Siren Song Like a War Cry

language politics & the art of subversion

Words are power. Words define our thoughts and actions. Words are weapons in the hands of both revolutionaries and capitalists. They are an act of revolt or an act of oppression. Words are violence and words are peace. Historically, proper language use has been co-opted by the liberal left and translated into political correctness, translated into color-blind racism, identity restriction, and the furtherance of boxes designed by the bourgeoisie to continue our oppression through division. Historically, it’s meant boxes, definitions and limitation.

Words are still an act of resistance, or an act of oppression. However, language is symptomatic of a larger, greater and more complex issue. Employing the word bitch is an act of violence against all women. Those five letters create, perpetuate and excuse rape, domination, exploitation and enslavement. In only five letters, one is relegating another to the category of sub-human, less-than-human, object, animal. Bitch translates into female dog, this definition is widely accepted. Female dog. Dogs are owned by masters, masters dominate the animals they own. Masters force dogs to breed, force dogs into cages, force dogs to listen to every command uttered by the master under threat of capital punishment. Masters beat dogs that are fractious.

You are calling a woman a female dog.

Women are owned by their husbands. Women are dominated by men. Women are forced to have children by men. Women are caged into houses, relegated into kitchens, bound into marriages. Women are beaten for resistance to their domination. Women are raped. Women are murdered.

Bitch is used to describe difficult situations. Bitch is used to describe someone of either gender who is complaining, but when employed against men is always meant to express that a man is acting like a woman. Bitch is used to describe revolutionary women. Bitch is used to describe women who do not accept the domination of men, who speak, who make noise, who take a stand. Bitch is used to invalidate the revolt of women who no longer wish to be dominated by masters.

Things that aren’t human are okay to harm. Things that are less than human are okay to rape. Bitch upholds this mentality without pause or question. When revolutionaries use words rooted in oppression and dehumanization we are upholding the very society we claim to be destroying. At best, the use of the word bitch by revolutionaries is hypocrisy. At worst, it is an act of counter-revolution, an act of violent oppression through the silencing of our comrades.

Words define our ideas. Define your ideas.


3 Comments so far
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I think it’s also important to note that by using nonhuman animal adjectives as negative descriptions of humans, it creates a severe problem of speciesism. I am guilty of this myself at times bc it is so ingrained in society. But, my point is that calling a woman a bitch is also insulting because you are using “a female dog” as a description for a person who is being mean or rude or whatever. Nonhuman animals should also not be treated as objects.

Comment by ARPhilo

Dear Sir

I wondered if you might like a mutual link to my English word website or press release details of my ensuing book with Penguin Press on amusing and interesting English vocabulary?

with best wishes

Adam Jacot de Boinod

(author of The Meaning of Tingo)


or wish to include:

The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).

Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Discover why it is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else

Comment by Adam Jacot de Boinod

Fantastic post. This is great writing that cuts right to the rotten heart of the patriarchy and one of its key weapons – misogynist language.

Comment by Her Self

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