Not everyone is willing to use a bad word as their topic for an article, but Beverly Gross, who is an English professor in college, uses “Bitch” as a topic for her article. After a class discussion, Gross starts to think about what is the certain meaning of “bitch”. She wants to find out the specific definition for this derogatory word, she uses a lot of definition from dictionaries and anecdotes. In this article, Gross appeals heavily to logos to prove her argument that there is no certain definition of the word bitch and that the meaning depends on both the time and the context.
Gross lists many definitions from different dictionaries to support her claim in a logical way. For example, the main meaning from the Oxford English Dictionary: 1. The female of the dog. 2. Applied opprobriously to a woman; strictly a lewd or sensual woman. Not now in decent use. This English dictionary represents the authority, but for this word, the definition is clearly understandable. Dictionary said bitch is female dog; this is truly a humiliation to women in any contents.
Every women would hate people connect dogs to them in the past, now or future. She also lists few definitions from Eugene E. Landy’s The Underground Dictionary: 1. Female who is mean, selfish, cruel, malicious, deceiving, a. k. a. cunt. The words that describe bitch are all derogatory sence. But the definition from this dictionary is not that strong as the Oxford English Dictionary. The meaning of bitch is changing during this time. In this article, gross wrote “a word used by men who are threatened by women” was one astute response.
Threat lurks everywhere: for women the threat is being called bitch. I knew it when I finished read this article. According to Gross “there is no classifiable thing as a bitch, only a label produced by the act of name-calling” (489). Gross’s point is that there is no certain definition of word bitch, what we learn from the dictionaries is bitch’s meaning is always changing over the time. I found Gross’s article very informative. Although I think women dislike word bitch, I am a girl, I would never call other females bitch.
Gross revealed a number of anecdotes to improve her claim. For example, Madonna said that she enjoyed expressing herself, it was not merely the explanation for why Madonna gets called a bitch, but it was the key to defusing the power of bitch to fetter and subdue. Gross makes an important point is that long time ago, women wouldn’t let someone else call her bitch, because it’s a bad word, however, in Twenty-first century, women are not subdued by the word bitch. But in fact, I wouldn’t let someone call me bitch!