We all know it's bad to be called a bitch. In fact most women are taught from a very young age that it's one of the worst things to be called (perhaps only second to being called a slut.) While some pop culture has been reclaiming the word in recent years, it's still considered to be a very particular kind of insult when calling women a bitch.
Bitch Stigma is a phrase I've coined to describe the legitimate fear many women feel in their personal and professional lives, that they will be judged harshly for being assertive.
This sexist sentiment says that women who are described as bitchy, bossy, or domineering can't get ahead and won't be liked. The stigma that women feel when it comes to being assertive (and therefore often being labeled as bitchy, bossy or domineering) is a very real concern and creates self-doubt.
Some of the things that the bitch stigma has been described as affecting is:
- Feeling like you're "not allowed" to complain or will be called a drama queen.
- Being talked over during conversations or being accused of dominating conversations.
- Having to use apologetic or softening language to ask for what you want.
- Not being able to point out sexist jokes because you'll be told you have no sense of humor.
"I've never heard that phrase before, but I know exactly what you're talking about." - Cassy