The Parenthetical

bitch(es) (ain’t shit)?

i am a fan of words.

i am a fan of words that have been used to tear down, these are words to reclaim. these are words that can used to rebuild.

words that are used to empower. bitch. informal. verb. to express displeasure. to grumble. urban. verb. to exclaim hardship. urban. noun. a person who has become your servant in a deprecating way because he/she wronged you (and karma is a …). a woman who doesn’t give a fuck anymore… … a woman who will assert her self-worth… … a woman who will say, “I, with all my faults, imperfections, flaws… … am somebody, too and you will not get away with treating me like I ain’t shit and undeserving of my process so I will bury you before I bow down to and perpetuate ignorance”.

i am not a fan of the word when it is used to refer to women… … all willy nilly… … with no consciousness… … just because you can and everybody in hip hop does it, in the music. I don’t listen to constant bitches and hoes in the music anymore, but one of my favorite albums, The Chronic, its words I still know, even the interludes (love them!) (Lonnie, you ready wit dat clock?) is proof that the music, despite how degrading, can be intoxicating, so intoxicating. When I hear ‘Nothin’ but a G Thang’ and of course, ‘Bitches Ain’t Shit’ I am instantly back in my dorm room as a pre-med student getting me some free for the day, dancing and reciting all the words alongside Dre, Snoop, Daz, Korrupt (my fave verse!) and Jewell. the love for The Chronic is so real.

here’s the trick though. Dre was beating his girlfriend’s ass. and because he could, not because she was a bitch who ain’t shit but a ho and a trick, and not because other women in his immediate life were bitches, hoes, tricks, sluts, or whatever. it was because he’d been around other men who treat women like shit, he’s seen the things these women do to survive, please men, exploit themselves, nurture others who disrespect them — he’d seen that women were to be controlled and used for selfish purposes — that women were to be possessed and they’d better not do anything to upset men –that women should just shut up and dance, if that’s what he wants… that women aren’t going to tell me what to do since my potentially strong and domineering mother who was that way because of her own hardship — perhaps an irresponsible man left her to fend for herself and the children — got away with it. it was because Dre and everyone else were normal, human beings with frustrations, dreams, ambition, flaws, setbacks, disappointments… … but Black boys in this society who were treated like they ain’t shit, harassed by the police, mis-educated in the school systems, witnessed the constant state violence towards people who looked just like them – Black boys who deserved their process but never got it and therefore interpreted their experiences with the only frames of references they had. it was because of all of that and then some. this society was founded upon hypocrisy, violence, double standards – at the hands of men whose egos fueled the justification of their actions. as a result, Dre, like countless others, became Black men who hold Black girls and women to a double standard. Black girls and women who are the brunt of their frustration. they get away with it because they can, because this society supports Black men dissing Black women and Black women dissing Black men. there is equity in the support for us dissing each other – yet Black men, perhaps because of patriarchy (yes, there is privilege there, guys), get to do it in public, in influential arenas where the status quo will be accepting, on wax, by way of a [beautiful, dope ass] genre of music created by the oppressed that actually has huge impact on the masses.  they get to perpetuate violence and it’s acceptable. they get to perpetuate double standards and not be accountable. (I mean, Snoop dropping a clothesline of rubbers in one of the videos indicated he was about to have a lot of sex with a lot of women, is the perfect example. He “don’t love them hoes”, yet he is in fact a ho himself. Is he not?)

anyway, this isn’t about the word ho. i’ll have to think about that for another time. this is about bitch. and double standards. double standards are indeed a bitch. so am I. because, expressing displeasure. because, exclaiming hardship. because, i’m a woman who is fed up with the double standards, i’m a woman who knows and will assert her self-worth. because, I don’t give a fuck, which is the place where the empowerment to rebuild in the most fabulous and effective of ways is found. i’m a bitch. I am shit. in fact, I am the shit, ho. I (re)claim it.

gelle, who will make ignorance within her circles, her bitch. is still finding the line.

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