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How Can the B-Word Become a Word of Empowerment? Essay Example

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According to Celious the word “bitch” can be used to empower women through the non standardized messages being generated by female rappers such as Lil Kim, Da Brat, Missy Elliot and Nicki Minaj. This however, is only possible within a culture that views media messages as non standard. By portraying strong and successful women as bitches, the word ceases to be viewed as debilitating and derogatory, and instead as empowering and enabling. Through lyrics by renowned artists which seemingly place emphasis on the need to be a “bitch” to be considered powerful, the meaning of the word is indeed shifting from a derogatory word, to one that all women desire to be called by.

Lil Kim, in her song “Queen Bitch,” seems to associate the word with a woman on top of her game; a dominant woman. She seems to pride herself in being a “queen bitch,” even dominating men. Her wanting to be identified by the word is evident when she says “I am a diamond cluster hustler, Queen bitch, supreme bitch…” in reference to herself. Through the use of the word, Lil Kim is able to portray herself as a no nonsense woman. According to Nicki Minaj, she is the “baddest bitch,” apparently intimating that she is on top. Similarly, Freeman argues that the word represents an aggressive domineering woman, who is independent-minded and cannot be ignored. These three women form part of a group that have essentially redefined the meaning of the word, instead using it to represent power and independence. By this definition, to be called a bitch is no longer derogatory, in fact, it is regarded as a complement reserved only for the most popular and successful women.

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