I know this woman who totally hates the word bitch. She always said it just wasn't okay to call people dogs. Then one day we were talking about it, because I still didn't quite get where she was coming from, and she said something along the lines of "It means something different when you get called a bitch entirely out of hate. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but you're the kind of women who's going to have that happen to you." I think I should clarify that that wasn't an insult, but a kind of quasi-compliment. Anyway, I kinda got it then, but not really.
A few weeks ago, it happened. I'd rather not go into the whole story, but it ends with me getting called a bitch. And it totally stung, because it wasn't the nearly-endearing word that my friends use, but this thing made to make me feel bad, to make me feel ashamed or timid, to make me quit fighting. And I got it then.
I don't know if this means I'll cut bitch out of my vocabulary. Probably I won't. I haven't yet. But I've been more aware of it when I say it. More aware of how it can sound. I dunno. I guess my point is that I think we could all afford to be more aware and more careful of the language we use. Because as Arundhati Roy says, "language is the skin on my thought."