I was in 7th grade when I first got called a bitch by another debater. Maybe I was a bitch. Maybe I should have allowed my opponent to continue talking during crossfire rather than interrupting to ask if I could present a question. Maybe, by the second time I got called a bitch by my opponent’s partner under his breath, I should have learned my lesson. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked if my opponent had a point to his seemingly endless question, and let him continue too. My third time, maybe I simply should have sat down and not spoken in the round, since winning made me bitchy. Or maybe, the problem lies deeper than me.
“Raise your hand if you have been called a bitch for something debate related,” my coach said. Slowly, almost every hand in the room went up. Maybe, we were 23 bitches all bonding through our mutual bitchiness by being bitches and doing bitchy bitch things. Or maybe, we were a group of confused girls, trying to understand the fine line between assertive, and aggressive. Between bold, and bitchy.
Two years after my first encounter with the word in the debate world, I’m still searching for that fine line, as are many of us. Well, f*ck that. We live in a wonderful time and era where we were able to reclaim the word nasty. I proudly wear my nasty woman sticker on my laptop, a nasty pin on my backpack, you get it- the whole feminist propaganda starter pack. It’s about time we stand up and reclaim “bitch.” I’m a bitch. Every single female debater who I admire is a bitch in someone’s eyes. And you should be too.