A Betch Is Not A Bitch: What I Learned From the Kids

betches love thisMy daughter was visiting last week from the place she now considers home (New York City) to the place I know for a fact is her home (Boston).  While I had her captive for a few days, I figured she could shed some light on the 20-something brain.

“Melissa, is a ‘Betch’ just another word for ‘Bitch?’” I had seen the term all over her Facebook- honest, I was not stalking her- it was everywhere.  (Or in betch-talk, every-whair?)

OMG, mom, of course not. They are so not the same.”

Urban Dictionary says it is.”  (I’m down with Urban Dictionary explanations.)

“Urban Dictionary is, like totes, wrong.”

Let me be clear before my daughter kills me-  I added all the words in italics, just to give this post a bit more Betchiness.

I know, it’s been killing you too, right?  What exactly is a Betch?  Luckily for all of us, Melissa’s BF Elliot is a self-proclaimed expert on Betchdom.  I asked him to help me out this week.  So, this is Elliot’s explanation.  Read and learn:

We all know what a “Bitch” is. Wikipedia characterizes a modern day Bitch as “belligerent, unreasonable, malicious, rudely intrusive, arrogant, and/or aggressive.”   We all have those friends and family who tend to say what is better left unsaid, but we easily recognize the presence of a Bitch when this tendency sets off deep-rooted, instinctual fears: “No, please just feign enjoyment of this social situation for a mere two hours,” you might think to yourself— or— “For the love of all that is holy, just say you liked their failed attempt at low-calorie Pad Thai.”

“Betch” is a mutation of Bitch, and comes by way of the “valley girl.” Betch is another in a long series of west-coast-warped cultural phenomena, including acceptable state size, views on celebrities as public servants, and healthy marijuana usage (and perhaps this last one is what explains all the rest). Just as the pronunciation changed, so did the connotations.

While the career and success oriented East Coast gives Bitch its aggressive, malicious character, the San Fernando Valley offshoot is more lackadaisical and aloof. While a Betch can certainly pose many problems in similar areas as a Bitch, the Betch is often held less responsible. “Jane just couldn’t bring it together to make a convincing compliment about the Pad Thai. But then again, you know how she is; she’s just Betchy that way.”

Intent is the operative word when comparing the East Coast Bitch to the West Coast Betch. While both might be wearing oversized sunglasses, eating a salad wrap at any given lunch engagement, the Bitch’s disposition tends to say, “Look at Cindy eating that sandwich with white bread… what a moron,” while the air of a Betch says something more like, “I don’t really like eating food like this, but I’m going to Instagram this shet anyways so everyone knows how much I love myself.”

A good display of modern, everyday Betch can be seen in Miley Cyrus’s new chart topper, “We Can’t Stop,” a raucous hit which proposes an answer to the age-old question, should I live for the moment or think long-term (Spoiler Alert: she says live for tonight). The title alone says a great deal for the Betchy attitude, which presents unsavory behavior as a sort of impulse that we don’t have a choice but to accept. The Bitch version of the title would read more like “I Refuse to Stop,” or “Why Are You Telling Me to Stop, I’ve Always Thought You Were Ugly Anyways.”

But maybe this is too much information too fast. Maybe you’re asking me, “Oh Generation Y member, what are you talking about? I thought Miley Cyrus was a Disney star?”  An older story might bring the picture of Betch more clearly into focus. And what anecdote trumps any other like the original anecdote, the story of Adam and Eve.

A great amount of scholarly debate has gone into the question of whether, at the core (no pun intended) of the whole conflict, Eve’s a Bitch or a Betch. Is Eve’s bite of the apple a Betchy “cheat day” for her garden-to-table diet, or is it a deliberate action– a firm middle finger to the powers that be, a seed (pun more intended) for protest?

True to the Betch’s food habits, the forbidden fruit becomes an object of obsession. Just like pita chips or Wheat Thins, the apple isn’t all that exciting on its own, but once given the Godly caution tape, it becomes irresistible.  Ironically, it is these forbidden fruits that will likely never see the light of day on Facebook. That late night pack of Oreos or that pint of ice cream will stay off the record while “#yummy #homemade #kale #quinoa #salad” will get significant airplay.

Unfortunately for Eve, the news feed of God sees all, and this fact really put Adam in between a rock and a hard place. Would he let Eve be banished alone or choose to eat the apple with her? On one hand is the wrath of his father, and on the other, the wrath of the Betch. Adam set yet another precedent by choosing the practical path: to never castigate a Betch for her diet hiccups, and to join her in an attempt to ameliorate her guilt.  Also true to the post-cheat-day Betch, Eve wouldn’t let Adam see her naked anymore, which probably led to a lengthy shopping day.

Much like driving a hybrid car, your new firsthand knowledge of Betches will surely bring a heightened awareness of those around you. This article could be the beginning of your new Betch-aware life, the first glimpse outside the darkness you once lived in.

I would urge you to research primary sources on the topic, such as www.betcheslovethis.com (self-aware), or most tumblrs (not). Maybe you’ll observe them from afar, or maybe you’ll find you’ve been in the ranks all along. Do you tend to pronounce “er” endings as “hair” (“best day evhair!”)? Do you find yourself constantly following new dieting trends? Do you feel comfortable owning a bright colored car*?

Or maybe you’re already part of the other BA50, “Betchy-hair After 50?”

*note:  Ronna’s car is red, and she constantly follows new diet trends.   She will nev-hair admit to being a Betch, how-ev-hair.

 

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6 Responses to A Betch Is Not A Bitch: What I Learned From the Kids

  1. imeka on August 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Is Elliot saying that Betch is a dumber Bitch?

    • Ronna Benjamin on August 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Oh no….I think a Betch can be very smart….I think it is more of a spoiled, entitled attitude.

  2. Marlene Clayton on August 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Gosh, I always thought I was a bitch but maybe it was Betch and that is so much better.

  3. Aaron on September 6, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Your most sophisticated piece of social commentary writing ever. Bitchin! Betchen? Congratulations!

    • Daughter M on September 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

      *elliot’s sophisticated social commentary, uncle Aaron!

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