Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Postmodern Age

The burning question is, what will people call their female dogs in New York City if the b-word follows the fate of the n-word?
The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.
Is it okay for a woman to say: Darlene Mealy, you are a bitch. I suspect bitches such as Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn would like to make the utterance of certain words found in the Oxford dictionary hate crimes, but the rappers of the world would likely cry racism if their rather limited lexicon was singled out, resulting in a tribunal stalemate.
While the bill also bans the slang word “ho,” the b-word appears to have acquired more shades of meaning among various groups, ranging from a term of camaraderie to, in a gerund form, an expression of emphatic approval. Ms. Mealy acknowledged that the measure was unenforceable, but she argued that it would carry symbolic power against the pejorative uses of the word. Even so, a number of New Yorkers said they were taken aback by the idea of prohibiting a term that they not only use, but do so with relish and affection.

“Half my conversation would be gone,” said Michael Musto, the Village Voice columnist, whom a reporter encountered on his bicycle on Sunday night on the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Christopher Street. Mr. Musto, widely known for his coverage of celebrity gossip, dismissed the idea as absurd.

“On the downtown club scene,” he said, munching on an apple, the two terms are often used as terms of endearment. “We divest any negative implication from the word and toss it around with love.”

Darris James, 31, an architect from Brooklyn who was outside the Duplex, a piano bar in the West Village, on Sunday night was similarly opposed. “Hell, if I can’t say bitch, I wouldn’t be able to call half my friends.”
The key to understanding lies with The Postmodern Generator. Hit refresh for an endless discourse on what communication means to self-proclaimed victims of society.

Also appearing at Dust My Broom.


eng said...

Is this for real? Some mealy mouthed councillor?

MapMaster said...

It's New York… I'm not sure if the word "real" can properly capture that.

rg said...

You mean we can't say "bitch" anymore?!
What a cunt.

Elaine said...

Fuck my old boots... bitch is such a nice word. I am often called a bitch and I take it as compliment, even if it is said in a negative tone. Bitch to me means equality, strength of character.

If a female has not been called a bitch in her adult life, she is lacking in balls, and is considered weak by other bitches. We need more bitches, many more.

mariposa said...

Here, here! I take it as a compliment too. When someone calls me a bitch, I usually say, "You say that like it's a bad thing?" or I smile and say, "Thanks."

creditlucky said...

That's a shocking piece of news! We're forced to use poor emotional language. What word one should call a true organic woman now?