Why does everything pertaining to strong women now have to fall under the category of badassery? There are so many groups of bold women online, so many websites geared toward women who want to lead a more adventurous life that seem as if they would be interesting or inspirational, but always, there comes that word — badass — which grates on my soul and makes me turn off my computer.

For one thing, the word makes me wonder why their behinds would be called bad. If the women are as athletic as they are portrayed, for sure they’d have good buttock musculature.

For another, the word is vulgar, vulgarity seems such a cheat, especially to one who loves words.

And, of course, the word is now incredibly trite. If every woman is a badass, then none are as special as they think they are.

Look at the words I’ve used so far to describe such women: bold, adventurous, strong, inspirational. And there are many others that would be as colorful: fierce, independent, rebellious, powerful, tough, intrepid, daring, audacious, free-spirited, awe-inspiring, formidable, admirable. Any one of those words makes badass seem namby-pamby. And any of those words I would gladly claim if I could. But badass? Never.

That’s all. As you were.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

9 Responses to “Badassery”

  1. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I’m not a fan of that word because, traditionally, being a “bad ass” was all negative. Now it’s being touted as a badge of honor, of fighting for the sisterhood, of denouncing the patriarchy. Well, those are good things, but that doesn’t change my mind about the term “badass.”

  2. Constance Says:

    I believe that men created that word. It was not meant to be a nice adjective.

  3. GlacierLife Says:

    With societal changes comes changes in language, attitude, etc. Unfortunately, I think using the whole ‘badass’ thing is actually just a cry for attention. Everyone wants their five seconds fame, but aren’t willing to do the exceptionally hard work and hustle to achieve it. That’s why I think they have to use words like “badass” and fall in line with the media’s ideal of strong to get those five seconds. I’m a millennial, so it’s pure spit-balling, but I honestly believe it’s bread out of laziness and a desire for instant gratification.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Badassery – love it!

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