Thursday, August 14, 2008


You can always identify the Time of Death of a word from the hip hop lexicon: when white ladies start using it without irony. “Fo shizzle” was done the second Fran Drescher honked it out during an Old Navy commercial. And now, my friends, you can call Diddy to offer condolences on his word “bitchassness” because it’s now the title of this post.

I don’t particularly care for Diddy (Puff Daddy, Sean Combs, et. al). He’s an arrogant parody of himself at this point. But dang if I’m not enjoying his reality show, “I Want To Work For Diddy” for precisely those reasons. This man is simultaneously the antithesis and the second coming of Donald Trump, and his show out-trumps The Apprentice by a mile. Not because it’s quality TV. No no no, darlings. Because it’s uber-Trumpian while being more fun and ridiculous in its pomposity. Although to give credit where it’s due, the show demonstrates that Diddy is rich and famous because he works rather hard…and is not stupid.

Anyway, one of Diddy’s rules is “No Bitchassness” (available for sale, of course, on your choice of T-shirt on Diddy’s website). The loose definition involves a combination of no courage, passing the buck, making sh*t up to save your a** (ie, blaming or disrespecting others--especially when they are not around), weakness, and claiming hurt feelings when you get called out on said bitchassness. I laughed at the word and concept until I started seeing it all around me.

The Olympic announcers during that amazing USA swim relay. The one where they won by .04 seconds. The one where they made the taunting French team eat it. All through the race the announcers are saying things like, “I just don’t think they can do it, Jim.” And “I simply don’t see them winning this one.” Giving up on the team while the race is still on?! Trash talking Team USA while they are competing?!! Commentary bitchassness!

John Edwards. We all know he’s prevaricating on the issues of monies paid, babies fathered, etc. So why go on television just to lie? And to further put pressure on the people who helped him cover this up? Not to mention his family. Homeboy should have released an honest if not detailed statement and said, “I will have no further comment beyond this for the sake of my family.” Putting yourself on national television only to raise more questions about more lying? Putting yourself on national television to make statements that can be disproven, leading to more hurt for your wife and family? Nightline-assisted bitchassness. Fo sho.

Yes indeed. Once you start playing “Spot the Bitchassness” you just can’t stop. Your friend’s husband who told her he wouldn’t have cheated on her if she had/had not done more whatever, if she had said/not said more whatever, had been/not been more whatever. That is straight-up Shameless bitchassness that needs to be called out, and hard.

That coworker who clocks in at 9:01 and out at 4:59, who wants to be paid extra for every move she makes, who always seems disgruntled—but who, when she doesn’t get the promotion (and she never gets the promotion) blames it on the boss, the office, the people, anything but her own bad attitude. Career bitchassness.

Or that presidential candidate who doesn’t win after a dirty campaign (one that emails show to be dirty by design), who failed to plan for anything less than a coronation, who mismanaged millions of campaign dollars (in the sense that she was in the red really early in the game), and who continues to foment the meme that says she lost because of sexism, that is was other people’s fault, that she was put upon, that people were mean to her and disrespected her. Rather than saying, “I am responsible for the content and execution of my campaign, such as it was, and I didn’t win because of that content and execution.” The person engaging in bitchassness starts blaming others, passing the buck, keeping the PUMA efforts alive. That’s Electoral bitchassness that shouldn’t be getting a speaking slot at the convention.

Let me know if I've missed anyone.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I don't know if I would put the swimming commentators in the "bitchassness" category. Jason Lezak dove in a body length behind the world record holder in that event. As exciting as it was to see him pull it out, most people who have swum competitively had written off the US until that last 25 meters. It's not really bitchassness to doubt someone can pull of the near impossible.
I guess it kills the word even more when two white women debate the categorization of it :)