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‘Fucking Bitch’ and the Everyday Terror Men Feel about Powerful Women

PERSPECTIVE--Two words placed side by side with great frequency are what linguists call “a collocation.”

The pairing’s existence indicates that the words pack a greater punch when used in tandem.

When Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) a “fucking bitch” on the steps of the U.S. Capitol this week, he used one such collocation. “Fucking” and “bitch” form a neatly packaged jab, giving the user the ability to spit venom without creativity or context — what I like to refer to as “the lazy man’s insult.”

Most often, these words come out of the mouth of a man and are directed at a woman. It doesn’t matter what she’s done (if anything) to provoke the insult. Regardless of context, the words indicate that a woman has taken up space the speaker would prefer she did not. He alone is entitled to opinions, to power, to the eyes and ears of those whom he has decided matter. She’s just a “fucking bitch.” (Read the rest.)  

-cw