Powerful reasons women should stop calling other women bitches

We are all wonderwomen
We Are All Wonderwomen poster by Sarah & Catherine Satrun
My Facebook post

What is this trend, that even women refer to women as bitches? Stop doing this. Demand respect.

is generating quite a bit of discussion. Lady friend Marilyn admits that she uses this word, but in a popular language context (meaning, not with derogatory intent) and @Han Broekman points out that language mutates with time and across cultural lines. But a bunch of my Facebook friends say they’re glad I took a stand.

(BTW, if you’re interested in the Wonderwomn Poster, one of the twin sister artists talks about it here. And, they have an Etsy store where you can order a print.)

Whereas the language evolution arguments are intriguing, I stand by my point of view. I believe that the women who are using “bitches” to describe ourselves and other women, are unwittingly being drawn into reinforcing a culture of disrespect for women – which I’m sure is neither their intention nor desire. To the extent that language is a creative tool, let’s create a culture of respect and a future where difficulties women face are no longer part of our collective reality. Here’s a list of what needs to go:

  1. Women earn only 77¢ on the dollar that men make
  2. “According to some statistics, more than 50,000 women have been killed by their husbands or partners in the past ten years in this country. More than 25% of all visits to hospital emergency rooms by women are the result of domestic violence.”
    http://www.rosen.com/domestic/dfaqs/how-often-is-domestic-violence-the-cause-of-death-and-injury/
  3. Recently, Republicans in Congress, “degraded and continue(d) to hold up passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/50-actual-facts-about-dom_b_2193904.html
  4. Violence, “is the leading cause of miscarriage, birth defects, and infant mortality (as the perpetrator/abuser almost always escalates their use of violence when their partner is pregant). Recently, national studies found domestic violence homicide is the leading cause of death during pregnancy.”
    http://www.portlandonline.com/gatewaycenter/index.cfm?c=53054
  5. National studies estimate that 3 to 4 million women are beaten each year in our country. A study conducted in 1995 found that 31% of women surveyed admitted to having been physically assaulted by a husband or boyfriend. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in our country, and the FBI estimates that a woman is beaten every 15 seconds. Thirty percent of female homicide victims are killed by partners or ex-partners and 1,500 women are murdered as a result of domestic violence each year in the United States.
    http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/myths.htm
  6. The community turns out to watch girls from the New Light India School celebrate the joy of freedom of escaping prostitution slavery and being free to learn in school by dancing to the song Break the Chain
  7. From the One Billion Rising Movement
    “There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them are raped or beaten.
    V-Day refuses to watch as more than one billion women experience violence. V-Day is going further now, saying no more.
    We’re inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence.
    On 2.14.13, we will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. The celebration of One Billion Rising will be a WORLD HAPPENING”
    http://www.vday.org/node/2849
  8. Half the Sky Movement on Gender-Based Violence
    The gravest threat to a woman’s life is violence inflicted upon her simply because she is a woman.
    Women between the ages of 15 and 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Often times, violent acts such as rape, female genital cutting, or extreme physical abuse are used to intimidate, humiliate and discredit women, denying them political weight in society and forcing them into silent, second-class citizenship. Beyond personal injury, gender-based violence also results in unwanted pregnancies, severe psychological trauma and an increase in maternal mortality.

    Half the Sky Movement is helping reverse this devastating trend by shining a light on these horrific acts of violence and inspiring victims to champion gender equality and safety.

The Dalai Lama’s ideas may make women feel very differently about ourselves. HHDL last Thursday 13 june 2013 commented, “My successor may be (a) woman,” and went on to share these thoughts:

HHDL with New Light India founder
His Honor the Dalai Lama with New Light India founder
The 77-year-old monk said the world is facing a “moral crisis” of inequality and suffering and needs leaders who can bring compassion to their post.

“In that respect, biologically, females have more potential. Females have more sensitivity about others’ wellbeing. In my own case, my father, very short temper.

“On a few occasions I also got some beatings. But my mother was so wonderfully compassionate,” the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying by Australia’s AAP news agency.

His comments come as an Australian opposition leader sparked a controversy by using “grossly sexist and offensive” words to describe (Australian Premier) Gillard’s body at a party fundraiser menu.

michelle-obama in evening dressI’m for adopting the L word: as in, Michelle Obama. This a Lady it would be really hard to think of referring to by any other term.

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