Don't trust the 'B-word' on TV

Bitches are everywhere, at least when you’re watching TV. It’s one of the most common curse words you hear, and it shouldn’t be. The word “bitch” is a term to put down females, or to imply that a male is acting like a female.

Why is it that out of all the words that may be used on TV, it’s the one that is a stab to women? The word “bitch” is a commonly used word in culture itself lately, and it’s never in a positive light (except maybe in Britney Spears’s new single, “Work Bitch”).

It’s always something to call someone when they aren’t doing what you want, when they are too sensitive or when someone is about to get into a fight.

Television has re-formed the word into something that is OK to use in daily life.

Call me a feminist, call me crazy, but TV stations shouldn't allow the casual use of the word “bitch” in the shows they air.

It’s bad enough what media does to young girls with the altered images they show, which can lead to poor body image, among other problems. It used to be that bad words would not be uttered on shows until at least 10 p.m., after all the younger, more impressionable TV viewers had presumably gone to bed. Now it has migrated onto daytime dramas and other early shows. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to putting women down with a single word.

While I understand that writers may need to come up with other words to use when trying to write an insult, it is rarely necessary to use such a harsh word.

And while some poke fun at the term and use it nonchalantly, it’s still dubious. If you can use the word "bitch" on TV, why not the “F” word or the “C” word or even the “D” word? There shouldn’t be one arbitrary exception to the rule.

Media is a powerful thing that can restore or destroy our outlook on life. There’s something far more visceral and immediate about what we see on a screen vs. what we read in a book or online. Writers — all writers, whether they are novelists, screenwriters, playwrights or journalists — should strive to use their words more carefully.

Reach the columnist at tweerasi@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @tishnii


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.