Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

“douchebag”

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This is a word that I say a lot. It makes my mother cringe and even I – with a sailor’s mouth – am often surprised by how very vulgar it sounds. (I swear a lot and I have for a long time. Maybe I’ll post about that later.)

So, if it sounds that bad, why do I use it? It’s a term I picked up from Bitch Magazine‘s Douchebag Decree. From their post on the term:

Douchebags are a repository of unnecessary harm done to women. They are symbols of the outdated thinking that vaginas are dirty and need cleansing, and further they are symbols of the idiotic, self-hating mindset that is sold to women.

… and there you have it. As one of the commentors adds,

Douches are not only a unnecessary product, marketed to women based on vagina-phobia, but because they are an actual object there is no “othering” of another group of people. Unlike the majority of insults, most with which we as feminists are particularly familiar, this insult is not based historically on oppressing certain members of the population. One who deserves the insult “douche” does so because they, like the product are unnecessary and harmful to specifically women, and generally all people.

This I found particularly enlightening. When I really thought about it, I wouldn’t want to say “bitch” – a term I think should be reclaimed, as it has been by Bitch Magazine – or “bastard.” One implies that women should sit down, shut up and be nice all of the time – and if we dare to stand up for what we want, we’re failing as women. Not groovy. Neither is “bastard,” an insult based on being a child born out of wedlock, and in a sex positive/non-heteronormative world view, we don’t have room for insults based, as the commentor said, on oppressing certain social groups.

Thus, “douche.” Expect to see it tossed around quite a lot here.

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Written by Fangirl

October 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Posted in women are people too

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