I had a boyfriend once, many years ago…he referred to all women, all of them as “bitches.”

I would ask him not to do this, as I found this to sexists, and I told him so, repeatedly. No mind you, this was years ago, like damn near thirty, before feminism was a thing, and if if it had been (and it kinda was) neither he nor I knew what it was. I just felt like him referring to all women as “bitches” was sexist, the way a white person referring to all blacks as “niggers” is racist.

I explained that to him. Much like you…he would not be moved. He never stopped referring to all women as bitches.

Much like you, he liked to debate with me just for the hell of it. I think because much like me, he was intellectually bored to death…I mean these we pre-internet days…and in order to exchange ideas…you had to read books and talk to people. Oh so 20th century. I know.

But you know…looking back on it, he wasn’t particularly sexist with the whole bitches thing. I figured it out…in his particular African-American dialect (and you’re right to point out that there are several different kinds) “bitches” just means woman or girl. It’s not necessarily a slur. That’s why he probably wouldn’t stop. It was too much of a habit for him.

And yet…what does it say about African-American culture, being a part of the broader American culture, that “bitch” can become synonymous with woman or girl?

And furthermore, what does it say about the broader American culture that those components of hip-hop, that elevated that part of African-American culture (street), while seeking to completely shutdown that part of African-American hip-hop culture that identified itself as “conscious.”

Rapping about niggas and bitches? That’s cool. Artists can do that forever and a day. But talk about fighting the power? Or “the white man gets paid off of all of that” that’s forbidden 🚫.

You know why? Cause it’s a very sick, very racist and sexist culture. And…I don’t give a damn what kinda labels you throw on it, sick is sick. No one is fooled, and no one is gonna stop talk about shit that really pisses them off and the hypocrisy is astounding.

But I’ve been subjected to all kinds of racism and sexism, from having a boy friend who constantly referred to any girl or woman as a “bitch” to having a law school classmate explain to me why LAPD just HAD TO beat Rodney King, to a bloody pulp. Apparently…that just had to happen.

Racism? Sexism? For me it’s real…not some academic exercise or an ideology or some “identity politics.” It’s very real…and I can’t triage out.

Working with the Light!

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