Heartless Bitches International
Type of site
|E-zine / community|
|Created by||Natalie P.|
Heartless Bitches International is a humorous website primarily targeted at women. It was started as a joke in 1996 by Ottawa, Canada software developer "Natalie P", satirizing the stereotype that all assertive, strong women are "heartless bitches". It is now a repository of thousands of articles, primarily dealing with the expectations and stereotypes that society tries to enforce on men and women, the problems they cause, and how to overcome them.
The website particularly rejects "sappiness" and women considered excessively emotional. Heartless Bitches International claims it does not celebrate being insensitive, manipulative, selfish, cruel, or man-hating; it celebrates the positive qualities in people, like assertiveness, self-reliance, and an unwillingness to be a martyr, which led to them being stereotyped as "heartless bitches". Apart from admiring these qualities, Heartless Bitches International does not have a party line or rigid set of beliefs, preferring its members to be open-minded and to trust themselves enough to make their own judgments. The website uses "bitch" to mean the backronym "Being In Total Control Honey".
It was one of the earliest websites catered specifically towards women at a time when the World Wide Web was largely a male domain. It was nominated for a Webby Award in 2002 in the humor category. In 2001 it had over 6,500 members and about 65,000 page views per week.
The majority of HBI's content is user-submitted, but there are a number of semi-regular writers and columns:
- Bitchitorial – An editorial written by Natalie, who also runs the site and gets most of the mail.
- Weak of the Week – JadeSyren, the site's "bitch-bouncer", riffs off the rejected membership applications for the enjoyment of all. The rejected application is presented in full with Jade's commentary in bold.
- I'M NOT BITTER – A personal column by The Morrigan
- Auntie Dote – An advice column.
The majority of the articles on Heartless Bitches International are submitted by the readers, and are archived under the heading "Deal With It!"
- Rants – Self-explanatory.
- Collected Quotes – An archive of Heartless Bitches International's "quote of the week". The quotes all somehow relate the Heartless Bitch philosophy. The Quote of the Week is displayed on the site's index page, and changes every update.
- The Manipulator Files – Articles about avoiding and dealing with manipulative relationships, written from personal experience. Also contains a list of "Red Flags" to help identify manipulators before they do too much damage.
- Nice Guys? BLEAH – The biggest 'self saucing' section; It attacks the beliefs of men who think they ("nice guys") deserve female attention because they act "nicely"—not out of the goodness of their hearts or because they care, but because they want something in return—and then spend their time whining about the "fact" that women only want to date jerks. As the site says:
The truth of the matter is that there are genuinely caring, compassionate, decent, fun guys out there who have NO TROUBLE meeting people, getting dates, and having relationships.
Unfortunately, many of the guys who DO have trouble, insist on laying blame and asserting that women don't want them because they are too "Nice". These people who call themselves "Nice Guys" can't see that THEIR OWN behavior is the problem. Whether it is targeting women who are troubled to begin with, or acting in a manipulative, patronizing or obsequious fashion, these guys sabotage themselves and blame others for their misfortunes.
- The section is updated very frequently because of the large amount of mail received from "Nice Guys" who feel they are misunderstood, as well as people who have had to deal with them.
- Sappy Site of the Week – Marlene ("the queen of mean") profiles websites considered laughably sappy, stupid, or both. Similar to Something Awful's "Awful Link of the Day".
- Pukefest – Another long and frequently updated section, Pukefest is where readers chime in with lists of things that make them want to puke. It's received and sorted by Natalie.
- MaleBag – Comments from male readers divided into "Signs of Intelligent Life", "Free Time at the Psychiatric Hospital" and "They JUST DON'T GET IT". There's also general comments from both men and women.
- Unclassified Comments – Reader mail, positive and negative, some with commentary, some without.
Examples of Heartless Bitchiness in popular culture.
- Honorary Heartless Bitches – Examples of women who upheld the Heartless Bitches ideals throughout history, such as over-70s women's rights crusaders The Raging Grannies or the Iceni warrior-queen Boudica.
- Adult books – Books with Heartless Bitch-style themes and characters for adults.
- Children's books – Books for children with strong female role models, a lack of princesses needing rescuing, and messages about getting off your ass and doing something instead of waiting for things to somehow work out right in the end.
- Movies – Movies with Heartless Bitch-style themes and characters.
HBI also has a membership section. Applying for membership requires an essay on why the applicant is a Heartless Bitch. Applications deemed particularly bad are publicly ridiculed in the Weak of the Week section.
- Member Section – Sections for members and prospective members. Despite the majority of the site being from a female perspective, both men and women can become members.
- Real Life Members, Exemplary Members – A list of the members, with an autobiographical paragraph describing them and a personal "one-liner".
- BitchBoard – The website's BBS.
- The Misanthropic Bitch, a contemporary blog sometimes compared to HBI
- Ostrowksi, Julie (June 16, 2002). "No Whining on the Web — One tough cookie @ Heartlessbitches.com". San Francisco Chronicle. p. D-2. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Chonin, Neva (June 15, 2001). "The Call of the Bitches — Renegade pundits sound off on the Web". SF Gate. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Ostrowski, Julie (September 3, 2002). "Web Site's 'Heartless' Critique Tackles Abusive Relationships". Newsday, Queens Edition. pp. A.24. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Tam, Pauline (March 24, 2001). "These women are heartless". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2001-06-18. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Speigel, Ian (September 12, 2000). "Heartless Bitchess International". McGill Tribune Volume 20 Issue 2 (student newspaper). Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Amihod, Mitchell (February 11, 1999). "Who loves the sun?". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Figes, Kate (January 26, 2007). "Who are you calling a bitch?". The Guardian. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Blair, Kristine; Takayoshi, Pamela (1999). Feminist cyberscapes: mapping gendered academic spaces. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 379. ISBN 1-56750-438-8. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- "6th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners". Webby Awards website. 2002. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Campbell, Duncan (April 30, 2002). "War and peace challenge for web awards". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Mara, Janis; Gruenwedel, Eric (2001). "A Stuffed, Heartless Bitch". Adweek. Archived from the original on 2002-06-03. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Heartless Bitches International
- SF Gate
- Hill, Sylvie (June 2, 2005). "Heartless Bitches International". Ottawa XPress. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- "Droppin' Dime". Vibe. 10 (3): 68. March 2002. ISSN 1070-4701.
- Rae-Dupree, Janet (August 5, 1996). "Women's Wire Brings Lively Blend of Humor, Off-Beat Information to Web". San Jose Mercury News, via Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
if you're into irreverent to the point of out of control, you can dive into Heartless Bitches InternationalAlternative link.
- Casimir, Jon (May 30, 1997). "Sitings". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- New Zealand Herald
- Whittaker, Jason (2004). The cyberspace handbook. Routledge. pp. 186–187. ISBN 0-415-16835-X. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- Belfield, Richard (November 1, 1996). "The Net.". New Statesman. 125 (4308): 35. Retrieved 2009-11-21.