“You know, you can be a real bitch sometimes.”

I know, thanks.

Story by Jennifer Sandy

I usually don’t care what people think of me. Probably because I spent my childhood and teenage years caring way too much what others thought of me. But now, for the first time in my life, I find myself in a boss-like position. I am the senior editor of Substance, and I, along with my friend and colleague, Albert Serna, are, in a nutshell, in charge of running the publication. I have to make difficult decisions about which stories to publish, which to hold back, how to give writers constructive criticism, and how to work with them in order to make their stories the best they can be.

I’ve been told that I have been referred to as a bitch by certain individuals in the newsroom. At first, it really irked me, in part, because I do try my best to be nice and helpful to everyone. Mostly it bugged me because I couldn’t shake the notion that when I make the tough decisions, when I give writers feedback, I’m a bitch. But, when Albert does it, most of the time he’s given respect. I’m a bitch because I’m a woman in a position of power.

So, I made a post on my tumblr, which has since been deleted, going on a feminist rant. The brightest decision I’ve ever made? No, probably not. But I’m a writer, and writing helps me make sense of my feelings. I needed to write it down, but I didn’t need to click publish. Nevertheless, I did.

The next day, I received a text message from my cousin, Bonnie, who had seen the post on my tumblr. I have the utmost respect for Bonnie because not only is she gorgeous, but she’s a college graduate who had a well paying job but decided to leave it and pursue her true passion — photography, which she just so happens to be amazing at.

Anyway, she was in a position much like the one I’m in when she was in college. She said she was called a bitch more times than she cared to count when she was assertive.

“I took it as a compliment,” Bonnie said. “Girls our age are way too afraid of getting that label, but for me, I knew there was no one else who could do my job as well as I could.”

What she said really resonated with me. Why does “bitch” have to be a slur? It’s definitely not the nicest word ever, but language is constantly changing. A lot of words no longer mean what they once meant. Why is bitch any different? “Bitches” are stereotypically aggressive, assertive, independent, and strong willed women. Women who know what they want and don’t let anything get in the way of attaining their dreams. Coincidentally, these very qualities translate very well in the professional world, which puts a lot of these women in management positions.

I don’t know about you, but I think being assertive, aggressive, independent, strong willed and decisive are all usually good things. I have a very specific dream, which I addressed in a previous post. I know what I want and I’m going to get it. If that makes me a bitch, then yeah, I’m a bitch. And proud of it.

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Originally published at thesandytales.wordpress.com on June 1, 2015.

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