Monday, 23 March 2009

Bitchin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

OK first off. I said bitchin', and I mean bitchin'. Riot Kitty, my lonesome commenter (come on the other five, where are you?) points out that the "in'" ending in place of "ing" is sloppy. For the most part I agree, but is some cases it is necessary. Namely, when you are referencing a pre-existing phenomenon, or when indicating the 'sloppier' pronunciation drastically changes the understood meaning. For example the film referenced in the title of this post would and should never be referred to as 'breakING 2: electric boogaloo' as this would be a misquotation of the original title. As regards the previous blog's title, I meant "bitchin'" - the now somewhat dated California surfer-dude adjective meaning 'good'. I chose this word to title my blog as it is one use of the word 'bitch' which seems completely positive, despite being utilised by a largely masculine community. The gerund 'bitching', on the other hand, has a completely different set of meanings and users.
The verbification of bitch implies 'something that bitches do' and bitches (women) down the ages have been castigated for nagging, whining and complaining. The verbing of this noun defines the women described as bitches by this activity: She is a bitch ergo she bitches, and vice versa.
The more developed meaning of the verb 'to bitch' is to make snide and painfully accurate remarks in a group of friends behind someone else's back. This is another activity that seems to be both stereotypically and actually indulged in by women and gay men. (I have a feeling straight men do it too, but they don't call it bitching. They probably call it having a confidential man to man talk or something...) The phenomenon of women bitching about each other is one that makes me very sad. I like the idea of female solidarity, but our society is geared against it. Women are constantly encouraged to compete and compare themselves to other women.Much is made of male bonding and camaraderie (see football matches, and the recent Carling Black Label beer 'belong' series of adverts in the UK) while women are encouraged to enjoy schadenfreude at the expense of any women in the public eye (see Heat magazine's infamous Circle Of Shame page, whic delights in pointing out horrors such as wrinkles, sweat stains and body hair on promninent young women. Nice.) I guess bitching is better than solving all your problems with physical aggression, but I haven't noticed that type of behaviour being referred to as 'bloking' lately, have you?


  1. I knew what you meant! I hate that word. "Bloking" on the other hand...I love it. Perhaps it can be made synonymous with being an asshole.

  2. I have always been surprised that a majority of the cuss words flung at anyone, male or female, seem to be feminine in origin. Hmmm. Most men just lack in originality, me thinks, and they have to steal our insults for each other to use as their own.

    Awesome post!