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DH calling women "bitch"

(64 Posts)
perrita Sat 02-Apr-16 17:57:48

DH has started, out of nowhere, referring to women as bitches. Saying things like "she's a bitch" about someone on TV, or if someone cuts him up when driving "silly bitch", etc. He's even called my sisters and friends it, and his sister and sister in law. It's been going on for about a year now, I don't know what started it and I've asked him to stop numerous times, but he basically refuses. Happened in the car today (worse than normal as he was already in a bad mood) and we had a mini argument about it in which he ended up telling me not to be so soft about it as he isn't going to change.

It really, really bothers me to the point where every time he says it, it makes me like him a little bit less but I can't really articulate as to WHY it upsets me so much. I feel like it's really sexist, he isn't normally sexist but he can be a bit ranty sometimes (so calls other drivers other names, not just women). It wouldn't bother me if he said something like "she's driving like an idiot", I'd think that was just him being ranty it's the specific use of the term bitch that I have a problem with.

I know this isn't AIBU, but am I? Do you have any advice on how I can deal with this, or get him to stop? Or even just advice on how I can articulate to him why I find it so offensive. He's a really lovely husband for the most part but I really hate this.

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 18:02:24

Leave the bast....oh, hang on...

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Sat 02-Apr-16 18:04:00

Bastard isn't something that refers just to men Grim

perrita Sat 02-Apr-16 18:05:03

Also I don't know of this is relevant but he works in a very male dominated environment and swears a lot.

DoreenLethal Sat 02-Apr-16 18:05:53

He probably calls you it when you aren't around.

Is that something that might help you find the words?

TheoriginalLEM Sat 02-Apr-16 18:06:01

I'm with Grim - are we only allowed gender unspecific swearwords now?

But i suppose its all about the context - so long as he has equire ire left over for the guys

annandale Sat 02-Apr-16 18:09:02

I have to say that I pick up a lot of vocab from telly and t'internet stuff I see. Probably copying it from something and it will fade away again.

TBH I hate shouty drivers and if driving is making him that upset maybe you should drive more.

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 18:11:06

Does, 'bastard' is used pretty much exclusively about men within the walls of MN. I know it can refer to women, but it generally isn't. Just as men can refer to other men as a bitch (often, but not exclusively it's used by gay men about each other).

He is being a nob though if he know it upsets the OP and doesn't at least try to stop using it.

scallopsrgreat Sat 02-Apr-16 18:29:59

Bitch is a horrible word. And the only times I've heard it said by men is with venom. I'd Bastard on the other hand is also derogatory towards women, even if it's predominantly used against men. It's a strange comparison.

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 18:33:45

No, it isn't strange. It's a derogatory word used against men all the time on here. You are just after a row, but I can't be arsed. He should stop using it because it pisses her off, not because of some tinfoil-hat patriarchal conspiracy.

scallopsrgreat Sat 02-Apr-16 18:48:26

What are you on about Grim? Who said anything about patriarchal conspiracy confused.

Birch is a derogatory word predominantly used against women. Bastard is also derogatory towards women. Both are misogynistic.

You seem to implying that bitch doesn't have any misogynistic meaning. And that the only reason he should stop using it is because perrita doesn't like it. Not because it's nasty towards women.

scallopsrgreat Sat 02-Apr-16 18:49:11

Bitch not birch hmm

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 02-Apr-16 18:59:57

I can't think of ever hearing bastard used about a woman except in the hopefully historic sense and in a historic context.

I would have said bastard and bitch are very strongly gendered and pretty much the male and female equivalent of each other.

Kidnapped Sat 02-Apr-16 19:00:08

It would also be a problem if the OP suddenly started calling all her brothers and male friends bastards. And also her husband's male relatives and friends. Who on earth would defend that behaviour?

Bitch is an awful word. I'd struggle to have any respect for someone who:

a) Uses it in the first place to refer to anyone, far less the OP's sisters and friends, and his own sister and sister-in-law
b) Continues to use it when requested not to

And no, I don't think the solution is for the OP to take over driving.

Dervel Sat 02-Apr-16 19:03:50

How is bastard misogynistic?

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 19:05:07

Bastard is also derogatory towards women - said no-one, ever....

Stop trying to pretend that this is ever the case in normal conversation.

buckingfrolicks Sat 02-Apr-16 19:13:45

i'd hate it if my DP used the word bitch. It's a nasty, venomous, contemptuous word that is aimed solely at women. He's using this word because they are women doing stupid things, not because they are people doing stupid things.

He is noticing and naming their gender and holding their gender against them, not naming their behaviour, in situations where gender is irrelevant.

It would be like saying 'stupid Pxxi' about an Asian person - it acts as a same vile unnecessary shorthand for 'fucking idiot driving that car and look she's a woman christ what can you expect'

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 19:18:30

He does sound like a bit of an idiot. Swear, shouty drivers who constantly blame everyone but themselves are usually pretty unpleasant individuals.

What does he shout if he doesn't know the gender of the other driver? Quite often you can't tell whether it is a man or woman? Does he default to a male insult, or does he assume it's a woman?

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Sat 02-Apr-16 19:21:32

Bastard refers to an illegitimate human. Bitch refers to a female dog. The latter definitely feels stronger and more derogatory, likening women to a dog.

But the OP doesn't go around calling her male relatives "bastards" so why is that being brought up?

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 19:31:21

Well, it depends on whether we are discussing the OPs partner's use of the word as an individual trait, or in the wider context of insulting women merely for being women. I thought it was the latter.

In which case, you can't have your cake and eat it. If only men use gendered insults, then it can be seen as a gendered issue. If women do it as well, then perhaps it isn't. And it seemed ironic to me that it was being raised on Mumsnet, where the LTB phrase is legendary.

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 19:32:45

And the more people try to pretend that 'bastard' is ever used to describe women, just because it can, the weaker their argument seems.

Kidnapped Sat 02-Apr-16 19:35:33

But the OP doesn't go around calling her male relatives "bastards" so why is that being brought up?

Because few people in society, when faced with a man behaving badly, want to call out the man on his bad behaviour. They'd prefer to decide that the problem is something else entirely - anything other than his bad behaviour.

This thread is a perfect illustration of that.

Themanfrommanc Sat 02-Apr-16 19:37:12

I think it can pass as a one off outburst now and again but not as a regular thing..not from me anyway.

Grimarse Sat 02-Apr-16 19:38:06

Really? Has anyone defended this man's behaviour on here? Have I?

EnglishFern Sat 02-Apr-16 19:38:19

I can't really see why you're getting in such a flap about the word "bitch", however having to live with this level of anger and vitriol must be tiresome.

YANBU to ask him to rein it in.

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