I have been called a bitch to destroy any strength I had left.
We give these five letters the power of destruction. An unclipped grenade weighing heavy on our tongues. I have never seen anger leave such a smooth cut.
A bitch knows this war cannot be won with more female bloodshed. A bitch knows the power in this word. The damage it can do, the damage it has already done.
Does it make me a bitch if I am forceful?
If I am strong, if my bark ravages worse than my bite?
If I spit before spoken to?
I have never been good at keeping my mouth shut.
I will not keep my mouth shut.
A bitch knows her voice, knows how to howl with a wolf pack in her throat. A bitch is honest. A bitch doesn’t follow the rules, demands to know who wrote them. Rules are weak. Rules are prey.
I am alpha female.
I am fur on fire.
I am roaring tornado combusting misogynist mountains to dust.
Crushed bones and gutted patriarchy carcass.
We bleed to survive, you bleed to keep up!
And yes, I do kiss my mother with this mouth. Who do you think taught me how to say “No”? To sharpen my teeth? Prepared me for war. I’ve got binders full of bitches.
Bitches who want their 23 cents back.
Bitches with centuries of trauma being written out of our wombs.
The carnage women inherit.
Lifelines on our palms as mass graves for this massacre.
We are birthed into bloodbath.
Bitches will not drown silently.
You cannot name my flesh something I have already branded myself. Women have been waiting.
Bitch is impatient.
Bitch is teeth bared and growling.
Bitch is starving.
Bitch will hunt you, outrun you, suck the marrow out of your bones, feed you to her children, sharpen our voices until you can hear us, thicken our skin when you use the word against us as if it could stop us.
“Bitch” is the least you are losing your grip on.
My voice does not belong to you.
My body does not belong to you.
“Bitch” does not belong to you.
I do not belong to you.
- Isabel Elliott and Maddie Cramer | performed here: youtube.com