According to Urban Dictionary, a “Basic Bitch” is defined as: “Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue.”
Here’s another classic case of society contradicting itself. “Basic Bitch” is intended as an insult — mostly towards women — for engaging in stereotypical behavior, or enjoying things that women commonly like. What is almost ridiculous about this is that society has these stereotypes for a reason. It is automatically assumed that women are going to like things like pumpkin spice lattes or leggings, things associated with femininity.
Society markets things to women with these ideas in mind. Women are told their entire lives that these are things we're supposed to like, and then are punished if we enjoy them.
“Basic Bitch” seems to be a backlash against this stereotyping of women, but much like femmephobia, it's gone too far. The point of feminism is that women deserve a choice in how they act and behave, without impediment from the law or backlash from society. And men should be allowed the same rights.
Notice how a “Basic Bitch” is almost exclusively a woman because it implies that she is being average. But if a man were to engage in these typically feminine pastimes, he would be considered abnormal. He might be made fun of by some men and women, or considered “sensitive” by others.
There is this idea we have set up where all women have to be special and wonderful and extraordinary in order to be great, whereas an average man is hailed perhaps more than he deserves. We see it in the faces of movie stars — each and every woman is beautiful. And if they aren't traditionally beautiful, the only roles they tend to land are roles for weird characters, or characters where the “unattractive” aspect is a large part of their identity. But the men that we see are average men. Many of them are very attractive and others are just normal looking men, but they get a diverse number of roles.
This carries into more than just appearances. In workplaces, a woman must have better ideas than a man to be considered smart. She must work harder to be considered as diligent as an average man.
And “Basic Bitch” is just another extension of that. Men are awarded for being stereotypically masculine: for watching and enjoying sports, beer and women. But women are punished for being different and for being normal. We are punished for acting how we are expected to act, but we are pushed down and ridiculed for daring to go against society. Now is just the time to take a look at ourselves as a society and ask why that is.
Bailey Breece is junior studying English and German. Email her at email@example.com