I had a different topic in mind for today, but it'll keep. I finally remembered to write a letter to Comedy Central.
Here is my letter, edited blog-style:
Ever since I discovered The Daily Show with John Stewart, I have been amused at Stewart's use of what most consider foul language, only to have it bleeped later during the broadcast. After all, it's pretty obvious what he's saying. His show is not ad libbed, it's scripted, so if Comedy Central really wanted it censored, it seems like Stewart would write his material without obscenity in the first place.
Lately, though, I've noticed that although the "F-bomb" is censored, the "b-word" is not. Obviously Comedy Central does not think the "b-word" is as offensive to people. Maybe they even have focus groups to determine these things. Until recently, I'd have agreed with them.
I now believe the "b-word" has evolved from mildly racy to patently offensive. Here's the link to my favorite dictionary site's entry for the word. http://www.yourdictionary.com/bitch
From simply meaning female dog, it became a description of an unpleasant female and by extension, the act of complaining or nagging. Kwitcherbichin is a nicely alliterative and assonant phrase popular in my family. Recently, however, from hip-hop, the phrase "make you my bitch" has shaded the meaning of the "b-word" more maliciously. To be someone's bitch is much more demeaning than just to be an annoying woman. As someone's bitch, you're their ultimate servant, complete underling, even sex slave. As difficult as it is to do after 50 years of using this word, I have deleted it from my vocabulary. As a teacher, it is on the list of words not to use in the classroom and words I will not ignore if I hear them, even if said quietly.
There is a specific image that was in the news that really convinced me to rail against this word: Snoop Dogg at the 2003 MTV Music Awards. It can be found here.
A picture is worth 1000 words, isn't it?
Frankly, I'd rather hear the f-bomb than the b-word.