Why Do We Still Think Bitchy Behavior Is Cool?

Bitches. They’ve been around since the dawn of time, or at least that’s what I like to believe. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all encountered and displayed varying degrees of bitchiness since entering grade school, the source often found within the group of the “popular” girls. Were they popular because they were naturally bitches or were they bitches because they were popular and it was expected of them? The world may never know.

In the 5th grade, I briefly associated with these popular girls (I must’ve fooled them into thinking I was cool with my overwhelming 10 year old wit and charm). Once, they decided they were mad at one of the girls in the group. I had no reason to be mad at her, so I wasn’t, and I would hang out with her after school. When the others found out, I was immediately mocked, threatened to be kicked out of “the group,” and then ignored for the rest of the day. The next day they were all friends again. Bitches.

The bitchiness continued throughout high school. I no longer tried to associate with the “popular” girls, realizing that popularity is a made up concept and truly a waste of my time; I had college applications and AP classes to worry about, I could care less about my status in my high school in a tiny town. But I did have a nice group of friends who provided me with ample social activities and all things considered “cool” to do as teenagers — going to concerts, parties, and all that fun stuff. We were all very close, until one day senior year, they decided they decided they didn’t like me anymore. From what I gathered, I simply wasn’t cool enough for them. Bitches!

These days, I’ve smartened up and try to stay away from these malicious girls. I am a 21 year old woman, I see no need to fit in with people who think that being cool and popular are still the most important things in life. While I’d like to think that most other 21 year olds feel the same, I see this venomous behavior all the time. I’ve noticed that on Twitter, even for myself, the tweets that are sassy and vilifying often receive the most recognition; I think there is a fine line between spunky and bitchy that many people cross without realizing. And we continue to feed each other’s bitchy egos on a daily basis through favorites, retweets, and likes.

TV shows and movies promote this idea that it’s cool to be a bitch all the time. Look at Shannen Doherty as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills 90210, and more recently, Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart in That 70’s Show. These girls, whether you loved them or hated them, were undoubtedly cool. They were gorgeous, usually got to date the hottest guys on the show, and always seemed to be getting in fights with other girls. When Laurie Forman on That 70’s Show tells Jackie to watch her back after a dispute over a boy, Jackie promptly responds with, “Really? Cause you should stop spending so much time on yours.” This was of course followed by an immediate laugh track and round of applause.

Why do we continue to glamorize this behavior? Why is it cool to turn to Twitter to make fun of the girl sitting next to you in class, who you don’t even know a little bit? I don’t have the answer, but I’m guessing that it’s because saying something mean online is relatively therapeutic and has little consequence. Well, except of course that you’ll look like a cold-hearted wench, even if deep down you’re a nice person.

I’m concerned about how proud some people are of possessing this nasty attitude. They arrogantly mock the troubles and stupidity of those around them in a way that may try to be humorous, but often sounds uncouth. There is a difference between confidently standing up for what you believe in and speaking your mind, and just being plain rude. Women’s opinions are still not always taken as seriously as those of men (it’s 2014, how is this still an issue?), and it is truly imperative for us to take charge and stand up for ourselves. Sometimes that does require an attitude that some, especially men, label “bitchy” when it is really just passionate and fierce. The kind of “bitchy” behavior I’m condemning is the kind that is spiteful and catty solely to boost your ego.

I’m not immune to this behavior, and I’m in no way trying to sound superior or preachy to my fellow women. I’m as critical as they come, and I will call you out on your shit in a heartbeat if I think you deserve it. We’ve all had moments where we embrace our inner bitch, as we should. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do. But it pains me to see girls who are relentlessly mocking others like they are above them, often trying to rise to the top of the popularity contest that Twitter and other forms of social media have seem to become. You’re not better or cooler than someone because you make fun of people — that’s not how life works. Weren’t we all supposed to realize this after middle school?

As the great Samantha Jones once said, “I support you, and these bitches need to be put in their places.” TC mark

featured image – Mean Girls

Related

More From Thought Catalog