Artists like Drake, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj have popularized the term “bad bitch,” and the females who use the term like to believe that it is a positive and acceptable term. As a young, educated female, I cannot help but feel insulted, angry and disappointed in a culture that accepts such derogatory words as a form of “self-expression.”
The meaning of the words “bad” and “bitch” are self-explanatory. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines bad as “of poor quality; inferior or defective,” it also defines bitch as “a female dog” or an informal way to describe “a woman whom one dislikes or considers to be unpleasant.” I asked myself, how is it that female rappers can take these negative words, put them together, make a song out of it and get 12-year-old black females and Latinas to shout, “I am a bad bitch!” in front of the mirror?
After analyzing the culture and scenarios of where this term comes up, I concluded that it is a way for a dominated culture to subconsciously fight back for power. When you examine the demographics of individuals using this term, it is minority males and females, hence the “dominated” culture. Take a look at this scenario: Nicki Minaj, a black female in a male dominated music genre is in control of her career. Minaj is faced by this common double standard that an assertive female becomes a “bitch,” but she can’t have this. She cannot be an unpleasant female dog; therefore, she adds bad in front of bitch and starts to define it as Urban Dictionary describes it: “A self-respecting, strong female who has everything together. That consists of body, mind, finances, and swagger. Also, a female who does and gets hers by any means necessary.” Minaj is now in control of not only the way she describes herself, but also the way that others describe her. She has the “power.”
The result of this “power” is the success of songs that suggest to young or even adult females that describing yourself as a “bad bitch” is acceptable. Being an assertive, successful lady is acceptable and correct. Becoming an inferior ignorant female who spends all day tweeting “I am a bad bitch, I am a boss!” is not. There are so many positive words that could be used to describe strong females. If we continue to send this message to young females and males, we will create a confused generation who will have a hard time identifying themselves in a clear manner.
Lupe Fiasco recently released the music video for his song “Bitch Bad;” if you have not seen it yet, then I suggest you run to the nearest computer as soon as possible. In the video, Fiasco addresses the misuse of the term in scenarios that will affect the way that both women and men view the female gender. I predict that the strong meaning of his lyrics will fly over the heads of most of our youth as they find their way to the nearest web camera to pucker up in a suggestive pose to post on Instagram.