This season marks the 6th installment of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club (Oxygen and Bad Girls still sounds like an oxymoron to me, btw), a reality show that picks a bunch of wild young women to live together for no other purpose but for audiences to delight in watching them drink, fight, have sex and embarrass themselves and their loved ones. One of this cast’s brashest personalities is Char, a beautiful Chicago girl who claims to have left a great job in advertising to become the self-proclaimed “boss bitch” of the household. She boasts about being a bit older and wiser than the other girls, but she’s still way over the top.

What is a “boss bitch”? Or it’s sister nom de plume, “bad bitch”? Why is it that when people think of being a strong, powerful, enticing chick, they want to use one of the worse words used to described women? While Char did choose to join such an illustrious brand as the Bad Girls Club, she’s not hardly the only sort of woman to use this term for herself and others. But…why?

The word still has a largely negative connotation for me. I don’t see anything admirable about acting like an asshole or mistreating people in order to get your way and when I see a woman who’s fly and got all her business in order, I’m not inclined to call her the same thing I’d call someone who’s behavior I find disgusting. I know I’m not alone on that, but a lot of members of my generation feel otherwise. Hell, even I bought in at one point; my crew of girlfriends and I all had ‘bitch’ names when Lil’ Kim dropped Hard Core (but we were twelve, to be fair).

It reminds me of those lame key chains from Claire’s: “B.I.T.C.H.= Being In Total Control of Herself” (or the alternate, “of Him”). Why can’t we use “goddess”, “queen” or even “a boss” instead? In the case of women like Char, why is actual bitchy behavior so appealing in the first place? For whatever you may achieve, you’re constantly at war with others and your “crown” rests on your ability to be despicable. Have women really internalized the notion that they need to act such a way to get ahead?

What say y’all? Do you think our ‘bitch’ fetish is merely a celebration of antisocial behavior? Or do you believe that a woman needs to have a bit of ‘bitch’ in her to get to the top? Is bitchiness an admirable trait if it’s managed a certain way?

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  • Hev Hayes

    Great article!

  • Tonia

    AMEN and AMEN on this article. Everytime I look at the commercials for this show I shake my head! What is the point of this madness? I remember in the late 80s when openly calling women bitch became acceptable. Before then that was an real insult. At that time I was in college and in my coed group of friends i argued that calling women bitches and hoes was wrong. i also remember other women in the group not backing me up. Sad.

  • jess

    What is mind boggling is why you people cant LET bitch be a positive word. Just like black people spun nigger into nigga for a positive thing why cant women spin bitch into something positive by using bad bitch or boss bitch? The people who dont like it are the ones who do not know it’s CURRENT slang meaning and that is sad. Since all words have several different meanings yet you all will not let bitch have any other meaning then the negative one. That is sad. Of course people dislike things they do not understand so understand this, when someone calls a girl, woman a bad bitch or boss bad girl, they are saying it in a positive manner. If you do not like that words have slang then you have a much bigger fight on your hands then this one. Nigga<– probably something you say daily!!