One of the big barriers for mainstream’s total acceptance of Hip-Hop has been the genre’s insistence on referring to women as “bitches.” While artists like Jay-Z have tried to differentiate between “women” and “bitches,” the common idea from the outside is that all rappers go around referring to women in pejorative terms.
This isn’t an article about how we should respect women in Hip-Hop. Smarter, more important people have said just that and pleaded with rap music to stop using the word so one more writer trying to get rappers to respect women is just emptying a cup of Dasani in the Mississippi River. Still, I’m tired of “bitch,” mostly because using the word in reference to women just isn’t a reflection of our culture.
Compare it to the how Hip-Hop uses its other controversial word: The dreaded “N-word.” Using it has caught just as much attention but I find the word to be more reflective of the culture since more people actually use it. You can get away with saying “Hey, n*gga” and hear it in everyday conversation.
But “bitch” though? A guy will never get away with calling a woman a bitch to her face or in normal everyday discussion. Sure, women will dance along to Too Short calling them bitches, but the party would stop if I rolled up on a woman and said, “Can I get your number, bitch?”
So when I listen to a rapper yell, “Where my b*tches at?” I don’t feel like rapping along because I don’t generally use that word, especially in relation to women. The word just betrays the idea that Hip-Hop lyrics reflect how we as a people talk.
And isn’t that why we listen to the music in the first place?