By India Taina
Alright, so picture this: You’re in a candle lit room in the dark and your boyfriend is sitting in a rustic throne like chair. You are wearing a black lingerie one piece, your flexibility is off the charts, you’re throwing out these moves that Ciara don’t even know about, and damn, you are really killing it. And then, as you approach for the killing–that hot ass finale where you put one foot in your mouth as you ride him backwards but facing forward– he whispers in your ear, “You the baddest” and boom, every dream and goal has been satisfied. This was it! This is what you’ve been waiting to hear! YOU DID IT! He now is forever going to be loyal to you, the workplace is going to bow down once they hear the news that you’ve been officially declared the baddest, and life is just going to be one huge Instagram-worthy timeline. Hooray, you’re all done now… yeah, if only.
See, we’ve all actually been bamboozled. We thought, oh, this is 2019, ain’t nobody gonna force me to be NO damn housewife. And we thought that we won this battle with burning bras and girly, beautiful lesbians who defy The Patriarchy’s mind, as well as CAREER WOMEN. WOOO! We won, right? Well, the short answer to that is no. A Hell No, actually. See, just as we women evolve to fit modern times and become even more awesome and bad ass, the patriarchy unfortunately also molds itself to fit the times and just becomes bad—with no side of ass. So, here’s how it has secretly been affecting your life. Have you happened to notice in the past decade or two, an increase in the terms “bad”, “baddest”, and most recently “bad bitch”? Yeah, it’s deceiving, because when it’s said, we want to take it as a term of empowerment! We want it to mean that we handle business, that we are on top of everything, that we are the best at sex, at cooking, at keeping our men loyal and happy, at looking hot 25/8, being fit but not too slim, sexy but keeping it all just for your one, and being the best moms we can be and always loyal to baby daddy—- and ohhh shit. What. The. Fuck?! Don’t all these low key resemble exactly the expectations that were asked of us back in the day? Yeah, real depressing when you realize how far we’ve gotten is actually far in the backwards direction.
SURPRISE! You’ve been bamboozled by The Patriarchy, proud sponsor of Caucasity, Homophobia, and ICE.
So wait a minute, how could something that derives from the sponsor of Caucasity, be infiltrating ALL kinds of minority music, from Black Hip Hop, RnB, and Trap to Hispanic Reggaeton and some Romeo Santos songs (ya’ll know what I’m talking about, don’t even act surprised, I love him too, but what needs to be said has to be said, so ¡ya!) Oh girl, I am so glad you asked. Let’s dissect, shall we?
So, the Patriarchy is no Juan BoBo or Boo Boo the fool (both mean exactly the same thing, but for different communities. If you are something other than Black or Latinx, and you have a similar cultural reference, please SHARE in the comments!). It knows that it is no longer silently and secretly hovering and influencing the world, and that it would for sure meet resistance if it were to appear in its usual white male mask. So it changed its appearance. The Patriarchy can now be found in any color (although it still always works best white) and in any culture. It has infiltrated everybody. And it changed up its expectations ever so slightly to meet the ideals of whatever culture its perpetuating. For example, in Hip Hop, RnB, Trap, and Reggaeton videos, the “bad bitch” is almost ALWAYS a flat bellied, fat assed, thick thighed, big tittied, long haired, twerkaholic mami. Go on. Go check out all the mainstream bad bitch music videos and what do you find? You can go ahead and quote me on this. The Patriarchy used its mechanisms of evil to transform itself and fit into the lives of those it has always aimed to control. We just haven’t noticed. If anything, we’ve propelled it! Because on top of being those flat bellied, thick thighed, twerkaholic mamis, they’ve also got them in tight fitting work clothes and heels, working that 9-5 but looking oh so sexy doing it. They might even be single moms ready to seduce the next man who looks like a good daddy (now whether it’s a good daddy for them or a good daddy to their kid… I think that’s left for interpretation). So the expectations of being a bad bitch are actually, at their core, pretty similar to those of being a good white wife in the 50’s. Won’t you be damned. You work, to please your man. You twerk, to please your man. You cook, clean, and wear sexy things while doing it… to please your man. And what was the mantra in the 1950’s? PLEASE YA MAN! What is it now? PLEASE YA MAN, HOE! (somehow we’ve made that empowering, fix it Jesus).
I am really hoping that you are catching what I am throwing here, because I want this to make sense. In short, The Patriarchy is the dominating force in everything that sucks. The Patriarchy has certain expectations for both men and women, but is willing to be flexible in order to hide those expectations, you know, keep them from being too obvious. So it studies the cultures it infiltrates, bends and twists to make itself fit comfortably in your life so you don’t notice, and boom, before you know it, you are the one bending and twisting to fit The Patriarchy. Crazy. So, India, why is it important for us as women to know this? Why should we be worried about the bad bitch complex if we’ve found a way to make it empower us to be better?
That, right there darling, is exactly why. Because the Bad Bitch Complex, like any other complex, makes you believe that you need to be better. That you have to do your life better than the next, and your body has to be better, and your sex has to be better, and you overall just have to be better, because you are not good enough. If you don’t have a stripper booty, or are not a person who likes provocative and excessive sex, or you are a woman who loves women and absolutely does not do it for the entertainment of men, this bad bitch complex absolutely excludes you and makes you feel unworthy. Not cool, Patriarchy. The Bad Bitch Complex was not made for us. If it were, wouldn’t all women feel empowered by it? In what music video do you see a gamer girl who takes care of her younger siblings being called the baddest? What about the girl with a disability, who still goes out and does what she wants to do despite it all? Why isn’t she the star? Or how about the single mom of three kids, with 2 in college, and her also putting herself through school at age 48? Or the lesbian CEO who is kicking ass at her own company. Now, YOU might think, damn, all of these women fit MY definition of bad. They certainly fit mine, too!
However, the Bad Bitch Complex doesn’t care what you think of its definition. The Bad Bitch Complex doesn’t submit to you. You submit to it. And that’s just the reality. Until we get the men to understand how this Bad Bitch Complex affects us as a whole, how it can place a distorted mirror of who we are supposed to be according to The Patriarchy, I am unsure of how we can fix it. We can’t do it without men. And I don’t mean that in a “oh I need a manly man to come save me from this grizzly bear” way. Fuck that. I am a motherfucking grizzly bear. I just mean that I can’t fix a 2 way problem with a one sided solution. Because fixing my ideals, and my opinions, and my expectations only solves 50% of the problem. We really do need the other half to change up themselves, too. And it’s only fair! It’s always left to us, to fix the issues that have sprouted from things completely and utterly separate from us. Now it’s time to point accountability to where it needs to be. Men, change your fucking standards.
A Real, In Between Jobs, Healing Inner Mental Health, Blogging Noob, Bad Bitch.
P. S. This is my first opinion post, and what I would like is for this to spark CONVERSATION! Please, weigh in on the comment section below, speak your mind, tell me to go fuck myself, whatever! I am learning and this will only help me grow if you tell me what you think, add a perspective I’ve never thought of, or just tell me about you! I appreciate you as you are. Thank you!