We figured there would be some reaction to our use of the term "douchebag." Just to be clear, we did not choose the term lightly. When we had our blog meeting last week, many terms were bandied about for our new weekly awards, including "schmuck", "putz," and a few others.

We decided on douchebag, and here's the logic behind why we consider it both appropriate and non-misogynist:

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 They are symbols of the outdated thinking that vaginas are dirty and need cleansing, and further they are symbols of the idiotic, self-hating mindset that is sold to women.

They are disgusting not because they are associated with vaginas, but because they are associated with outdated, stupid, ignorant, harmful things that are done to vaginas and women in general, and therefore douchebags are actually the perfect emblems to attach to someone like La Bachmann and her ilk.

As far as the terms that translate to "penis"—a penis is not inherently harmful to women. Furthermore, using that term would be attaching a value judgment to genitalia, and following the logic above, that is not what we want to do. Other than to celebrate both. But especially vaginas.

by Jonanna Widner
View profile »

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

6 Comments Have Been Posted

I am quite surprised that

I am quite surprised that someone would have a problem with that word and my feminist friends and I have decided, for exactly your reasons, that it is the perfect insult. 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.


a douche is at best unnecessary and at worst, extremely dangerous. this is the -perfect- insult for a lot of situations.

i think too much about cursing. i like 'assrag' as an insult also. because there's nothing inherently wrong with asses, but being something you wipe your ass with, well, you know. and i've also spent some time figuring out an equivelent to the intention of 'suck my dick' that girls can use. suck my clit doesn't really work (i just can't get the venom behind it the same way) and i've come up with "lick my bloody cuntrag". the bloody is optional, but i like how it works as an expletive and literally.

I've always liked the Bikini

I've always liked the Bikini Kill "suck my left one", personally.

"douchebag" redux

A logical argument for what douchebag means to YOU, but alas, the reality of what "douchebag" signifies to the rest of our culture is still negative to women. Okay, so schmuck isn't such a good idea either.


I have to say, I love the term "douchebag" for all those reasons mentioned above (and I'll be adding assrag to my vocabulary). I've used the term to describe lots of people, most recently one of the national level politicians, who has thankfully been sent home (I don't need to mention names here, do I?). In fact, I think the term should be used more - perhaps a Douchebag of the year award?

Pretty sure you guys linked

Pretty sure you guys linked to the wrong LFO. You're referring to the "Summer Girls" dudes, not the British techno band, right? The techno band is actually pretty all right.
I think you want to link here. These are the abercrombie and fitch guys.


Add new comment