Happy Women's Day, Bitch!

This article I wrote was published sometime in 2002, I think...have fun!

Say that you are a bitch. Why am I making you do this? Today? On International Women’s Day, when malnutrition and unborn female foetuses will be on the agenda, why am I asking you to celebrate the most derogatory term and make it your own? Only because I feel a subliminal desire to be a bitch, why must I project it on to you? Because, I seriously believe that there is some good in it. Of course, there are kinds and kinds of bitches, and if you do not find yourself in any of these it is time you took a good hard long look at whether you are a woman at all.

Yes, there are good bitches and bad ones. See where you fit in, okay?

The Gharelu Bitch

I don’t like her. But she is all over the place. In nice houses. On the TV screen. At the marketplace. The fancy malls. Draped in clothes that smell of new money and old attitudes, she is full of womanly concern. Of course, no one will ever call her a bitch. She starts as ‘aadarniya putri’, graduates to ‘susheel kanya’, then ‘pativrata’, with a veritable variety of ‘parivar ki laaj’, ‘ghar ki Lakshmi’, ‘aangan ki tulsi’, ‘sadaa suhaagan’, ‘sati savitri’, ‘mamata ki prateek’, ad nauseum. (The terms are all about being the ideal girl/woman.)

If you think I have been watching too many Hindi films, then you probably haven’t looked around you. This kind of woman rules like a dominatrix, while pretending to put on the fa├žade of being an ideal woman, wife, widow.

While middle-class homes are full of them in their obvious state, there is a genuine hurly-burlyness in their lives that makes them mesh with their surroundings rather than trying to stand out. In the charmed circle, on the other hand, these women are too busy choosing the right silver ‘puja thalis’, the right sarees to portray their social position (the organdy must be so stiff that even when the wind billows, the creases do not move a bit), the right jewellery to convey their mental state (for the posh funeral a couple of discreet solitaires in the ears will do just fine, thank you). Now, it would be perfectly all right if this B kept all her nonsense to herself; instead she goes out of her way to convert others. No one notices that beneath the ‘pallu’-covered head is a shrewd mind calculating every currency note and cutlery that appears before her hawk eyes. And woe betide anyone who poses a challenge to this citadel. Who would challenge her? Ah, every other woman in her immediate environment.

And to think that we straightforward opinionated Bs get the flak whereas these real bulldozers romp through society as perfect ‘naaris’!

The Gucci Bitch

Muuaaah! That was an air kiss. I cannot hate this babe because she keeps me in mirth. She has got her act perfected, from the coiffure to the cough. Again, I would enjoy the streaked hair, the cleavage passing off as class, tarty sarong-like things being touted as designer wear, and the jewellery making a name for itself, quite literally, and the bags enough to hold some plastic money and visiting cards that speak of a synthetic and flimsy professional connection.

But the problems start when this B gets into overdrive. You know, the Ritu Beri syndrome. Tell the world you are important not by shouting, but by whispering sweetly. Honey works as no bee sting ever can. And if this creature has got something else on her mind, then she has made it, baby.

What do I have in mind? Oh, you know, the feng shui, vaastu, counting prayer beads on an airline ticker (seriously!), vipaasana, soul-enhancing route. And when she gets out of her thingies into a ‘salwaar-kameez’ (only Tahiliani or The Boys, please) ready to squat on the floor for the ‘havan’ that will take her straight into bitch heaven, boy, I know she is trouble for a whole lot of people.

I have nothing against those who lead two lives, but what happens is that they are artfully promoting a dozen versions of just one. And to think that the really multi-faceted women get beaten up for being mavericks by these mannequins!

The Gutsy Bitch

A friend sent me this. Take a look…

Three guys, a lady and myself were sitting at the bar talking about our professions. The first guy says, "I'm a YUPPIE, you know.... Young, Urban, Professional, Peaceful, Intelligent, Ecologist.”

The second guy says, "I'm a DINK, you know.... Double Income, No Kids.”

The third guy says, "I'm a RUB, you know...Rich, Urban, Biker.”

They turn to the woman and ask her, "What are you?"

She replies: "I'm a WIFE, you know.... Wash, Iron, Fuck…,Etcetera.”

Then, they suddenly look at me and immediately I said, “I'm a BITCH! What does a Bitch mean? Babe In Total Control Of Herself.”

She told me to tell you that next time somebody calls you a Bitch smile. And say thank you!

I know it isn’t easy. I must also confess that although I have been called all manner of names, this one has eluded me, and I feel cheated, even before this definition came my way. What was I seeking through it? Control of myself? Does that help in the real world, where you have to control the rest? I admit that is not big in my scheme of things. But I do feel the need for release, often from imagined shackles.

I was thrilled to bits about the news of a three-star hotel in Zurich that is exclusively for women. The staff is female, guests can walk in their dressing gowns, wardrobes are designed for feminine requirements, the mini-bar has health snacks, and as a report says, “Women are relieved that they can sit alone in the hotel’s restaurants without people making them feel as though they are looking for men.”

However independent we may be, in fact the more we are the greater the problems in this area, there is no escaping the male presence. Oh no, don’t misunderstand me. I love men. It is just that I find it difficult to like them. And if perchance you do chance upon such a specimen to like, rest assured he would think you love him and run away. And what does a real B do? She smiles and waves him goodbye, even if he does not turn to take a second look. That is my kind of bitch.

Are you one?



  1. FV:

    1. a female dog.
    2. a female of canines generally.
    3. Slang.
    a. a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, esp. a woman.
    b. a lewd woman.
    4. Slang.
    a. a complaint.
    b. anything difficult or unpleasant: The test was a bitch.
    c. anything memorable, esp. something exceptionally good: That last big party he threw was a real bitch.

    Which one are you referring to?

  2. I like the t-shirt! If only it was yellow I could perhaps catch your attention on a plane :)

  3. Are you one?

    One should hope each has their own definition and way of looking at things...


    Nah...would not work in any colour. Anything that has "too many" and "too little time" written on it is a huge dampener in real life!


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