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In which the more things change, the more they stay the same.

26 Aug

From The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, emphasis mine:

TO BITCH. To yield, or give up an attempt through fear. To stand bitch; to make tea, or do the honours of the tea-table, performing a female part: bitch there standing for woman, species for genius.

In the previous entry, the word “bitch” is “the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman”. This also ties into why I resisted watching Supernatural for so long, and why I still feel guilty for liking it as much as I do. Guess what, using “bitch” as an insult to a dude is a misogynistic slur, because the insult is not just in saying that they’re weak/fearful/whiny, it’s in saying that he’s weak/fearful/whiny like a woman.

Not like a dog, as I’m sure plenty of people will try to disingenuously argue. If the insult were just in comparing the person/behavior to a dog, we’d tell people to stop acting like dogs. “Bitch” refers specifically to female dogs, and thus genders the behavior/person being insulted as female.