
0 Replies
 
 

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