After seeing Kid Fury’s vlog about the bus driver who uppercut punched a young Black woman (Shidea Lane), in which Kid Fury used the word “bitch” and “ho” multiple times in the place of her name, I was drawn back to a topic I’ve been meaning to discuss for a while:
The topic of misogyny and gendered language among queer folks, particularly gay Black men, which is usually masqueraded as AAVE, or Black english.
The same thing is true of Marlon Riggs’ documentary, Tongues Untied (2004). If I remember correctly, the documentary begins with a gay Black man talking about how he went off on some “bitch” on the bus and was fighting over a man.
Personally, and I feel this is relevant to mention, I use the term bitch under specific circumstances and it is gender neutral, normally when I’m indignant/irked about somebody being rude and disrespectful to me. And for this reason, it has never made sense to me why bitch, ho, rip, meat, chickenhead, etc. is like a synonym for female, her, effeminate folks, or she to people. Given, I do count myself as maybe, and I hate to use this word, sensitive because I’m a writer.
The first time I thought of this is a month or so ago when a non-hetero identifying blogger used the term “ladyfolks” in one of her posts while going on about how she didn’t have time to worry about being fat like some women. I was like, what the fuck does that mean?
Listening to Kid Fury go on this rant while looking and sounding so amused and entertained, all bitching-this and hoing-that about this young woman, I wondered:
Why is it that none of us seems to question the fact that Black women, Black men (Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z are examples of public figures) and gay/queer Black men like Kid Fury use the terms “bitch” and “ho” indiscriminately? Why is this normal?
I’ve been put down, lectured, and humiliated for calling a woman who was purposefully being rude to me a bitch, she was supported in her rudeness and disrespect; and to me a bitch is deliberately rude disrespectful, oppressive person. On the other hand people who use the word as synonymous with a person’s name aren’t even frowned at.
Nigga, bitch, ho—usually racist or misogynist and slut-shaming language…it twists the beauty of Black english because it suggests that some Black people don’t respect each other enough to use each other’s names normally. We still deny each other humanity and common courtesy and respect in the usual day to day.