The Bitch Shield
Guys hate the Bitch Shield. Actually, *people* hate bitchiness.
If being bitchy is so unpopular, why do people do it? Usually because they can. But is it something awful, and a sign of poor character? Or is it a necessary evil?
When Do Girls Do It?
There seem to be two main situations where a girl will throw up the Bitch Shield:
1. To protect her social standing, honor, or sense of self
2. To use the power she has
There is also a special situation where a girl will use her shield for more than just herself:
3. To extend her personal Bitch Shield over others for the above reasons (protect other girls or show off the power other girls have, usually as a group)
Bitch Shield as a Way to Protect Herself
Honor: being called a slut, in all senses of the word, can make a woman lose honor. People will see her as lacking self-respect or letting other people take advantage of her. If she doesn’t respect herself, why should anyone else?
In western cultures, if a woman lets a man have his way with her in terms of grabbing her body in public, grinding against her and lifting up her skirt, etc., she’ll seem slutty. She can ask the guy to stop or push him, but if he’s persist (e.g., drunk), he may not stop. Enough bad experiences with something like this, and a girl will either throw up the Bitch Shield or develop a permanent hard-as-steel Bitch Shield when in the club.
In some cultures, even talking to a male alone or in a friendly situation can cause a girl to be seen as slutty. If she doesn’t treat every male so brusquely so as to be rude, that one moment when she smiles will be interpreted as her having a crush on him.
Sense of self: if you take a moment to read my story below, you might relate to the idea of fear or general creepiness a girl may feel when she feels like her personal space is being violated. If a guy makes an outward demand she’s not comfortable with, or even just implies it, she won’t want to just be a victim — she might try to leave the situation politely.
But some guys don’t get the hint! They insist on continuing to talk to her, or bother her, or invade her space. Sometimes throwing up the bitch shield is the only way for her to feel like she is safe.
Social standing: in the luxury goods business, there’s the idea of quality and exclusivity which is what makes people spend lots and lots of money to get these high-ticket items. Exclusivity implies excluding those that don’t make the cut. A girl who hangs around the wrong crowd starts to be identified with them. Even if this has no impact on her attractiveness to men, she is aware of the effect hanging out with the wrong people will have on other women.
Bitch Shield as a Way to Use Her Power
This is one of the most offensive types of Bitch Shields. The girl who has power and wants to throw it in others faces looks like a spoiled brat. She takes the idea of maintaining “social standing” to a whole new level.
A girl who gets away with this type of Bitch Shield knows that guys like her and will do anything for her attention. She knows people are in awe of her presence when they first encounter her.
Girls who get away with this type of shield less are the sort of people you might encounter in snooty clothing and shoe stores, when trying to complete some sort of transaction (think of resolving an incorrect cell. phone charge), or sometimes mean bosses at work.
Bitch Shield Extended to Others
When a girl extends her Bitch Shield over others, sometimes she truly means well and is just trying to help. Other times, she is acting out of jealousy with the false excuse of trying to help for the above reasons. Girls who throw their shield over another girl without being asked to often aren’t valued as helpful friends.
A Better Bitch Shield
I think the Bitch Shield is justified in some cases, but the strongest versions should be saved for extreme situations.
It’s time for more women to move to using a Better Bitch Shield. The Better Bitch Shield involves using a combination of etiquette, politeness, firmness, and self-removal as necessary.
How does a Better Bitch Shield compare to a bad Bitch Shield?
|Situation||Old Bitch Shield||New Bitch Shield|
|A guy who looks creepy and gross is coming your way.||As he opens his mouth, rolls your eyes, throw up a hand in his face, and completely turn away.||Look at him with no expression as he says hello or makes some other comment. Reply back without assuming his bad intention. Feel out whether he’s polite enough to talk to, or going to turn crazy. Politely excuse yourself once you are done. If he turns out to not be so bad and you want to keep talking… aren’t you glad you lowered the shield?|
|You’re walking and a guy makes a random backhanded comment (“neg” for those in the know).||Chew him out for being such a dumb@$$ and insult him back. Make him feel like the littlest man on earth.||Stare at him (over the shoulder throw your eyelashes, or turn back and stare while you evaluate). Pause… pause. Smile big. If you can think of witty reply, do so. If not, let it go. If he does nothing during the awkward pause, resume back to what you were doing. Random looks are perfectly fine responses to random comments.|
|A guy asks for your phone number and/or asks you out. You’re not interested.||Tell him very strongly that you have a boyfriend. Or give him an annoyed “are you freaking kidding me” look when he asks.||Say something short and to the point that says no softly. Suggestion: “Oh that’s so sweet but I’m sorry [shake head no with a sad smile]. It was nice talking to you though. Good luck with the bar/series 7/step 1/etc. [Walk away immediately so he gets the point]“|
|A guy that you’ve clearly told you are not interested in keeps on pestering you.||Yell and scream at him that he’s crazy, he’s so out of your league, that you’ll call the cops on him, etc.||Tell him once very clearly that you are not interested and never will be, and that he must cease all contact with you. Do NOT respond to a single message or attempt at contact he tries after this. Put the Bitch Shield up so high that he can’t even see you over it. This guy is a potential stalker and probably lacks understanding of human behavior and communication. You must tell him once and then clearly show with your actions that you are ignoring him. (LSB learned this the hard way.)|
|Someone is rude to you and insults you or does something that rubs you the wrong way.||Chew them out and/or do something to bother them back.||Walk away or try to defuse the situation. There are times to call out someone’s bullsh*t (e.g., if a friend is doing something very, very wrong to you and not in the heat of the moment). Most of the time however, it’s not worth it. Some people are just haters or are looking for a fight, and it’s not worth trying to win them over. Many people act out when they are stressed out or irritated, and need to be left alone or need someone with a kind touch to bring them back to earth.|
Any other suggestions? How can girls develop a kinder, gentler Bitch Shield?
How I First Developed a Bitch Shield
When I started 6th grade, for the first time I started walking to school alone. I’d usually walk with friends who lived nearby, but two blocks of the trip was alone.
Some high school boys on bicycles would regularly come talk to us on our trips homes. I didn’t think much of what they did. I was mostly shy and quiet around them; they nicknamed me “blushy” because of my bashful looks and whisper-y voice in their presence. Thankfully my friends did all the talking.
One day the boys followed me on alone portion of my walk. As usual, I was quiet in response to their questions.
Everything was OK until one of them stopped his bike in front of me. He told me to come with him and the other boys to the park to do something that was so gross, I’ve blocked out what exactly he said. I might not have even understood what they said. But their eyes and manner explained all I needed to know; their intentions were not innocent.
I was seized with a sudden panic. I was too young and shy to yell at them to leave me alone, swing my bag at them and push them off their bikes, or tell them that they’re disgusting and run away.
All I could think of to say in those 2 seconds of pause was,”Let me go tell my mom. She’ll be waiting for me.” They said OK and that they’d wait around the corner.
To my sheer terror, my mom wasn’t home. I ran across the street to the neighbors. No one was there either. I ran down the street to another house where I knew the neighbors were friendly. They weren’t home either.
My panic was increasing by this point to near terror. I saw a car in the driveway of the house next door to where I had stopped, so in desperation I ran and knocked on their door. An older woman answered, and I asked if she’d help me call my dad at work. The woman must have been able to tell something was wrong, and asked if I was OK. I burst into tears immediately. Through sobs I told her what had just happened. And who was waiting for me around the corner.
It was one of the most horrible and awful experiences to go through. Nothing happened, thank God. But the terror…and fear. :-(
As a woman from a culture which prizes female virtue extremely highly, the idea of losing it by no fault of mine was horrible.
When my dad rushed home and stomped in, demanding we go find those boys so he could teach them a lesson, it strangely made me feel worse. Now that I was safe I didn’t want to think about it any more. I wanted to go back to how things were.
After that incident I wasn’t allowed to walk home with my friends any more. My mom was now in charge of picking me up from school. My parents also began regular lectures on the importance of being mean to all boys. And how boys are evil and will hurt me. My dad even made me practice hitting him and yelling at him loudly.
This is how my first big Bitch Shield was built.
My parents were strict already, and this incident in a strange new country made them even more cautious to let me integrate with American culture. My life became one of school to home, home to school.
In a way it was a good thing. I could have made a lot of mistakes when I was at the peak of my silly little girly-girl brain (filled with dreams of cute boyz). Being under my parent’s watchful eye meant I would have to become more emotionally mature first.
Around this time, I became a bit of a religious nuttie. My entire life was dedicated to living according to God’s principles. I became a big b*tch about it too, judging others who I knew were practicing Christians, Muslims, Hindus, whatever. When I had moments of questioning and doubt, I would justify to myself that well, by being so strict I would build up such a good reputation that no one would ever think I’m a bad girl. I wanted to be the #1 best good girl in the whole community, the whole country even!
In order to preserve my pure and chaste reputation, I dressed very modestly and kept a permanent Bitch Shield to any and all men. I would make it a huge deal if a guy even dared to try and talk to me alone, or smile at me, or talk about anything but business. I would only entertain guys for marriage if they approached my parents first and got their blessings. And even then, we would have to be chaperoned!
Now there were definitely moments when I would toe the line and wouldn’t be a complete religious Bitch Shield girl. Eventually, I let the Bitch Shield down. But it was a very difficult process. During it, I felt like I was somehow losing myself. Through life’s trials and tribulations I’ve found a balance between the higher pleasures and lower ones.
This is how I learned to lower and, when appropriate, lose my Bitch Shield.