This week, I’ve come across three online stories about “basic bitches.” (To avoid having to repeat this unfortunate phrase, I’ll be referring to it as BB going forward.) While I’ve heard it applied to women in passing, I never suspected it would ever gain traction, least of all on editorial websites. No,
New York Times
, but you’d think a female-driven magazine site would refrain from throwing around derogatory, misogynistic words. And no, an empowering headline
(“The 41 Best Things About Being a BB”)
doesn’t lessen the blow. To make matters worse, a handful of those 41 delightful things suggest that BBs are most likely single.
But if you’re currently spoken for and still fear you might be considered a BB, you might be right. Look no further than Thought Catalog’s male-centric gem,
“PSA: A Comprehensive Guide to Your BB Girlfriend,”
for evidence. Be warned, you may have landed your man via a tactic known as the triangle choke, another name for a feigned game of cat and mouse. Perhaps the most disturbing passage was with regards to exercise:
“BB works out because she LOVES to look hot for other guys who are not you. She absolutely can’t resist doing anything that will get the attention of males who can’t have her, and having the perfect bust-waist-hips ratio will do just that. She also LIVES for the hundreds of “likes” on Insta mirror selfies at the gym with captions like “#fitandfabulous” and #strongisthenewskinny.”
When a man refers to a woman as a bitch, he pretty much becomes invisible to me. But for a man to chastise women for striving to look good is simply inexcusable. Impossible male expectations are the reason some of us aim to please. (Although I don’t support such efforts, I can recognize the root problem for what it is.) We’re criticized for being too fat, too thin, too promiscuous, too chaste. Can men really just mind their own business? Some might feel the term is a compliment (some women accept or even embrace the word “bitch”), while others, like me, hate it. How is that possible? Well, there’s really no clear definition of what exactly a BB even is. A lot of pretty women have watched
Eat Pray Love
, worn Uggs and ended a text with “LOL.” Because I like something that’s mainstream, does that mean I’m basic? That I’m following the herd like a sheep? A lot of men like sports, wear sneakers daily and think “K” is a complete text message. Does that really define who a person is? Can we categorize genders based on such simplistic (dare I say
?) qualifications? I think not, and I really wish society would be more mindful of the words they speak.
(Feature image courtesy Columbia Pictures)