While I believe that words can be reclaimed, and even though some of my female friends feel that it is the case of the word "bitch", which they feel able to use in a positive way, I still find it hurtful and offensive, whether it is meant as a synonym for "woman" or as a straightforward insult. However, this article by Kate Figes in today’s Guardian might help me change my mind, and in particular the following quote from the US feminist magazine BITCH:

When it’s being used as an insult, bitch is an epithet hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and do not shy away from expressing them and who do not sit by and smile uncomfortably if they are bothered or offended. If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we will take that as a compliment, thanks.