Everyone Knows What Bitchiness Is

“[McMaster University psychology professor Tracy] Vaillancourt has studied women’s aggression techniques for several years; in a 2011 study hilariously titled ‘Intolerance of Sexy Peers,’ she and her research partner Anachal Sharma recorded college-aged women’s reactions when they unexpectedly encountered a thin, blond woman in khakis and a plain t-shirt and then again when the same woman wore a mini-skirt, low-cut top, and tall black boots. Then they showed the footage to a group of other women and asked them to rate the level of ‘bitchiness’ in each reaction. (The term ‘bitchy’ is used in the study.) As Vaillancourt explains, ‘when we called it “indirect aggression,” none of our subjects knew what we were talking about. With “bitchy,” we didn’t even have to explain it.’”