A simple search for the term “basic bitch” results in over 45 million hits on Google. There are endless urban dictionary definitions, parody videos, and blog articles about being, dating, and dealing with “basic bitches.” The universal understanding of the term “basic bitch” seems to simply be an extremely normal, in no way out of the ordinary female. I am here to plead women and men alike to put an end to the term for good.
This is the point where many of you will grab your pitchforks and rally against me. “‘Basic bitch’ is a great term!” you might say. Or you might claim it’s the perfect insult— honest without being too extreme, essentially non-offensive since so many women fall under the phrase. But lay your pickets down for just a moment and hear me out.
First, the feminist in me cringes at the thought of women colloquially being referred to as bitches, for a variety of reasons that include female empowerment and gender equality and the like. The fact that there is no male equivalent to the phrase only skims the surface of the problem. And bitch is bad enough. But then, to feel the need to add a prefix to bitch, as though it became tired and used and needed some sprucing up is just unnecessary.
Calling a woman a basic bitch is insulting her for being completely normal. And not normal in a boring, common way, but normal in the way that she simply conforms to the societal mold she has been expected to fit for years; normal in a way for which she cannot and should not be faulted. Yes, she may order a complicated Starbucks drink that contains more milk and sugar than actual coffee; and yes, she may style a pair of Ugg boots and leggings in the wintertime — hell, she may even rock out to Taylor Swift and use country lyrics as captions to her profile pictures. What is so wrong with that? Was Starbucks not founded to give people an alternate to drinking black coffee every day? Were Ugg boots not lined with sheep’s fur specifically to prepare for the cold months of winter, and is Taylor Swift really writing songs to appeal to a hipster, non conforming, small sect of people who stop listening once she plays at Madison Square Garden? These are all perfectly acceptable activities and a woman should not be shunned because the majority of a population engages in them. The shift from being complimented to being condoned to being condemned for doing what is popular has been a rapid but hypocritical one. Activities that young women were so recently expected to enjoy are now being deemed too shared and regular and they suddenly need to be hounded for it for reasons unknown.
Not to mention the idea that calling a woman a “basic bitch” is categorizing her simply by her exterior characteristics and neglects to take into account who she is as a person. That woman grabbing her caramel macchiato on her way to work could very well be going to volunteer at a non-profit for the day. The girl who loves Sex And The City marathons could be an aspiring architect moved by the New York City skyline. The woman who buys a cheap bottle of Pinot Grigio could be saving to pay the student tuition loans she took out on her own to pay for college.
This is not to say that every woman should be praised for who she is on the inside. There are plenty of bad, ill-intentioned people in this world. If someone is unforgiving, though, there is a word for that. If someone is rude or impolite, there is a word for that as well. If someone is apathetic towards life and does not strive to achieve goals, low and behold, there is a description for them too. Lumping everyone who is not perfect or achieving greatness into the category of “basic bitch” is lazy and lacks thought.
With this, I urge us to put an end to the term “basic bitch.” Avoid saying it. Quit using it as a descriptor. Allow it to fade out of existence with other trendy terms like “YOLO”, “Rachet,” and “Swaggy” (luckily that one lasted about 30 seconds). Stop penalizing women for not being out of the ordinary, because chances are, they are superb in ways you could never have imagined.