Quick! Write down the first three words you think of when you hear the word “catty.” Are they distinctly feminine? Did “girl/s” show up as one of the words? Is it essentially a synonym for “bitchy?”
I think it’s time we started a movement to STOP USING THE WORD “CATTY.” It’s mean, it’s inaccurate, and it’s exclusively used to describe women. It especially puts young women in a specific box, and the use of this word extends all the way through adulthood (critiques of women in workplaces almost always starts with the typical “Well, women are so ‘catty’ they’re just hard to work with”). It’s also become a kind of go-to word for women to describe other women, which results in a soft complicity in perpetuating the myth that women are somehow more “petty,” “biting,” or “backhanded” than men.
I’m happy the “Ban Bossy” campaign is taking off, because “bossy” isn’t a word that should be gender-focused, but I think we can take it even further and start eliminating other sexist words that pervade our thinking and speech. I propose we take steps to get rid of that inane word “catty.”
What say you, everyone? Is it time we stopped using the word “catty?”
As usual, sound off in the comments!