Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Outlawing The Word B*tch

From The New York Times:

"The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

"The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women."

What does "banning" a word mean, exactly? Other than symbolically?

"While the bill also bans the slang word “ho,” the b-word appears to have acquired more shades of meaning among various groups, ranging from a term of camaraderie to, in a gerund form, an expression of emphatic approval. Ms. Mealy acknowledged that the measure was unenforceable, but she argued that it would carry symbolic power against the pejorative uses of the word. Even so, a number of New Yorkers said they were taken aback by the idea of prohibiting a term that they not only use, but do so with relish and affection."

Oh, those wild & crazy New Yorkers!

Disapproves of the ban:

Approves of the ban:
Approves of the word "bitch" only in certain circumstances:


  1. Is this a joke? Wow, the NY city council needs to realize what might be important things to take care of in their city.

    BTW, does this mean that they can't have the Westminster Dog Show there anymore? LOL.

  2. Putting aside any connotations, meaning, or whatnot, the idea of a group of legislators deciding to "ban" a word (even if just symbolically) makes my skin crawl in a "gonna go live in the mountains with a gun and a life time supply of canned food" sort of way. You can't tell people what they are and aren't allowed to say, no matter how much you don't like it, and even something like this done for little more than show is a bit of a frightening insight into the way some of our elected officials think. The "I don't like this, so I'll simply ban it" approach to governing (and voting) is a dangerous road to go down, and one that often leads to little or no thought being put behind decisions (God - and my girlfriend - knows it's something I've fallen into before, and it can be a struggle to pull out and keep out of).

    I'd rather the people supposedly representing me not resort to knee-jerk legisilation, and maybe treat me a little less like a child when coming to the table on issues they feel strongly about. You don't like me using the word "bitch"? Explain to me why, educate me on the ramifications of the word, and let's talk about it. Instead, "banning" it feels a bit like a threat to have my mouth washed out with soap if I curse before it's decided I'm old enough.

  3. If they ban "ho", how will people talk about gardening?

    I'll be here all week, try the cheese ravioli.

  4. She admits that it isn't enforceable (and as she probably knows, isn't constitutional in any case) and yet goes and does it anyway for "symbolism?"

    When something is legally wrong, it doesn't make much sense to do it anyway in "symbolic" act.

  5. Don't they know men can be bitches too?

  6. Bitch, please.