I have been called a “bitch” in a harsh tone of voice by a female relative for just cheerfully saying “hello” and “good morning”.

It was not a compliment, not like how some “tough girl” video game characters and female wrestlers wearing leather get affectionately called “tough badass bitches” by some people. A self proclaimed ambitious, strong and tough women may call herself a “powerful bitch” as a self compliment. A female wrestler for example may want to project a “fierce independent mean woman” image because she does not want to be viewed as a “weak delicate little flower”.

Sadly, I was only ever called a bitch in the derogatory tone. I was also called the feminine associated words “petal” and “flower” by older women. Older women never ever complimented me by using the word “bitch”.

Some older women would take the word bitch as an insult.

I am confused.

Some women want to “empower” some girls by saying that they are “brave, beautiful and strong”. Some women would think that this was patronising because these women would rather be “rebellious self-made tough mean badass bitches” that get tattoos, piercings, wear leather, wear heavy eyeshadow, swear, talk trash to people, be competitive and I dunno crack a whip?

I am thoroughly confused about the issue. I have been called a bitch in a harsh tone by other women for simply being polite and existing even though I do not wear leather, I do not beat people up and I am not tattooed. I am too scared to get a painful tattoo and I don’t want one thanks.

Some women who call themselves “tough bitches” show off their tattoos, lift weights and growl. I don’t know how long I could keep this up because I would want to be kind to people sometimes, not just growl and make snide remarks about everyone all the time.

There is a cultural idea that if you are fierce and mean then you cannot be feminine. If a male politician is fierce and mean he may be looked up to or even called “brave”.

Some women would rather call themselves “bitches” than be called “brave”.

I am still confused by all of this because older female relatives told my younger female relative off for using the word “bitch” because it was deemed to be an offensive derogatory word.