I have been called many things in my day (which, my girls will be happy to tell you, is long gone... but I digress) - some justified, some partially justified, some completely unjustified - haven't we all? - but the one thing no one has ever seriously called me is a bitch. I am sarcastic and sometimes my sense of humor crosses the "mean" line, but basically I really want people to like me and I try to act in a manner that will encourage that. It's true. I want people to think I'm nice. And I usually am.
Now why in the world would someone prefer to be considered "nice" in an era where "nice guys finish last" and abhor being considered a "bitch" in an era where "bitches get stuff done"?
I imagine Freud would quickly glom onto the fact that my mother - well - she gets stuff done. And people love and respect her for it. I respect her for it (I love her for a whole bunch of other reasons). But growing up, I never felt like it was my house, or "our" house. It was her house and she made the rules. There was a place for everything and everything in its place and she decided what that place would be.
My sister fell right in line and keeps her house in much the same manner. She gets stuff done. I rebelled. I didn't like how it felt to be under that sort of rule and I didn't ever want to put myself in that position with my husband - my equal partner - or my kids (the junior partners). I wanted it to feel like "our" house, not "my" house.
Well, apparently "our" house is a pigsty. And company's a-comin' this weekend. There are still a few house and a lot of yard chores I just can't physically do with the still recovering stupid arm. So my choices were to become a bitch about it or pay someone to do it. I took a two-week-long stab at the former and am today heaving a heavy sigh and resigning myself to the latter. While my family might disagree, the former didn't suit me.
I don't want to be a bitch.
It's still a powerful word. Casually embraced in some circles, serious fightin' words in others, but rarely neutral. Personally? I use the verb and the adjective pretty liberally but try to be pretty careful with the noun. YM, of course, MV.