With her new book, "Bitch: A Definitive and Restorative Guide," Redondo Beach author Arnette Wright Travis takes a serious look at how and why the B-word has become a synonym for women.
Travis says she was inspired to write the book from her 26 years in a male-dominated profession working as a stock broker and financial adviser.
“I would hear guys under their breath refer to other women as being a bitch," she said. "But it was my former assistant who really gob-smacked me with the word. She was introducing me at a party as being ‘really nice now’ but that I used to be a ‘real bitch.’”
The author notes that she was always offended by the word even as a child. “There’s nothing cool about it, but now women are adopting it as a legitimate word. It’s used to represent a strong female figure.”
Travis wants people to know her book is really a wake-up call about the word, which she says should be retired.
“It’s a really in-your-face word, and you should be offended by it," she said. "Words have been retired before—I heard a comedian say that, and it makes sense. Don’t use it so much, be mindful of what you’re saying.”
Travis says women can be strong and confident without accepting a degrading moniker.
"We don’t have to be a ‘bitch,’ even if the mainstream has adopted it.”
As research for the book, Travis says she interviewed more than 300 women, just starting up conversations regardless of where she was, from movie theater lines to the Leadership Redondo group she joined.
"The change in tone was in response to legislation throughout the country that undermined women’s issues, undermined Planned Parenthood, and then of course the election itself,” she said.
Travis says that at her book launch at the Redondo Waterfront Information Center last Sunday, most attendees embraced the idea behind the book.
“They realized it was not a celebration of the word, that it is something different, a word that should be retired.”
Travis is planning other books including a fictionalized account of local politics and some biographical projects.
Ten percent of Travis' book sales during the launch will be donated to the Beach Cities Cycling Club Best Buddies team. The book is available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.