Luke Niebler

The B Word.

Luke Niebler
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What kind of bitch are you?

 

 

 

If we look to reconstructive linguistics, we find that the English term bitch dervies from the Proto-Indo-European root *bheg-, a verb form that roughly means “to smash.” Through the tortuous path of linguistic change, this came to refer to female dogs in Old and Middle English, from whence it expanded to its diversity of noun and verb forms we know and love today.

 

I posit that the term contains some of its original meaning in its pejorative use today as an attack on feminine presenting subjects; like a palimpsest, it can never erase the underlying sense of smashing, thrusting, cutting, and breaking. Indeed, often people are called “bitch” for breaking traditional Western restrictions on femininity and female bodies. An outspoken woman-identified person becomes a “bitch;” a quiet, gentle masculine presenting person becomes a “bitch.” What these people have in common is a “smashing” of patriarchal institutions and gender binaries. In fact, in light of the recent mainstream reclamation of the word “bitch” by artists from Alanis Morissette to Lil’ Kim, we can track the re-emergence of this sublimated meaning.

 

In response to you question, then, I identify as an old school, Proto-Indo-European bitch reclamationist. Ultimately, bitches ain’t shit; bitches smash shit.

 

Question Source: Buzzfeed

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