Erin Andrews was called a “b” and Tony Posnanski was reminded of the day a reader schooled him for using the word, even in jest.
Erin Andrews was just called a “b*tch” and a “bimbo” by a shock jock and his cronies. The obligatory and meaningless apology has also been released. Some are calling it “news” and for them, it is. Personally, my headline moment was last month when I used the B word rather tongue-in-cheek, having no idea the damage and the power that it could hold, regardless of context.
I wrote a post called “To The Dumb B*tch At The Gym”. It was about how I always judged people without getting to know them. I started out by thinking a woman whom I never spoke to was “acting like a b*tch” because she never said hi. She talked to me and she actually was one of the nicest women I have ever met. I ended the post calling myself a “dumb b*tch” for the way I was acting.
It was one of my most popular pieces. I got letters from people telling me that it was an awesome post. I was even told by someone that it was one of their favorite posts on the Internet and of course, that made me feel great.
Out of the thousands of great comments, I got one email that made all of the others obsolete. She told me that she was not going to read my work anymore because she could not believe I used the word b*tch.
I wrote her back. I apologized that she got offended and I told her that I was sorry she was not going to read my work anymore. I also said that I did not mean the word in any mean way
She reminded me that words have power. It didn’t matter how I used the word. She didn’t care that I was referring to myself. She only cared about the times she heard the B word, herself.
She heard the word before her husband hit her.
She heard the word before a sexual predator assaulted her.
She heard the word when her father left her mother.
She heard the word when she got a promotion at work.
She heard the word when her son said it to her.
It is a word that guys use to insult women. It is a word that women use to insult women. It is a word the men use to belittle men. It is a word that people use to describe powerful women. They use it to describe inspirational women.
It is a word that is used to “put women in their place”.
I realized I was wrong.
I have a son and a daughter. I do not want my daughter to be called that because she is successful. I do not want my son to use the word because he gets rejected for a date.
I have a wife and a mom. I don’t want either of them to be on the receiving end of that word. It’s not a word I should have ever used for myself, even in jest.