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Rhymes with rich: power, law, and the bitch.

Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant. (2)
I.  Introduction
I.  The Powerful Bitch
II. The Workplace Bitch
III. Beyond Bitch
IV.  Conclusion


I. INTRODUCTION

For over six centuries, bitch has been used as a term of contempt toward women. (3) Originally, bitch referenced a sensual or promiscuous woman, (4) and later evolved to include a woman considered angry, spiteful, or malicious. (5) Today, the term includes a woman deemed aggressive, competitive, or domineering. (6) Despite its definitional nuances, bitch remains an unequivocal expression of hostility used to denounce, harass, and insult women who, by acting outside of their prescribed gender roles, threaten the established paradigm of power as an inherently male characteristic. (7)

Part I of this article examines the animus behind the bitch epithets levied against women in politics, an arena typically reserved for, and overwhelmingly populated by, male participants. Part II discusses the consideration of bitch when part of unlawful hostile workplace behavior in Title VII sexual harassment cases. Part III examines the legal and cultural shifts that must occur to dismantle the gendered hierarchical power structure existing in the realms of work, politics, and society at large.
I. THE POWERFUL BITCH

   Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
   she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
   her body bombarded for years by the element
   she had purified

   It seems she denied to the end
   the source of the cataracts on her eyes
   the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
   till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

   She died a famous woman denying
   her wounds
   denying
   her wounds came from the same source as her power. (8)


The poet Adrienne Rich composed the words above about Marie Curie, the scientist who received two Nobel prizes for discovering the elements radium and polonium. (9) Despite the fame that Marie Curie obtained for her scientific accomplishments, she is characterized as unwilling to acknowledge the potent effects of radium and its influential contribution to scientific research. (10) Perhaps, Marie Curie's reticence was rooted in the belief that a claim to the powerful results of her labor would encroach on the traditionally male territory of strength, ability, and achievement, rendering her less acquiescent, less feminine, and, thus, less desirable. (11)

Traditionally, power has been defined as the capacity of a person to alter another's will or actions, or produce intended effects on another by force, manipulation, persuasion, or authority. (12) Implicit in the definition of power and having the ability to dominate is its association with masculinity. (13) Conversely, femininity is habitually linked with powerlessness, submission, and constraint. (14) Often, a woman who crosses those gender-prescribed perimeters is denounced a bitch. (15) One writer has classified the term as a method of containment and discipline to rebuke powerful women for their transgressions:
   Bitch not only is a defining archetype of female identity, but also
   functions as a contemporary rhetoric of containment disciplining
   women with power.... Using the term bitch in casual conversation,
   political punditry, and public debate is the most recent
   incarnation of sexual containment in American political culture.
   Its use is widespread and the potential consequences for women are
   significant. Bitch is more than an epithet--it is a rhetorical
   frame, a metaphor that shapes political narratives and governs
   popular understanding of women leaders. (16)


Modern political history is rich with examples of bitch epithets levied against powerful women. During the 1984 presidential election, Barbara Bush, wife of Republican vice-presidential candidate George H. W. Bush, was asked her opinion of Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. (17) Her response was "I can't say it but it rhymes with rich." (18) Eleven years later in 1995, the following exchange occurred between television reporter Connie Chung and Kathleen Gingrich, the mother of then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. (19) Chung asked Mrs. Gingrich what her son thought about Hillary Clinton, wife of then President Bill Clinton:

Kathleen: "[Hillary Clinton] is a bitch ... [t]hat's the only thing [Newt] ever said about her ... I think they had some meeting, she takes over."

Chung: "She does?"

Kathleen: "Oh yeah, yeah. But when Newtie's there, she can't." (20)

The passage of time has not moderated the public contempt against women in the political arena. Recently, the 2008 Presidential race provided numerous examples of bitch-laden invective against Senator Clinton during her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. (21) By vying for the quintessentially masculine prize of the presidency, Hillary Clinton challenged the male-dominated political power hierarchy in the United States at its highest level. (22) As a result, Clinton was marginalized, (23) sexualized, (24) and repeatedly censured as an emasculating bitch. (25) For example, on May 20, 2008, during a televised discussion on CNN, political contributor Alex Castellanos remarked that "some women, by the way, are named ... [bitch] and it's accurate." (26) On November 13, 2007, a woman in Hilton Head, South Carolina, asked Republican presidential candidate John McCain about Clinton: "[so], how do we beat the bitch?" (27) Again, on March 15, 2007, television and radio host Glenn Beck remarked: "[Hillary Clinton is] the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean?" (28)

In addition to the bitch moniker, during her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton endured endless public degradation meant to alternatively domesticate, demean, and demonize her. (29) During a public appearance in 2007, two men interrupted Clinton by repeatedly yelling "[i]ron my shirt!" (30) Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Clinton the woman with the "testicle lock box," (31) and MSNBC commentator Tucker Carlson stated that [t]here s just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing, and scary," and, on another article, he stated that "when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs." (32) Finally, radio talk show host Don Imus has often referred to Clinton as "that buck-tooth witch, Satan" and Bill Clinton's "fat, ugly wife, Satan." (33) It is not difficult to understand why some men exhibit deeply hostile feelings toward Clinton as the prototypical powerful woman. By forsaking submission, domesticity, and privacy for a highly public political career at the highest strata of achievement, success, and prestige, she embodies a threat to the traditional model of men as rightful possessors of power and authority.

Hillary Clinton fuels gender-specific antagonism not only from men, but from women as well. (34) In 2007, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd compared Hillary Clinton to mafia boss Tony Soprano because she "is so power-hungry that she can justify any thuggish means to get the prize." (35) Similarly, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan labeled Clinton "cold and ambitious," while political commentator Ann Coulter has described her as "[p]ond scum" and "[w]hite trash." (36) Arguably, for some women, Clinton's public persona upsets a "tidy, well-run world" where personal, employment, and social relationships are driven by well-defined gender norms. (37) In doing so, perhaps Clinton exposes the bargain that women have struck, as long as a woman does not eschew her socially-assigned role of submission, and she maintains her good feminine looks, she may be spared condemnation as a bitch. (38) On this subject, Professor Susan Estrich has written:
   [Hillary] isn't looking for a prince, or recovering from losing
   one. She seems content to use the frog for all he's worth, which is
   hardly the fairy tale we grew up with.... Her happy ending seems to
   be only about winning. To want power that badly--to make the
   political personal--is not something most women empathize with.
   It's not the choice we made. (39)


The fairy tale to which Professor Estrich refers is one symptom of a lifetime of learned behavior resulting in gender-determined beliefs that power, control, and authority are inherently masculine qualities, while humility, docility, and compliance embody desirable feminine traits. (40) Because of such social and cultural conditioning, women often reject power as unattractive, unfeminine, and ultimately a danger to their own identity within strictly-set behavioral norms. (41)

On August 29, 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. (42) Although Ms. Palin is a powerful woman actively involved in the highest echelons of politics, her behavior establishes that she will be likely spared the bitch moniker. (43) First, Governor Palin has aligned herself with the male ranks that condone verbal slurs against women. (44) In early 2008, during her appearance on a morning radio show, Palin giggled while the male host referred to Alaska's Senate President Lyda Green, a cancer survivor, as a cancer and a bitch. (45) Further, Palin exudes sexuality in her physical attractiveness. Unlike Hillary Clinton, she wears skirts, not pants, thus, displaying her legs to their best advantage. (46) As a result, Governor Palin will probably be remembered as a babe, not a bitch. (47)

II. THE WORKPLACE BITCH

Similar to the political arena, the workplace poses a high-stakes battleground for women engaged in trades or professions traditionally occupied by men. (48) As a result, a woman employed in a male-dominated environment is often the subject of hostility or abuse by male workers seeking to devalue and humiliate her for encroaching upon well-guarded masculine strongholds. (49) On this topic, Professor Vicki Schultz has argued that often, workplace sexual harassment involves conduct based on hostility toward women solely because of their gender:
   Every day, in workplaces all over the country, men uphold the image
   that their jobs demand masculine mastery by acting to undermine
   their female colleagues' perceived (or sometimes even actual)
   competence to do the work. The forms of harassment are wide
   ranging. They include characterizing the work as appropriate for
   men only; denigrating women's performance or ability to master the
   job; ... [and] engaging in taunting, pranks, and other forms of
   hazing designed to remind women that they are different and out of
   place.... (50)


Workplace labeling of women as bitches transcends educational, economic, and social standing of both offenders and recipients and, as in politics, is often found in male bastions of high professional achievement and success. (51) An example of such behavior occurred in 2003, when 300 law partners of the newly-merged Boston's Bingham Dana and San Francisco's McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Emersen law firms attended a three-day conference at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (52)

One night, the attendees gathered for an evening of skits and satire. (53) During Bingham's presentation, one of the firm's partners offered a video parody of some of the firm's past advertisements. (54) At one point during the skit, the partner superimposed the faces of two female firm partners over pictures of growling Dobermans, whom he referred to as bitches. (55) This troubling demonstration of sexism by a member of the legal profession is salient evidence that despite federal and state legislation proscriptions against sexual harassment, the prevalent use of the term bitch remains a valuable linguistic tool for devaluing and harassing women solely because of their gender. (56)

Over four decades ago, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted in response to pervasive racial and sex discrimination in the workplace. (57) Title VII provides that it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's sex. (58) Since its passing, the United States Supreme Court has carefully delineated the contours of a Title VII sexual harassment claim.

In the 1986 landmark case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Court first recognized sexual harassment as an actionable form of sex discrimination under Title VII. (59) The Court held that Title VII prohibits not only quid pro quo harassment, but also found that a hostile work environment created by abuse sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the working conditions of employment established a sexual harassment claim. (60) In 1989, the Supreme Court in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins construed Title VII to forbid measuring work performance through conventional perceptions of desirable feminine and masculine behavior. (61) There, the Court found that an employer's statement to a female of "walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry" in regards to improving her chances of partnership, constituted unlawful gender-based stereotyping under Title VII. (62)

Four years later, in 1993, the Court in Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. further refined the standard for meeting the requirements of a Title VII sexual harassment claim. (63) In Harris, the Court affirmed the severe and pervasive standard in Meritor, and further specified that a workplace "permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult" would qualify to "alter the conditions of employment" sufficient to establish a hostile work environment under Title VII. (64) Finally, in 1998, the Court in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. expanded the parameters of Title VII by extending its protection to same-sex sexual harassment. (65) The Court unanimously held that sexual desire need not motivate the harassing conduct, and sex-specific derogatory terms establishing general hostility to the presence of women in the workplace may support an inference of discrimination on the basis of sex. (66) The critical issue, the Court explained, was whether "members of one sex are exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment to which members of the other sex are not exposed." (67)

In addition to its specific pronouncements regarding the scope of Title VII, the United States Supreme Court has condemned the use of unlawful gender stereotypes that subordinate women in politics, at work, and in society at large. In Frontiero v. Richardson, Justice Brennan denounced negative notions of women historically resulting in a plethora of laws "laden with gross, stereotyped distinctions between the sexes." (68)

The Court in Frontiero stated:
   There can be no doubt that our Nation has had a long and
   unfortunate history of sex discrimination. Traditionally, such
   discrimination was rationalized by an attitude of 'romantic
   paternalism' which, in practical effect, put women, not on a
   pedestal, but in a cage.... [I]t can hardly be doubted that ...
   women still face pervasive, although at times more subtle,
   discrimination in our educational institutions, in the job market
   and, perhaps most conspicuously, in the political arena. (69)


Notwithstanding the Court's guidance regarding the appropriate judicial analysis for Title VII sexual harassment claims and its rebuke of gender-based subordination, federal courts continue to improperly grant defendants' motions for summary judgment and vacate plaintiffs' verdicts in cases alleging the most egregious examples of sexual harassment including the use of bitch to offend and demean women. (70)

Consider, for example, the 1996 opinion of the Seventh Circuit in Galloway v. General Motors. (71) There, Rochelle Galloway worked as a packer in the parts department of General Motors from 1976 until 1991. (72) For a year and a half and during her employment at General Motors, Galloway dated co-worker Carl Bullock. (73) After she ended the relationship, and until she quit her job four years later, Bullock verbally harassed Galloway and repeatedly called her a "sick bitch." (74) On one occasion, Bullock told Galloway, "If you don't want me bitch, you won't have a damn thing." (75) Another time, Bullock "made an obscene gesture at her and said 'suck this, bitch.'" (76)

Subsequently, Galloway sued General Motors in federal district court. (77) In the lawsuit, Galloway alleged that Bullock's behavior created a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. (78) On November 28, 1994, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of General Motors, finding that although Bullock's actions were inappropriate, me term "sick bitch" was not overtly sexual in nature and, thus, not sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment under Title VII. (79) Galloway subsequently appealed the district court's ruling. (80)

On April 3, 1996, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the trial court's grant of General Motors' motion for summary judgment. (81) Chief Judge Richard Posner, writing for the court, opined that sick bitch was not a sex or gender-related term and, therefore, not sexual harassment actionable under Title VII. (82) Despite acknowledging that heterosexual males are rarely called bitch, Judge Posner found no automatic inference that Galloway's gender motivated Bullock's choice of the term bitch to repeatedly insult Galloway. (83)
   [Bitch] .... does not necessarily connote some specific female
   characteristic, whether true, false, or stereotypical; it does not
   draw attention to the woman's sexual or maternal characteristics or
   to other respects in which women might be thought to be inferior to
   men in the workplace, or unworthy of equal dignity and respect. In
   its normal usage, it is simply a pejorative term for "woman." (84)


In Galloway, the court supported its analysis through an analogy of the terms bitch and bastard, and concluded that the use of sick bastard against a man in a similar situation would likely not constitute sexual harassment. (85) Such an erroneous comparison displays an essential lack of awareness that unlike bitch, bastard does not evince the feelings of fear and anxiety in men that women experience when called bitch, because historically, women, not men, have been victims of male-on-female sexualization, rape, and sexual abuse. (86) As a result, a woman who is the subject of profanity and verbal abuse reasonably may perceive such behavior as a preamble to violence or assault. (87)

Judge Posner's finding that bitch, although a pejorative term for woman is not gender-related is, at best, confounding. (88) Equally perplexing is his conclusion that in ordering Bullock to "suck this, bitch" while presumably pointing to his groin area, Galloway was not signaling that women are "unworthy of equal dignity and respect." (89) However, it is clear that in his reductionist interpretation of bitch as a non-gendered term, Judge Posner failed to grasp the term's singular ability to offend and debase women solely because of their gender. Despite a compelling factual scenario in Galloway, Judge Posner's conclusion leaves this author confused as to what further demonstration of workplace hostility toward a woman is sufficient to establish a claim of workplace sexual harassment.

More recently, a federal appellate court displayed its judicial cluelessness regarding the profound link between bitch insults and sexual harassment by misapplying the severe and pervasive standard set forth in Meritor for establishing a sexual harassment claim under Title VII. (90) In 2006, the Eleventh Circuit in Mitchell v. Pope, held that sixteen instances of gender-based abuse from 1999 to 2002, which included bitch insults against a female employee, failed to establish an actionable claim under Title VII. (91) Donya Mitchell, a 44 year-old woman, was employed with the Butts County Sheriff's Department in Georgia from 1993 until 2002. (92) In 1998, Mitchell was promoted to Deputy Sheriff and Investigator in the Sheriff's Department. (93) Shortly thereafter, Michael Overbey, a Major in the Sheriff's Department and Mitchell's supervisor, began an onslaught of offensive verbal and physical behavior toward Mitchell. (94)

From 1998 to 2002, Overbey called Mitchell a "frigid bitch" when she refused his attempt to kiss her at a Sheriff's Department Christmas party; he showed up at places he knew Mitchell would be and would tell her "you must be working out" and "you sure do look fine"; and appeared several times in Mitchell's driveway in January 2000, once drunk, when he told Mitchell's son that he loved Mitchell. (95) Overbey further suggested Mitchell wear particular jeans and commented "your ass sure does look fine"; he told her "you can just walk into the room and I'd get an erection"; stood on his tiptoes to look down her shirt; rubbed up against her, whispered in her ear, and put his arm across her chest. (96)

On other occasions, Overbey picked Mitchell up over his head and chased her around the office; he asked her over the Sheriff's Department telephone if she was dressed or naked; opened the door to the women's bathroom and turned the lights off and on while Mitchell was inside; and simulated humping another female employee. (97) Overbey also made sexually derogatory remarks and gestures to Mitchell about a female magistrate judge, he referred to the Sheriff as a "big eared pencil dick motherfucker," and again called Mitchell a "frigid bitch" when, during a convention, she refused to join him in the hotel hot tub. (98) After enduring four years of Overbey's harassment, Mitchell finally quit her employment. (99)

Subsequently, Mitchell filed suit in federal district court, naming as defendants Michael Overbey, Butts County Sheriff Gene Pope, and the Butts County Sheriff's Department. (100) Along with other claims, the complaint alleged sexual harassment in violation of Title VII. (101) On August 17, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment upon a finding that Mitchell did not establish a hostile work environment to support a sexual harassment claim under Title VII. (102) Mitchell appealed to the Eleventh Circuit. (103)

On appeal, Mitchell asserted that the District Court erred in finding that Overbey's actions did not rise to the level of sexual harassment under Title VII. (104) The crux of Mitchell's argument was that Overbey's actions were sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of her employment, thus, creating a discriminatorily abusive working environment. (105) On July 14, 2006, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, and held that Overbey's actions were not sufficiently frequent or severe to interfere with Mitchell's job performance and, thus, did not rise to the level of sexual harassment sufficient to create a hostile work environment. (106)

In support of its finding, the court characterized Overbey's behavior toward Mitchell as mere "horseplay" involving mostly "offensive utterances [that were] not that frequent" in occurrence. (107) The court's depiction of Overbey's conduct as horseplay mirrored the Supreme Court's use of the term "male on male horseplay" in Oncale to describe non-actionable conduct in a sexual harassment claim. (108) In Oncale, the Supreme Court cautioned that fact-finders should not "mistake ordinary socializing in the workplace--such as male-on-male horseplay or intersexual flirtation--for discriminatory 'conditions of employment.'" (109) Clearly, male-on-male and male-on-female interactions that are similar in form are often perceived differently and may have vastly dissimilar effects on women. (110) Nonetheless, in its portrayal of Overbey's unyielding pattern of harassment as horseplay, the Overbey court ignored the underlying gender-based dynamics of male-aggression-female-submission whenever men tease, taunt, or insult women. (111) This type of restrictive and fundamentally flawed analogy is an example of judicial attitudes eviscerating female plaintiffs' claims that incessant and relentless abusive workplace conduct meets the severe and pervasive standard necessary to establish a hostile work environment. (112)

III. BEYOND BITCH

The term bitch, and its unique capacity to wound, remains in wide use to denounce women who violate socially-prescribed gender roles. (113) Clearly, validation of male superiority is most effectively achieved by highlighting women's difference through their alleged shortcomings, ineptitude, and incompetence in the public realm. (114) On this topic, Adrienne Rich wrote poignantly regarding the need to acknowledge gender differences while celebrating its similarities:
   Someday if someday comes we will agree
   that trust is not about safety
   that keeping faith is not about deciding
   to clip our fingernails exactly
   to the same length or wearing
   a uniform that boasts our unanimity
   Someday if someday comes we'll know
   the difference between liberal laissez-faire
   pluralism and the way you cut your hair
   and the way I clench my hand
   against my cheekbone
   both being possible gestures of defiance

   Someday if there's a someday we will
   bring food, you'll say I can't eat what you've brought
   I'll say Have some in the name of our
   trying to be friends, you'll say What about you?
   we'll taste strange meant and we'll admit
   we've tasted stranger.... (115)


This writing provokes the inquiry of what changes are necessary within the legal and social realms to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the gendered hierarchical power structure affecting women on a daily basis.

In delineating the limits of acceptable behavior, the judiciary plays an important role in penalizing those who engage in workplace sexual harassment. Of concern, however, is whether in applying the severe and pervasive requirement of Title VII, an overwhelmingly male judiciary is capable of fully perceiving gender-based workplace hostility from the perspective of a woman. (116) Arguably, because men historically have not been victims of sexual assault, male judges have only a limited grasp on the reality that, often, a reasonable woman perceives workplace hostility as a precursor to more aggressive, and ultimately violent, sexual behavior against her. (117) Nonetheless, various appellate courts have found that abusive behavior against women, including the bitch epithet, is sufficient to establish a hostile work environment. (118) Hopefully, those opinions are a predictor of a future decrease in judicial exoneration of workplace behavior comprising unlawful sexual harassment against women.

Even if the judiciary develops an increased collective sensitivity to proscribed illegitimate stereotypes and gender-based workplace hostility toward women, courts remain on the periphery in eliminating the deeply-entrenched social animus exhibited by both genders toward women who depart from their assigned feminine script calling for submission and subjugation. (119) In the culture at large, to avoid being maligned, a powerful woman must appear strong yet empathetic, without seeming shrill or emotional. As a result, not only are women deemed bitches for exhibiting traditionally masculine characteristics, but displays of feminine attributes garner accusations of being overly sensitive. For example, while speaking to New Hampshire voters in 2007, Senator Hillary Clinton was asked how she remained so "wonderful and upbeat" during the campaign. Her voice cracking, she answered: "This is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public." (120) Thereafter, Senator Clinton was ridiculed by political commentators who argued that "[s]he pretended to cry, the women felt sorry for her ..." (121) and asked whether "Hillary [could] cry her way back to the White House." (122) One commentator aptly described this "double bind" as "endless and impossible ordeals like those devised for witches by their inquisitors. If they drown, they are innocent; if they float, they are guilty." (123)

In emerging from the impossible Catch-22 that works to contain them, women must support their common agenda in realizing their potential without fear of name-calling or retaliation. (124) On this subject, one legal scholar provides an excellent approach:
   When women cross the predictable lines of party, or neighborhood,
   or class, or employer, or division, when we don't fall for
   divide-and-conquer, that alone conveys power. When the women in
   Congress decide to work together, nothing can stop them.... They
   can insist on not being the only woman in the room....

   Men dominate politics not because they have more to say, but
   because they think they do. We give it to them. We don't act as
   women. We don't use the power that comes when people act
   collectively to further their collective interests. (125)


When women stop internalizing the gender stereotypes that impede their progress and start recognizing that the power of one can lead to power in others, they will transform the existing paradigm of gender-based boundaries. Only then will a woman be able to cultivate her strength, ability, and power without being rejected as a bitch.

IV. CONCLUSION

For decades, the term bitch has been widely used to denounce, harass, and abuse women who cross gender-defined boundaries. In the political arena, the frequent levying of bitch-laden invective against women evinces a deeply-entrenched lack of understanding regarding the term's ability to wound women in profound ways. Similarly, courts' dismissive treatment of bitch insults against women in Title VII sexual harassment cases demonstrates a troublesome judicial failure to grasp the word's efficacy in offending and debasing women solely because of their gender. In stripping away the power of gender-based insults to reinforce the existing gender hierarchy, women must reject the social model labeling power, control, and authority as inherently masculine qualities. Additionally, women must disavow the social perception of power as unattractive, unfeminine, and a threat to their identity. In doing so, women will effectively disable those who employ bitch and similar insults from containing them within strictly-defined parameters, and will ease the path toward strength, influence, and clout in both private and public realms.

YVONNE A. TAMAYO (1)

(1.) Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law; J.D., Loyola University School of Law; B.S., Louisiana State University. I wish to thank Kate Nace Day for helping me discover the brilliant writings of Adrienne Rich, and Cristy McClelland for providing my daily dose of laughter. Additional thanks to Andrea Breinholdt and Amanda Keller for their excellent assistance in research. Financial support for this article was provided by the Willamette University College of Law.

(2.) YouTube.com, Ludacris, Obama Is Here (Music Video), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c9DuavThNI (last visited Feb. 9, 2009).

(3.) Online Etymology Dictionary, Bitch, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=bitch&searchmode=none (last visited Oct. 22, 2008). The first recorded use of the term bitch occurred around the year 1400. Id.; see also Evelyn Shih, Can They Say That? As the Culture Evolves, Foul Words Become Fair, N. J. REC., Apr. 22, 2007, at E01. See generally 1811 DICTIONARY OF THE VULGAR TONGUE 29 (defining bitch as the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore).

(4.) See McCollum v. Smith, 199 S.W. 271, 272 (Mo. Ct. App. 1917) (finding that the defendant stated "the boys have been hanging around her like a pack of dogs after a bitch").

(5.) E.g., Schurick v. Kollman, 50 Ind. 336, 336 (Ind. 1875) (giving an example of a woman referred to as the damned bitch who stole my watch).

(6.) Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitch (last visited Oct. 21, 2008); see also Beverly Gross, Bitch, SALMAGUNDI Q., Summer 1994, at 146 (explaining that bitch is sometimes used to describe a woman considered too aggressive or careerist). For purposes of this article, the terms sex and gender are used interchangeably.

(7.) Cf. Gross, supra note 6, at 147.

(8.) ADRIENNE RICH, THE DREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE 3 (1993).

(9.) See Nobelprice.org, Marie Currie--Frequently Asked Questions, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1911/marie- curie-faq.html (last visited Aug. 8, 2008).

(10.) See Nanny Froman, Marie and Pierre Currie and the Discovery of Polonium and Radium, Dec. 1, 1996, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/articles/curie/index.html.

(11.) See NANCY HARTSOCK, MONEY, SEX AND POWER: TOWARD A FEMINIST HISTORICAL MATERIALISM 2, 6 (Nicole Benevento ed., 1983); see also SETH KREISBERG, TRANSFORMING POWER: DOMINATION, EMPOWERMENT, AND EDUCATION 46 (1992) ("[M]asculinity is closely tied to every form of power in our society....").

(12.) See, e.g., DENNIS H. WRONG, POWER: ITS FORMS, BASES AND USES 2 (Harper and Row 1979) (2002) ("Power is the capacity of some persons to produce intended and foreseen effects on others."); see also MARILYN FRENCH, BEYOND POWER: ON WOMEN, MEN AND MORALS 505 (1985) (explaining that power is "a property possessed by an actor that enables him to alter the will or actions of others so that they conform to his will); HARTSOCK, supra note 11, at 6 ("Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac....").

(13.) See HARTSOCK, supra note 11, at 2.

(14.) See generally WRONG, supra note 12.

(15.) Id.

(16.) Karrin Vasby Anderson, "Rhymes With Rich": Bitch as a Tool of Containment in Contemporary American Politics, RHETORIC & PUBLIC AFFAIRS 2, 1999, 600-01.

(17.) Id. at 603. Mrs. Bush later claimed that the word she had in mind was "witch," and subsequently apologized to Ferraro, saying that she "certainly didn't mean anything by it." Id.

(18.) Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

(19.) Gingrich Cries Foul Over Mom's Whisper, SACRAMENTO BEE, Jan. 5, 1995, at A1 [hereinafter Gingrich Cries Foul].

(20.) Id.

(21.) See Doug Thompson, Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Bitch, CAPITAL HILL BLUE, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/3815.

(22.) See Press Release, Center for American Women & Politics, Election Results Show Advances for Women, 1, 2 (Nov. 8, 2006), available at http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast-facts/elections/documents/ Post_election06-press.pdf. In 2007, there were only at least seventy women in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives, sixteen women in the hundred-member Senate, and nine women governors in our fifty states. Id.; see also Women in State Policy Leadership, 1998-2005, http://www.cwig.albany.edu/APMSG2006.htm (last visited Oct. 30, 2008).

(23.) David Bauder, MSNBC's Chris Matthews: I Wronged Clinton with Remark, USATODAY.COM, Jan. 18, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2008.01.17.matthews_N.htm. On January 17, 2008 MSNBC Hardball commentator Chris Matthews remarked: "Let's not forget, and I'll be brutal, the reason ... [Hillary Clinton is] a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner, is that her husband messed around." Id.

(24.) See, e.g., BARBARA A. GUTEK, SEX AND THE WORKPLACE: THE IMPACT OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND HARASSMENT ON WOMEN, MEN AND ORGANIZATIONS 100, 127, 166-67 (1985) (stating that men's focus on women's sexuality in the workplace trivializes women's work performance); see also Beardsley v. Webb, 30 F.3d 524, 528 (4th Cir. 1994) (discussing a case about a supervisor who was accused of sexually harassing the highest ranking female in the sheriff's office and stated that "she had chosen to work in a field primarily occupied by men and that if she didn't like it she could just get out"); CATHARINE A. MACKINNON, TOWARD A FEMINIST THEORY OF THE STATE 127, 127 (1989) (discussing that in the area of sexual harassment, male behavior exhibiting dominance over women is sexual in nature).

(25.) See generally Jonathan Tilove, How Offensive Can Hillary Foes Be?, STARTRIBUNE.COM, Dec. 9, 2007, http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/12264186.html (highlighting that the social networking site Facebook contains numerous anti-Hillary groups including: Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich; Life's a Bitch, Why Vote for One? Anti-Hillary '08; and a T-shirt stating: Hillary for President. She Puts the C--in Country).

(26.) See Media Matters for America, UPDATED: CNN's Castellanos on Clinton as "White Bitch": "[S]ome Women, by the Way, Are Named that and It's Accurate," http://www.mediamatters.org/items/200805210002 (last visited Oct. 30, 2008). Referring to Clinton, Castellanos stated: "She is a tough--... tough in politics.... [S]he can be a very abrasive, aggressive, irritating person.... Id. "[S]he's very good at playing the professional victim until she gets up closely.... [A]nd then can put a knife in your ribs." Id.

(27.) See Marc Santora, Pointed Question Puts McCain in a Tight Spot, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 14, 2007, at A19. The questioner was referring to Hillary Clinton. See id.

(28.) See Media Matters for America, CNN's, ABC's Beck on Clinton: "[S]he's the Stereotypical Bitch," http://www.mediamatters.org/items/200703150011 (last visited Oct. 30, 2008).

(29.) See generally Philip Elliott, Sexist Hecklers Interrupt Hillary: "Iron My Shirt!," HUFFINGTON POST, Jan. 7, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/07/ sexist-hecklers-interrupt_n_80361.html (highlighting the sexist hecklers Hillary endured at the New Hampshire Primary).

(30.) Id.

(31.) See Media Matters for America, Limbaugh Returned to "Testicle Lockbox"; Claimed Clinton "Reminds Men of the Worst Characteristics of Women," http://mediamatters.org/items/200802150004?f=s_search (last visited Oct. 30, 2008). Discussing the Democratic presidential nomination race on February 14, 2008, Limbaugh stated:

"[Sen. Hillary Rodham] Clinton's testicle lockbox is big enough for the entire Democrat hierarchy, not just some people in the media.... Her lockbox, her testicle lockbox can handle everybody in the Democrat hierarchy...."

... [A] lot of it's attitudinal--she just--she reminds men of the worst characteristics of women they've encountered over their life: totally controlling, not soft and cuddly. Not sympathetic. Not patient. Not understanding. Demanding, domineering.... Id.

(32.) Media Matters for America, Tucker on Sen. Clinton: "[T]here's Just Something About Her that Feels Castrating, Overbearing, and Scary," http://mediamatters.org/items/200703200013 (last visited Feb. 12, 2009); Media Matters for America, Tucker Carlson on Clinton: "When She Comes on Television, I Involuntarily Cross my Legs," http://mediamatters.org/items/200707180009 (last visited on February 9, 2009).

(33.) Media Matters for America, Imus Smeared Hillary Clinton, "That Buck-Toothed Witch, Satan," and Gore, "The Phoniest Bastard on the Planet," http://www.mediamatters.org/items/200605250001 (last visited Oct. 30, 2008).

(34.) See SUSANNA MORRISON, COLD SNAP: THE SORCERESS PROBLEM 217, 223 (Susan Morrison ed., 2008). Referring to Clinton, one female author has noted that in "Clinton's charmless insistence on control, she makes demands on us that are unsettling, if not frightening.. .. 'What does she want? What more can she want? What can she want more of? She wants the most.'" Id.

(35.) Lauren K. Auerbach & Tom Allison, Report: Maureen Dowd Repeatedly Uses Gender to Mock Democrats, Jun. 10, 2008, http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/87666/report%3 A_maureen_dowd_repeatedly_uses_gender_to_mock_democrats/?page=1. Dowd referred to Clinton's vying for the Democratic nomination as the "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," and has described Clinton as masculine, aggressive, and domineering. Id. On March 23, 2007, Dowd wrote:
   It's impossible to imagine The Terminator ... giving up. Unless
   every circuit is out, she'll regenerate enough to claw her way out
   of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama's
   wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams.


Id.

(36.) Katha Pollitt, The H-Bomb, ELLE, Jan. 2008, available at http://www.elle.com/featurefullstory/12603/ hillary-clinton-elle-magazine-january-2008.

(37.) Andi Zeisler, The B-Word? You Betcha, WASH. POST, Nov. 18, 2007, at B01 available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/ AR2007111601202.html. Zeisler defines bitch as:
   [A] word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong,
   angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We
   use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's
   catcalls or smile when they say, "Cheer up, baby, it can't be that
   bad." We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and
   doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back
   down from a confrontation.

   ... Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we've done
   everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a
   constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be
   scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine--and sees uncompromising
   speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world. Id.


(38.) See Deborah L. Rhode, The Subtle Side of Sexism, 16 COLUM. J. GENDER 8l; L. 613, 631-32 (2007). In many workplaces, a woman's physical attractiveness is often more important than merit-based attributes leading to salary raises and promotions. Id. at 632; see also STEVE JEFFES, APPEARANCE IS EVERYTHING 37, 42, 52 (1998).

(39.) SUSAN ESTRICH, SEX & POWER 237 (2000).

(40.) See ROSEMARY AGONITO, NO MORE "NICE GIRL": POWER, SEXUALITY AND SUCCESS IN THE WORKPLACE 118-19 (1993).
   From early childhood, girls are taught that their well-being and
   ultimate success is contingent upon acting in certain stereotypical
   ways, such as being polite, soft-spoken, compliant, and
   relationship- oriented. Throughout their lifetimes, this is
   reinforced through media, family, and social messages. It's not
   that women consciously act in self-sabotaging ways; they simply act
   in ways consistent with their learning experiences. Attempts to act
   counter to this socialized role are met with
   ridicule, disapproval, and scorn.


LOIS P. FRANKEL, PH.D., NICE GIRLS DON'T GET THE CORNER OFFICE, at xvi (Warner Business Books 2004).

(41.) AGONITO, supra note 40, at 118-19.
   Ultimately, women's apparent aversion for power and money is
   symptomatic of deeper problems. I suspect we don't think we're
   worthy. And why would we think we're worthy when the world around
   us says we're not? .... We [women] don't recognize power in
   ourselves and we don't use it. This is sometimes true of men, but
   mostly it's true of women.


Id.

(42.) See Michael Cooper and Elisabeth Bumiller, Alaskan Is McCain's Choice; First Woman on G.O.P. Ticket, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 30, 2008, at A1.

(43.) See id.

(44.) See Nico Pitney, Palin Laughs as Opponent Is Called Bitch, Cancer, Mocked For Her Weight, HUFFINGTON POST, Aug. 31, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/31/ palin-laughs-as-opponent_n_122776.html.

(45.) See id.

(46.) Lily Zaho, Power of Pantsuit, HILITE ONLINE, Sept. 11, 2008, http://www.hilite.org/archives/920. During her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary asked her supporters, "the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits" to support Barack Obama. See Sarah Janecek, The Sisterhood of Traveling Wet Naps, SAINT PAUL LEGAL LEDGER REPORT, Sept. 8, 2008, http://www.politicsinminnesota.com/2008/sep/08/ sisterhood_traveling.wet_naps.

(47.) Alaskan: Governor Babe for VP!, http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_022808/content/ 01125113.guest.html (last visited Oct. 30, 2008). Rush Limbaugh remarked about Sarah Palin: "[S]he's a babe. I saw a picture." Id.

(48.) See BARBARA A. GUTEK, SEX AND THE WORKPLACE: THE IMPACT OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND HARASSMENT ON WOMEN, MEN AND ORGANIZATIONS 119 (1985) (explaining how men sexualize women in employment settings to punish them for joining male-dominated workplaces); see also Nancy S. Ehrenreich, Pluralist Myths and Powerless Men: The Ideology of Reasonableness in Sexual Harassment Law, 99 YALE L.J. 1177, 1227-29 (examining sexual harassment as male workers' response to women's changing roles in society).

(49.) See Brief for American Psychological Association as Amicus Curiae Supporting Respondent, Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1988) (No. 87-1167), 1988 WL 1025869 (stating that women comprising less than fifteen percent of workplace population are more likely to experience intense sex discrimination); see also Susan Fiske & Peter Glick, Ambivalence and Stereotypes Cause Sexual Harassment: A Theory with Implications for Organizational Change, 51 J. SOC. ISSUES 97, 103-10 (1995) (examining sex-stereotyping in sex-segregated employment settings).

(50.) Vicki Schultz, Reconceptualizing Sexual Harassment, 107 YALE L.J. 1683, 1687 (1998).

(51.) Id. at 1747, 1756-57.

(52.) Matt Fleischer-Black, A Lesson in Damage Control, The American Lawyer, 1/2003 AMLAW 13, January 2003; see also Susan Beck, A Series of Fortunate Events, The American Lawyer, 2/2005 AMLAW 74, February 2005.

(53.) See Fleischer-Black, supra note 52, at 14.

(54.) See id. at 15.

(55.) Id. at 15.

(56.) See 42 U.S.C. [section] 2000e-2(a)(1) (2006); see also Stephanie B. Goldberg, A Sexual Harassment Retrospective: Where Are We Today?, Perspectives, ABA COMMISSION ON WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION, Winter 2004, at 8 (stating that the 1993 National Law Journal Survey on Harassment found that over half of responding women reported sexual harassment).

(57.) See 42 U.S.C. [section] 2000e-2(a). Title VII provides that:

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer--

(1) to fail to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's

race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Id.

(58.) 42 U.S.C. [section] 20003-2(a)(1).

(59.) Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 66-67 (1986). The Court stated that Title VII was intended to "strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women" and to provide a remedy for "discrimination based on sex ... [that] create[s] a hostile or abusive work environment." Id. at 64, 66.

(60.) See id. at 65.

(61.) See Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 228 (1989).

(62.) See id. at 272-73.

(63.) See Harris v. Forklift Sys., 510 U.S. 17, 21-22 (1993).

(64.) Id. at 21.

(65.) Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., 523 U.S. 75, 80-81 (1998) ("A trier of fact might reasonably find ... discrimination ... if a female victim is harassed in such sex-specific and derogatory terms by another woman as to make it clear that the harasser is motivated by general hostility to the presence of women in the workplace.").

(66.) See id. at 80.

(67.) Id. ("[H]arassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire to support an inference of discrimination on the basis of sex .... The critical issue ... is whether members of one sex are exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment to which members of the other sex are not exposed.").

(68.) Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677, 685 (1973).

(69.) Id. at 684-86; see also J.E.B. v. Alabama, 511 U.S. 127,136 (1994).

(70.) See, e.g., Mitchell v. Pope, 189 F. App'x 911, 914 (11th Cir. 2006); see also Theresa M. Beiner, The Misuse of Summary Judgment in Hostile Environment Cases, 34 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 71, 111 (1999); Ann Juliano & Stewart J. Schwab, The Sweep of Sexual Harassment Cases, 86 CORNELL L. REV. 548, 548 (2001) (surveying federal court decisions on workplace sexual harassment from 1986 to 1995); M. Isabel Median, A Matter of Fact: Hostile Environments and Summary Judgments, 8 S. CAL. REV. L. & WOMEN'S STUD. 311, 311 (1999).

(71.) Galloway v. General Motors Serv. Parts Operations (Galloway Appellate Decision), 78 F.3d 1164, 1165 (7th Cir. 1996).

(72.) See id.

(73.) See Galloway v. General Motors Serv, Parts Operations, Memorandum Opinion and Order (Galloway Trial Court Decision), 1994 WL 673061, 1 (N.D.Ill. 1994).

(74.) Id. at 1-2. During 1986 and 1987, Ms. Galloway twice suffered from psychiatric disorders requiring hospitalization. See also Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F. 3d at 1165.

(75.) Galloway Trial Court Decision, 1994 WL 673061 at 2.

(76.) Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F. 3d at 1165.

(77.) Galloway Trial Court Decision, 1994 WL 673061 at 1.

(78.) Id. at 2.

(79.) Id. at 3; see also Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67 (1986). A "mere utterance of an ... epithet which engenders offensive feelings in an employee" does not sufficiently affect the conditions of employment to implicate Title VII. See Meritor Savings Bank, 477 U.S. at 67 (citing Rogers v. E.E.O.C., 454 F.2d 234, 238 (5th Cir. 1972)).

(80.) See Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F.3d at 1165, overruled in part on other grounds by Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101, 106-17 (2002).

(81.) Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F.3d at 1164.

(82.) See id. at 1167.

(83.) See id. at 1168.

(84.) Id.; see also Benjamin v. Metro. Sch. Dist. Lawrence Twp., 2002 WL 977661 at 3 (S.D. Ind. 2002); Reyes v. McDonald Pontiac-GMC Truck Inc., 997 F. Supp. 614, 618 (D. N.J.1998).

(85.) See Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F.3d at 1168. See generally Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary 2008, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bastard (last visited Aug. 29, 2008) (defining bastard as "an illegitimate child"; "something that is spurious, irregular, inferior, of questionable origin"; "an offensive or disagreeable person--used as a generalized term of abuse").

(86.) See Ellison v. Brady, 924 F.2d 872, 879 (9th Cir. 1991) (noting that "women are disproportionately victims of rape and sexual assault [and, thus,] ... have a stronger incentive to be concerned with sexual behavior").

(87.) See generally Robert J. Gregory, You Can Call Me a Bitch Just Don't Use the "N-Word": Some Thoughts on Galloway v. General Motors Service Parts Operations and Rodgers v. Western-Southern Life Insurance Co., 46 DEPAUL L. REV. 741, 768 (1997) ("Men have a history of abusing women and are prone to do so, most often, in the context of failed or failing personal relationships. In that context, the use of the derogatory word 'bitch' or the phrase 'suck this, bitch' can, in the mind of a reasonable woman, conjure up the entire history of male-on-female abuse.").

(88.) Galloway Appellate Decision, 78 F.3d at 1167.

(89.) Id. at 1168.

(90.) See Perini/Kiewit/Cashman v. Mass. Comm'n Against Discrimination, No. 045322, 2006 WL 2423630, at *6 (Mass. Super. July 27, 2006) (holding that the remark "dumb bitch" was not gender-based, but charged by an employer's frustration with plaintiff's poor work performance); see also Hocevar v. Purdue Frederick Co., 223 F.3d 721, 737 (8th Cir. 2000) (finding that employer's pervasive use of bitch did not establish misogynist attitude towards plaintiff); Reyes v. McDonald Pontiac-GMC Truck Inc., 997 F. Supp. 614, 617 (D. N.J. 1998) (holding that references to plaintiff as bitch and Queen Bee related to her job performance and were not gender-related); Kriss v. Sprint Comm. Co., 58 F.3d 1276, 1281 (8th Cir. 1995) (holding that the term bitch does not establish "a general misogynist attitude" and is not "particularly probative of gender discrimination").

(91.) See Mitchell v. Pope, No. 05-14927, 2006 WL 1976011, at *2 (11th Cir. 2006).

(92.) Mitchell v. Overbey, No. 5:03-CV-157(WDO), 2005 WL 1983839, at *1-4 (M.D.Ga. 2005) (depicting the factual background leading up to the plaintiff's Title VII claim).

(93.) See Mitchell, 2006 WL 1976011, at *1, *2.

(94.) See id. at *2.

(95.) Id.

(96.) Id.

(97.) See id.

(98.) Mitchell, 2006 WL 1976011, at *2.

(99.) See id. at *2.

(100.) See Mitchell v. Overbey, No. 5:03-CV-157(WDO), 2005WL1983839, at *1 (M.D.Ga. 2005).

(101.) See id. Mitchell also alleged violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, 42 U.S.C. [section][section] 1983, 1985, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and various state laws. Id.

(102.) See id. at *11.

(103.) See Mitchell v. Pope, No. 05-14927, 2006 WL 1976011, at *1 (11th Cir. 2006). On appeal, Mitchell did not raise her claims arising under 42 U.S.C. [section] 1985, the First Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Georgia state law. See id. at *1.

(104.) See id. at *1. Mitchell also asserted 42 U.S.C. [section] 1983 claims. Id. The court considered the Title VII and [section] 1983 claims together. Id.; see also Hardin v. Stynchcomb, 691 F.2d 1364, 1369 (11th Cir.1982) (holding that when [section] 1983 is used as a parallel remedy for Title VII violations, the elements of the two causes of action are the same).

(105.) See Pope, 2006 WL 1976011, at *1. Mitchell argued that Overbey's actions also resulted in an alteration of her duties and subsequent constructive discharge, resulting in a "tangible employment action." Id.

(106.) See id. at *2.

(107.) Id.

(108.) See Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., 523 U.S. 75, 81 (1998).

(109.) Id.

(110.) See id. (distinguishing a professional football player getting smacked on the buttocks by his coach as he heads onto the field, even if the same behavior would reasonably be experienced as abusive by the coach's secretary, male or female, back at the office). Studies confirm that women are much more likely than men to be negatively affected by workplace attention containing sexual overtones. See GUTEK, supra note 48, at 46, 96 (reporting that 62.8% of women and 15% of men stated that they would be insulted if asked to have sex by a co-worker).

(111.) See Vicki Schultz, supra note 50, at 1760 (noting that "[b]y keeping women in their place in the workplace, men secure superior status in the home, in the polity, and in the larger culture as well").

(112.) See id. at 1690.

(113.) See Anderson, supra note 16, at 602 ("Bitch represents the domesticated animal that has gone wrong, that bites the hand that feeds it. A female dog in heat or protecting her young will growl, threaten, or even bite her owner; she is ... uncontrollable."); see also KIRA HALL & MARY BUCHOLTZ, GENDER ARTICULATED: LANGUAGE AND THE SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED SELF 279, 281 (1995) (noting that men flee from bitches because they have reverted to wild animals, usurped the master's control and taken over his territory).

(114.) See CAROLINE A. FORELL & DONNA M. MATTHEWS, A LAW OF HER OWN: THE REASONABLE WOMAN AS A MEASURE OF MAN 3 (2001).

(115.) ADRIENNE RICH, TIME'S POWER 9 (1989).

(116.) See FORELL & MATTHEWS, supra note 114, at 3-6.

(117.) See, e.g., Romaniszak-Sanchez v. Int'l Union of Operating Eng'r., 121 F. App'x. 140, 145 (7th Cir. 2005) (noting that the appellate court found that the comments at issue were not severe and pervasive because it "did not involve specific sexual comments"); see also Freitag v. Ayers, 463 F.3d 838, 849 (9th Cir. 2006) (stating that in order to establish a hostile work environment, "plaintiff must prove that ... she was subjected to verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature").

(118.) Consider these opinions as examples recognizing the use of the term bitch as sufficiently gendered and offensive to establish an element of a sexual harassment claim: E.E.O.C. v. PVNF, L.L.C., 487 F.3d 790, 799 (10th Cir. 2007); Costa v. Desert Palace, Inc., 299 F.3d 838, 845-46 (9th Cir. 2002); Excel Corp. v. Bosley, 165 F.3d 635, 639, 641 (8th Cir. 1999); Winsor v. Hinckley Dodge, Inc., 79 F.3d 996, 1000-01 (10th Cir. 1996) (finding that the steady stream of epithets against plaintiff including "fine bitch" gave rise to claim under Title VII); Burns v. McGregor Elec. Indus., Inc., 989 F.2d 959, 965 (8th Cir. 1993) (explaining that "[v]ulgar and offensive epithets such as [bitch] are 'widely recognized as not only improper but as intensely degrading, deriving their power to wound not only for their meaning but also from the disgust and violence they express phonetically.'") (quoting Katz v. Dole, 709 F.2d 251,254 (4th Cir.1983)); Huddleston v. Roger Dean Chevrolet Inc., 845 F.2d 900, 902 (11th Cir. 1988) (calling plaintiff bitch constituted sexual harassment); Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., 824 F. Supp. 847, 883 (D. Minn. 1993) (using language such as bitch in the workplace may give rise to an inference of sex-based discrimination).

(119.) See supra note 118 and accompanying text.

(120.) See Deborah L. Rhode, The Subtle Side of Sexism, 16 COLUM. J. GENDER & L. 613, 634 (2007) ("Law has been of limited effectiveness in addressing the subtle side of sexism.... [I]t has only indirect and often imperceptible impact on many cultural norms that underpin gender inequality. Moreover, the restricted scope of antidiscrimination remedies and the costs of enforcement often place law out of reach in all but the clearest cases.").

(121.) See Dhalia Lithwick, Viewpoint: The Tracks of Her Tears, TIME, Jan. 10, 2008, http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1702121,00.html.

(122.) See Lithwick, supra note 121.

(123.) ERICA JONG, WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? 5 (Penguin ed., Penguin Group 2007) (1998).

(124.) See Rhode, supra note 120, at 621 ("[W]omen ... internalize [gender] stereotypes.... They generally see themselves as less deserving than men of rewards for the same performance and less qualified for key leadership positions."); see also DEBORAH L. RHODE, THE DIFFERENCE "DIFFERENCE" MAKES: WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP 9 (Deborah L. Rhode ed., 2003); JENNIFER L. LAWLESS & RICHARD L. FOX, IT TAKES A CANDIDATE: WHY WOMEN DON'T RUN FOR OFFICE 4 (2005).

(125.) ESTRICH, supra note 39, at 240.
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