The Girl Who Cried Bitch.

Dont call me a bitch

Do you remember the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? In it, a bored shepherd boy decided to amuse himself by frightening the townspeople by crying wolf. He succeeds the first two times in scaring the townspeople but when he actually does see a wolf and cries for help the towns people don’t come and the boy loses his flock of sheep.  As children, we are told that story so that we may learn the lesson to never lie.

I’ve always taken this story very seriously and I dislike lying very much. I strive to be extraordinarily honest in all situations and admittedly sacrifice politeness for honesty sometimes. If you ask me a question, expect an honest, if not always cordial, response. In fact, I’ve developed a bit of a reputation in my industry for always “telling it like it is”.  And yet……

And yet, when I was called a “Bitch” in front of several people at my last agency and responded by filing an official complaint, the honesty of my story was immediately questioned.  I was baffled. I was insulted. I was mad as hell y’all. Why was it that without ever having made such a claim before I was instantly labeled “The girl who cried bitch.”? I spent 4 hours in the boss’s office attesting to the honesty of my story. I was questioned again and again. I had to repeat the situation several dozen times. The very boss who once called me “too honest” now questioned the honesty of my story. When I finally told him to ask the people who had witnessed the altercation if he didn’t believe me, they made the entire situation worse by qualifying it and saying that perhaps “I had taken it the wrong way.” that the man “didn’t mean it that way.” I was probably being too sensitive. Someone even had the audacity to suggest that I might be “hormonal”.  Um, excuse me, what other way did he mean it? And for the record, I wasn’t “hormonal” but even if I had been, that in no way means I deserved to be called a “bitch” or that someone shouldn’t be reprimanded for calling me one.  Why does a comment like that deserve to be qualified and defended? Why was everyone so uncomfortable with a woman standing up for her right not to be called a “bitch” in the workplace? I was upset, but I was also leaving the agency so I chalked it up to everyone there being an asshole.  It was easier than me diving into the reason behind people being unwilling to acknowledge that the situation was unprofessional and demeaning. I took the path of least insanity.

But now, I’m wondering, what’s up with that? Why is it that a woman automatically gets labeled “The girl who cried bitch” even if she is telling the truth? Seriously, what’s up with that?

18 thoughts on “The Girl Who Cried Bitch.

  1. I’ve not been called “Bitch” in the workplace (to my knowledge), but I have been told I was perhaps a bit too blunt in my honesty and I should show a bit more sensitivity. I’ve become better with my wording, but I still can’t stomach sugar-coating – like ripping off a bandage… you just gotta do it.

    • I agree! I make an effort to be tactful but I don’t see the point in not being direct and honest- it’s inefficient business.

  2. The problem is all the other women who have falsly called bitch. The fairy tale doesn’t tell you about the poor honest other boy who called wolf after the jerk kid annoyed all the townsfolk. He’d likely get ignored and eaten by the wolf too.

    • Possibly. But I’m still not convinced. If someone has always proved to be honest, why doubt them the first time the word “bitch” is involved? It seems like “because other women lied about it” isn’t a very good reason.

  3. It’s becoming acceptable for comments like this to fly around the work place and that’s the saddest thing.

    The whole notion that a woman who’s called a bitch and then gets called out for saying someone did is because people don’t want a riot in the workplace. Just sweep things under the rug and let’s all forget about it. Crap is what that is.

    • It is crap but it certainly seems like crap that mostly women have to deal with. If a man had been called something as insulting, I’m not sure that incident would be swept under the rug in the same way.

  4. I think it’s sad instead of approaching the man and reprimanding him for his word choice, your words were questioned. Your boss sounds like a prick. He can quote me on that too. Honest 😉

  5. “…they made the entire situation worse by qualifying it and saying that perhaps ‘I had taken it the wrong way,’ that the man ‘didn’t mean it that way.'”

    WTF? Is there some alternative definition of the word “bitch” that I’m unaware of? Something like “smart, stylish woman with diamonds in her eyes?” Because I don’t see how else he could have meant it.

  6. Guess it’s the same everywhere. People call you names, and then they do some string-pulling, so in the end you find yourself being blamed for being over-sensitive, hormonal, and unprofessional. I’ve been there, and from my experience, I know that if you pull that trick yourself, i.e. set up the background and call someone a prick, (yeah, i’m evil :P) those flock of sheep who tried to play down the insult meted out to you would repeat that encore. Because that’s how most people are; they’d want to get on with life rather than take sides in a seemingly pointless feud. Anyway, my point is, get on with it; it’s not about some arch-stereotype being imposed on women. It’s simply about the general meanness in a workplace, so make the most of it 😀

  7. I have experience of exactly the same situation. Unfortunately I was not leaving the company and my situation got worse. The guy who called me bitch got “promoted away” and I was labeled “the girl with conflict personality who cannot get along with people”. It took five years and total change of career path to tone down this all. But every time I have to contact anyone from the “old” area of expertise I am being labeled and judged “the girl who cannot get along” and no one questions the guy. He just got the free pass…

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