During the summer, I had a run-in with a lady at the pool. She was a regular fixture there, hanging out with a friend. Over the course of a few weeks, I became friends with both women, although I liked the friend and didn’t have much use for the lady. The friend confided in me that she, too, had grown weary of the lady’s friendship.
The run-in was a minor event. On this particular occasion, the lady made a childish, stupid joke that annoyed me and I commented accordingly. I was persona non grata from that point on. I was, according to the lady, a bitch.
The friend and I became friends, and eventually the lady gave her friend the heave-ho. We breathed a sigh of relief; we were too old for such silly, school-yard shenanigans. For my new friend’s birthday this past month, I got her a great card. On the cover was a photo of two dogs wearing sunglasses, soaking up the rays. Inside the card it read:
Let’s celebrate your birthday like the fabulous bitches we are.
As any woman can attest, being called a bitch, even by another woman, is nothing new. Sometimes a woman is called a bitch because she was nasty, but more often than not, she’s called a bitch simply because she’s not afraid to speak her mind.
I’ve had a million occasions in which my assertiveness, refusal to accept abuse, ability to call out crap when I see it, and general lack of patience with bullshit was rewarded with the “Bitch” moniker. I wear that moniker like a badge of honour.
Sometimes you have to wear the hat and remind them who they’re dealing with.