The Basics of Bitch


Where did basic bitches come from? Cristen and Caroline take an etymological journey through the history, gender politics and reclamation of women's most-used curse word.

Episode sources:

"An Encyclopedia of Swearing." Hughes, Geoffrey. M.E. Sharpe. 2006. http://books.google.com/books?id=2lHwkWMXaxwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Bitch: A History." Bayley, Clare. June 02, 2011. http://clarebayley.com/2011/06/bitch-a-history/

"Cursing in America." Jay, Timother. John Benjamins Publishing. 1992. http://books.google.com/books?id=DZlF9L2t27sC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Epithet Morphs from Bad Boy to Weak Girl." Hefferman, Virginia. The New York Times. March 22, 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/22/arts/television/22chie.html?_r=0

"More Than Ever, You Can Say That on Television." Wyatt, Edward. The New York Times. Nov. 14, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/14/business/media/14vulgar.html?_r=0

"Network TV embraces the B-Word." McNamara, Mary. Los Angeles Times. May 02, 2012. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/02/entertainment/la-et-critics-notebook-language-20120502

"Rapper Lupe Fiasco Weighs In on the B-Word: 'Bitch Bad, Woman Good, Lady Better." Stewart, Dodai. Jezebel. Aug. 23, 2012. http://jezebel.com/5937228/rapper-weighs-in-on-the-b-word-bitch-bad-woman-good-lady-better

"Rap's Long History of 'Conscious' Condescension to Women." Smith, Mychal Denzel. The Atlantic. Aug. 28, 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/raps-long-history-of-conscious-condescension-to-women/261651/?single_page=true

"The 'Basic Bitch': Who Is She?" Lange, Maggie. The Cut. April 10, 2014. http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/04/basic-bitch-who-is-she.html

"The BITCH Manifesto." Freeman, Jo. 1970. http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/bitch.htm

"The B-Word? You Betcha." Zeisler, Andi. The Washington Post. Nov. 18, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111601202.html

"What Do You Really Mean When You Say 'Basic Bitch'?" Malone, Noreen. The Cut. Oct. 14, 2014. http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/10/what-do-you-really-mean-by-basic-bitch.html

"Who You Calling a B--?" Powers, Ann. NPR. Sept. 06, 2012. http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/09/06/160672019/who-you-calling-a-b

Academic insights:

"Reclaiming Critical Analysis: The Social Harms of "Bitch." Kleinman, Sherryl; Ezzell, Matthew B.; Frost, A. Corey. Sociological Analysis. Spring 2009. http://www.jmu.edu/socanth/sociology/wm_library/Ezzell.Reclaiming_Critical_Analysis.pdf

Topics in this Podcast: Profanity, bitch, bitches, basic bitch