Can the word bitch be used to refer to any woman? If it can, then does it indicate a woman who is unlikable, mean, obnoxiously independent and whorish? Can the word bitch be used to refer to a woman in a good way? Can it be used as a term of empowerment to indicate a self-confident and strong woman instead of being employed in a degrading and harmful way?(Celious 4)
These are fundamental questions that observers of rap especially in the US have continued to ask. These issues arise from the fact that over the past ten years, more and more female rappers have proclaimed themselves as “bitches”. Their use of the word bitch is meant to indicate the independence and strength of a woman as opposed to degrading the woman. The concern triggers the debate as to whether the word bitch has been re-appropriated. The paper renders itself to exploring the extent to which the word has been re-appropriated. It also brings up the argument as to the real meaning of the use of the word bitch by women indicative of empowerment while, in essence, the word continues to perform a degrading role.
The issue arises from a sequence of discussions in magazines, movies and television programs that have rendered themselves to speaking about the current style of female rappers defining themselves as bitches as if it was a non-derogatory and powerful term. There are two schools of thought in response to this fundamental question. One school of thought regards the activities of the female artists to be empowering while the other school of thought sees them as debilitating. Those that argue that the actions are empowering suggest that products of culture such as media have no standard message. The message they communicate can be interpreted in numerous ways for different ends.