Bitch Quota

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Bitch quota is a term used by some businessmen and professionals to indicate that women have been hired solely to fulfill the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements.

In media, it indicates that a certain show—especially an action-adventure series—shows one or more women working alongside men because the network has asked for it. Male actors on some of these shows have expressed dislike for women co-stars and have been said by insiders to undermine and sabotage them so they'll have to be fired. "According to more than one fan, it was borderline intentional; i.e., play all of the scenes with her completely flat, and they'll have to admit that her character doesn't fit." [1]

Bitch quota can also refer to how many times per day a woman can be unpleasant or unreasonble.

Feminist cultural analyst Susan Faludi talks about the bitch quota in media in her book The Terror Dream. The book points out how part of American society's response to the September 11, 2001 attacks was an almost kneejerk reflex of portraying women as helpless and in need of rescue, and men as courageous and powerful saviours. This was especially reflected in the media.

The popular cable television series Rescue Me, about ficitonal New York City firefighters after 9-11, revolved around an all-male firehouse brimming with buff studs in which women figured as bitchy ex-girlfriends, harridan wives, or, most frequently, 'booty call' nymphets in spandex whose character development generally followed an arc from brain-dead sex machine to Fatal Attraction psychotic. Toward the end of the show's first season, a lone firewoman was introduced to the house: "The bean counters lower their standards so they can make their bitch quotas", the chief gripes to his men. She isn't up to the job, can't win the acceptance of the "brothers", initiates an affair with one of the firemen in the house -- and is eliminated from the script by the end of the second season.[2]


  1. ^ Sandy Herrold, "talking about the 'I hate grrls' club on the set (not just the two leads, but everybody up to the producers)". Post in her Dreamwidth journal, dated 2008-11-19.
  2. ^ Susan Faludi, The Terror Dream: Fear & Fantasy in Post 9-11 America (New York: Holt, 2007).