To B or Not to B a Bad B&tch?

Lupe Fiasco – B*tch Bad from Gil Green on Vimeo.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word b*tch as…

1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals

a : a lewd or immoral woman

   b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

4: complaint

So if this is the meaning of B*tch, then why do people feel that if you put the word Bad in front of it, or say it in a different tone, makes for words of endearment?

In a MTV interview, Lupe Fiasco, explains the meaning behind his music video, Bad B*tch. He explained the video as a conversation starter; about the different perceptions of the term. In the video a boy grows up hearing his mother singing along to rap songs, calling herself a Bad B*tch.  His perception of his mother is a positive woman that handles her business and takes care of her family. He relates a Bad B*tch, to a good woman. However another story is told about a young misguided girl, she also is listening to rap while watching another image of women in the videos. She learns that to be a bad b*tch she has to wear fewer clothes and change her physical appearance to attract men.


I heard the words, “Bad B*tch, Women Good, Lady Better.”  It quickly caught my attention,  since I always refer to myself as a lady; and was confused how some women proudly refer to themselves as a Bad B*tch. I could not turn away from the images and lyrics that challenged the true definition of being a BAD B*TCH. I watched ACT 1, 2 and 3 theatrical scenes. Actors in black-face compared to rappers and women in today’s videos shucking, jiving and defining our culture in a negative way for the sake of a dollar.


I admire Lupe Fiasco for using his platform to start a very important conversation. Our culture will entertain, make some money and others filthy rich; all while degrading our people. To make it acceptable we take words like B*tch and Nigger and make it “our own”, trying to convince others that we have redefined its meaning. But can we ever really reclaim, redefine these words by a simple play on words? Better question why do we want to? If the word B*tch is an insult, when is it okay to use it?

Let’s talk about it!

8 Comments on To B or Not to B a Bad B&tch?

  1. This is something I’ve always wondered about as well! Thank you for sharing this and for following as well:)

  2. I love this post! I never have quite understood why some “women” would even want to be categorized as a b**** period! I hate that with a passion. I see these young girls on my FB news feed constantly referring to themselves as a bad b**** because they have a job and take care of their households. Why wouldn’t you just want to be called a responsible woman. Black and minority women are already the most degraded women on the planet. Why would we want to adhere to such an ignorant title? When will we realize we are much more than what society stereotypes us as? I will never answer to that title. I am a woman- conservative, classy, intelligent, independent, beautiful, and God fearing. I will never be considered any less.

    • Hi Brittany, first just want to say welcome to AKA MISSI and thanks for being apart of the convo. To answer your question “Why wouldn’t you just want to be called a responsible woman?” Part of the reason is those who they honor and look up to in the entertainment business have not found a HOT new way to represent themselves as a women that can handle her business. But I think the terms Lady and MISS Independent actually can do the trick; if not I am sure our creative ladies can find some other terms that will. The question is would they?

  3. I happen to like SOME of Lupe’s music and appreciate his ability to make people nod their heads and think at the same time. I heard this song a little while ago ironically because someone thought It was a compliment to liken me to a Bad B*tch ……… Yeah It took me a minute too. That being said, while I get the “conversation starter” part that is intended here, but I am sure we can find a long list of alternative ways to convey appreciation for a woman who is handling things, holding it down, all that, a boss, etc. Women when we stop identifying with and/or using this word to verbally injure other women then it will loose it’s sting and made-up power. This term is glorified and only works on the radio,videos, and reality tv shows because it has taken up occupancy in our minds.

  4. I don’t care how they say it’s a bitch is a bitch and that terminology is wrong! No Matter how you look at it the word is used as a derogatory term. I personally feel I am no one’s bitch so therefore if you are addressing me you call me Miss Mrs. Young lady woman or by my given name Daphne. As a culture we tend to try to take these negative words and turn them into something positive which will never be because the people that created those terms are looking at us and laughing and thinking how dumb we look because we don’t even know that we are insulting ourselves. We as a people need to get educated and think about what we say how we portray our self and how we portray our African-American women how we portray Our young men and what kind of image we want to put out to the world about our community. This is not only referring to rap music, it is also referring to the reality shows that on TV that showsI our women fighting, beating each other,walking across tables, and our men cheating on us and treating us like “bitches”! It’s is up to us as women as a community to stand up and teach our young boys that they can make money and be successful without disrespecting our African-American women. But we are all guilty of singong those songs and watching those videos and pumping our fists in the air when those songs come on in the club and we even play them at our own parties. So, yes I think that we need to aknowledge our part in this and make a change.

    • First I want to say thanks, for being the first to get the convo started on AKA MISSI. Your right, it does not matter how someone insults you. The problem is that they did insult you. The only way things would change is if those who are insulted stop supporting it. Buying the music, watching the shows, etc. I recently read some where that a new positive and informative, BET show called Don’t Sleep hosted by T.J. Holmes, is not getting the ratings. People won’t support that, but they will support music videos that tell young girls how to be a Bad b*tch.

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