Why are you calling me a bitch? We need to end the women bitch stereotype if we want for young girls to realize their full potential, affirms Bessie Bauman 

I’ll be honest here. If Snapchat didn’t have a filter or if social media didn’t host several hashtags, much, much less of the global population would have known about a day just for women. I don’t deny using the filter; I’m actually quite grateful that it existed, for it enabled me to transpose past, present, and future. I took March 8,  as a point of reflection, a check on my standing, how I perceived women to be, and how I wanted myself to be perceived.

I consider myself to be a strong young woman. I have ambitions, dreams, and goals that would have, maybe just even 25 years ago, been scoffed at. I still get some raised eyebrows when I tell people of them today. My hubris, melded by my peers, is being a bitch. I have been told that my flaw of being commanding and overly-driven is equivalent to a derogatory term.

Women bitch stereotype: perception of  the powerful women

International Women’s Day, this year, centered its campaign on a “Pledge for Parity.” Right now, the World Economic Forum approximates that full gender equality will exist in the year 2133, measured by markers such women in leadership and the subsequent wages they earn. I fully embrace the IWC concept in vowing to work as hard as possible to get more women into leadership, but this is just a top-down approach. In no way does this campaign change the women bitch stereotype, the not-so-lovely perception of strong women in today’s society. I serve as my high school class’s president. This past fall, I was organizing a football game where the female students played and the male students coached. Every time I tried to reason with the male coaches to organize the most efficient and fair game, subversive comments filled the conversation with implications that I didn’t know how to manage, that I was a dictator and that the “men” should be able to choose.

Not long after, it was found that those choice males had begun flinging insults behind my back, under the guise of technology. I was objectified and then cursed at for my “bitchy personality.” At one point, a particularly riled up male claimed that he could provide me “with a swift kick to [my] stumps of legs” in order to put me back into place.

I’m sure some of you reading this are already thinking of excuses other than facing the truth of a discriminatory infrastructure and the woman bitch stereotype. Oh, they are just high school boys….They didn’t mean any harm, they were just mad! I understand your point, but it makes me consider how they would have acted if there was a male class president.

We Need to End the Women Bitch Stereotype

Here’s the real issue: the world needs to apply a concurrent approach, one that takes the work of the International Women’s Campaign and one that reaches out to this generation to truly uncover the stigmatizations women face. We need to end the woman bitch stereotype. Women cannot reach parity if there are people who continue to dismiss and undermine qualities of ambition, command, determination, passion, and so much more. As a generation, we still need to figure out the most effective way to combat skewed ideas that women cannot be strong, be powerful, and be assertive. Whether it be through parenting or legislation, something has to be done. The International Women’s Campaign will not put  women into positions and young girls will not realize their full potential if we, as a society, allow for the pervasive label of the “bitch.”

Which words do you use to describe women who assert power? Has anyone called you  Aggressive, Angry, Bossy, Cold, Calculating, Bitch?

Bessie Bauman is Contributor for Naked Opinion. She is an incoming freshman at Yale University. Bessie is an active participant in debate, student government, and service as well as in furthering her own...

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