I grew up a in large family with brothers. I also grew up with two parents who peppered their daily speech with colorful expletives. It’s little wonder that the first insult ever thrown at me by my brothers was, to my best recollection, “bitch”. This was something deeply frowned upon by my father and expressly forbidden. Hey – just because my dad swore a lot, it didn’t mean he didn’t respect women. He did. Deeply.
Of course, my brothers didn’t really understand what they were saying and today, should anyone dare call me a bitch within their earshot, the offender would find themselves dining on a knuckle sandwich with a generous side of attitude adjustment sauce. They’ve grown to fine men who love their baby sister. My poor, politically conservative brother, John. He loves me endlessly though he can’t for the life of himself understand my deep Liberalism. He too has abandoned all attempts at debating me on public policy issues. His wife forbids it now anyway.
To much of the outside world, however, I am indeed, a bitch… and an opinionated one at that. There was a time when I found being called a bitch offensive. I’m over it. As I vault through middle age and freight train toward my golden years, I’ve made peace with my “bitch-dom“. It’s what happens in this day and age when a woman possesses both a vagina and a brain – a lethal and feared combination in our male-dominated world.
I was always the smartest kid in the class, an over-weight bookworm from an abjectly poor family who never wore nice clothes or ran with the popular crowd. Books were my refuge. Books permitted me to meet interesting people and travel to exotic places as a casual observer where no one noticed I was fat and poor. I was always accepted in their world. As a result, I became well-read and formed well-researched opinions. Combine those qualities with the quick wit of my father and wicked self-deprecating humor, and you have a person no one wants to debate. I tend to dispense with ideological opponents with indisputable facts while simultaneously poking a good deal of fun at their ignorance. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. Sometimes I can and choose not to. It’s the bitch in me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unkind. Most people find me to be patient and generous to a fault in most matters. I simply have no tolerance for the woefully misinformed or the willfully ignorant.
As part of embracing my BItch-dom, I’ve decided that the best part of getting old is you get to say what you want. I’ll be imparting some humor, some pearls of wisdom and a good deal of personal opinion here on a regular basis.
And if people don’t like it, then I get to do what all old people do… not care one bit. It takes a special kind of bitch not to be offended by people who don’t like them or what they think or say. I’m THAT kind of bitch. It’s truly a liberating experience and one I highly recommend each of you try.
I figured if I was going to write a regular column under the mantle of “The Opinionated Bitch”, you at the very least deserve a frame of reference. And with that, I shall go forth into this world and choose whatever topic is creating the most angst in my brain and I shall come here not to bitch about it, but to share some insights that can only be seen through the estrogen-addled mind of an educated and informed bitch.
I do hope you’ll join me.
Carol Baker is a political writer, satirist, and co-host with Vicki Childs of our Here Women Talk weekly internet talk radio show called BROADSIDED. You can hear their show every Thursday at 11 am Eastern/10 Central/8 Pacific.