The B-Word

“Oh no, you didn’t!”

“Yeah, I totally did. I mean, this guy, this guy is supposed to be some kind of big-shot philanthropist, entrepreneur, whatever, and he’s got his hand on my ass with his wife not ten feet away? Hell yeah, I called him out on it!”

“But Karen, he was getting a civic leadership award!”

“So? He could end world hunger – doesn’t give him the right to grope my ass.”

“So what happened?”

“He turned so red I thought he was going to die, then he walked away real fast, with his wife chasing after him. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but he probably had a rough ride home that night. I saw him trying to be sociable after, but it was like nobody wanted to talk to him, and he didn’t say another word to me all night. He stuttered his way through his whole acceptance speech, too.”

“Like what?”

“Like my boss having to get up and ask him if he was okay, he was so choking on his words. Serves him right. Oh, hey, can I get a coffee refill? Thanks.”

“Me too, please, thank you. I just, wow, I just can’t believe you did that.”

“Believe it, ‘cause I did it, and I’d do it again, too!”

“Oh my God, Karen, I swear, you are one crazy bitch.”

“. . .”


“Just. . .I don’t like. . .don’t call me that, okay?”

“What? Crazy?”

“No, the other word. ‘Bitch.’ Don’t call me that anymore, okay?”

“What are you talking about? We’ve called each other bitches for years, Karen! Crazy bitches, stupid bitches, dumb bitches, psycho bitches, whatever, and you’ve called me. . .”

“I know, I know, I just don’t, I mean, I don’t want to do that anymore, okay?”

“Why not? When did you become Elizabeth Cady Stanton?”

“I’ve just, you know, I’ve been thinking about it, that’s all.”

“And what did you think?”

“I think that, you know, guys use that word to try to put us in our place, right? Come on, Mo, we’ve both been there. Turn some jerk at a bar down, you’re a stuck-up bitch. Don’t let some assclown grope you, you’re a frigid bitch. Don’t admit a man is right when he’s really wrong, you’re an argumentative –“

“I got it, I got it. But, see, what I don’t, I don’t understand what that has to do with us.”

“It’s like, they use it to put us in our place, right? And we use it to do the same thing, kind of. We’re just bitches, no matter what we do, if it’s something good we’re a good bitch or a down bitch if it’s something they want us to do. We do the same thing by using it, like we remind ourselves, no matter what we do, that we’re really just bitches.”

“You need to stop smoking crack. It’s not like that at all.”

“Bullshit it’s not. We do the same, the exact same thing.”

“So what? It’s just like black people calling each other ‘nigga,’ you know, they took the word of oppressors and made it their own, right? Well, that’s women did with ‘bitch.’ We took it, we took it out of the hands of men, we made that shit our own.”

“No, we didn’t, Maureen, we didn’t at all. We just, hold on. No, nothing else, just the check, thank you. We just kept the word, trying to be like them, and we put ourselves in our place just so we can be like them-“

“What a crock of –“

“Listen, just listen, it happens all throughout history, time and time again –“

“- total bullshit, you been watching too many Lifetime movies –“

“- time and time again, oppressed people break out of their oppression and they start, they do the same shit that their oppressors did, like –“

“- telling me to burn my bra next –“

“- the Puritans, these Puritans, they came here to escape religious oppression and what did they do? They got a scrap of land and started oppressing other religions. Christians were oppressed by Romans, they started oppressing pagans. Shit, everybody oppressed the Jews, and as soon, the second they settled, they got a homeland and started punishing Palestinians. And don’t even get me started –“

“- this feminist bullshit is why you don’t get laid, I swear –“

“- on black people using the n-word, because that’s just the same thing, oppressing themselves, it’s like, it’s almost like abused women –“

“Oh, here we go with the abused women. . .”

“- abused women that go right back into abusive relationships. It’s all they know, and when they finally get some power and control over themselves they fall right back into oppression. It happens, Maureen, time and time again in history. Women calling themselves b-words is just the same stupid self-oppressive bullshit, happening all over again.   Just once, just for a change, I’d like to see someone some people, not break free and be just like their oppressors. I want, just for once, to see someone be better than their oppressors, and it might as well start with me, right?  I mean, why not?  Be the change, you know?”

“Are you done now?”

“You think I’m wrong?”

“Look, it’s. . .I don’t know. I need to think about it, all right?”

“That’s all I’m asking. That, and you stop calling me a bitch.”

“My boyfriend calls me a bitch sometimes, it’s just playing, there’s nothing to it –“

“Your boyfriend is telling you what he really thinks of you. He’s putting you in your place, he is, he’s telling you, right then, you’ll never be his equal, his true partner, you’ll always just be his bitch.”

“I never, I never thought about it like that, but really, it’s not. . .”

“Think about it, okay? Just think about it.”

“All right, I’ll think about it. But I gotta get back to work.”

“Sorry for the rant.”

“’S all good. . .long as you’re paying.”

“Hey, baby.”

“Welcome home, Mo. . .what’s up? You look down.”

“Nothing, just had a talk with Karen today. . .kinda weighing on my mind. And work sucked ass.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“Not right now, okay? I just want to rest and think.”

“Yeah? Well, why don’t you go get in the tub and I’ll cook up something good to bring to you and you can just take it easy tonight.”

“Can I have tacos?”

“I was thinking some nice soup, or meatloaf. . .”

“Can I have tacos?”

“. . .or maybe some salmon. . .got some good whole-wheat noodles to go with it. . .”

“Can I have tacos?”

“. . .but then again, I have this strange urge to make some tacos, so tacos it is, I guess.”

“Thanks, Kevin, you’re a sweetheart.”

“Hey, you can’t say I don’t treat my bitch right.”

“. . .”


“Kevin. . .don’t call me that anymore.”

October 18-22, 2009
©PCB 2009


I know that I wrote this in an extremely minimalist style, giving no descriptions of the characters or their setting save those present in verbal clues, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.  If anyone out there wants to write the “rest” of the story, I’d be interested in seeing what my readers(s) come(s) up with, and post it, if I like it.

VS – 10/23/09



  1. Dani said,

    October 23, 2009 at 5:26 am

    I like it as it is. Simple works great.

  2. October 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I loved this!! You are evolving in your craft!! well done! and the points … a little political – well done … Like the conversation going on at this time on my blog I am always happy to see people find a way to express what they believe. Bravo.

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