In a not-entirely-unusual Twitter rant today, Kanye West took to social media to explore his feelings about the word bitch. Remember, he recently referred to his very own ladyfriend, Kim Kardashian, as the “perfect bitch,” but apparently time has made him reconsider and think for a moment about whether or not it’s a good idea to keep on employing the term. He wrote:
I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes… Is the word BITCH acceptable? To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch even if it’s endearing? Even typing it in question form it’s still feels harsh? Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word? Do we love this word as much as we love the word NIGGA in an endearing way? correction, Here’s the age old question, would we refer to our mothers as bitches? Would’ we call our fathers niggers or better yet NIGGAS? If nigga is such a positive word, why do we feel so uncomfortable for white people to say it, even with a hall pass? Is it ok to use bitch as long as we put BAD in front of it? Like you a BAD BITCH. Perhaps the words BITCH and NIGGA are now neither positive or negative. They are just potent and it depends on how the are used and by whom?
Free thought, indeed! I have to say, though, that I kind of agree with him. I don’t usually use the word “bitch” myself in this context, as in “bad bitch,” but let me be perfectly frank — if someone called me a “bad bitch,” I don’t think I’d be offended. Indeed, I’d take it as a compliment. Then again, I think that the notion of reclaiming words that have been used to keep people down is — while noble — often an exercise in futility, since unless everybody in the world agrees to start using the word on the terms of the reclaimer, it only becomes “reclaimed” by a small group of people, and its meaning never actually changes.
Anyway, how do you feel?