People, we here at Bitch HQ have a lot on our plates, and you know how we don’t want to spend our time? Continuing to argue with commenters about our use of the term “douchebag.” We get it: Some of you don’t like the term, and would prefer that we don’t use it. But moderating weekly arguments in the comments section of Douchebag Decree posts has, frankly, grown pretty tiresome. So here’s the deal: We’re going to continue using the term, and those of you who aren’t happy about it are going to have to either use the comments section of Douchebag Decree posts to comment on, you know, the actual posts, or else go to another site where you can rail against the term.
We have repeatedly explained (in this space, on iTunes, on Facebook, etc.) why we use “douche,”“douchebag,” “douchebaggery,” and many related variations. But, just for good measure, we’ll do it again right now. The products involved in douching have historically functioned to scare women into believing that their all-natural ladyparts are dirty, smelly, unpleasant, and unfresh. These same products have actually rendered many a woman’s perfectly wonderful ladyparts unhealthy, painful, and infected by their very use. (Check out some vintage ads that touted Lysol as the cure for lonely, dateless, stanky ladies if you’d like some visual proof of the ways women have been shamed into using these unncessary products.)
Douches and douchebags are a pointless, irritating, unfortunate, and generally toxic enemy of women throughout history. A Tool of the Patriarchy. A menace to women’s autonomy and well-being. Something that should not come into contact with a smart, self-respecting woman’s body. Tell us again why we shouldn’t use the term to refer to people who share those same characteristics?
Yes, we understand that not everyone is in the know, and that plenty of people think that calling someone a “douchebag” is denigrating the female simply because of the association. Those same people probably don’t understand why a feminist media organization would call itself Bitch. We happen to like both terms, and see the value in using them in the service of feminist discourse. You don’t? Well, let’s agree to disagree.
But what that means is that you don’t get to hijack the comments sections of blog posts to tell us that we suck or are mean or haven’t thought our position through. That’s unfair to the many fine writers who work hard on their Douchebag Decree posts only to have to sift through dozens of comments that have nothing to do with the content of those posts.
And what that also means is that you don’t need to attack us for using the term. Just because you don’t agree with our stance on the phrase doesn’t mean it’s the wrong stance, or that we haven’t considered the pros and cons of it. We love and value our readers and their opinions, but having the same back-and-forth every week is no longer useful and, from a logistical perspective, is taking valuable time away from our bloggers and website staff—time that they could be using to work on optimizing the site, recruiting new guest bloggers, producing more audio segments, and calling more people out for acting like douchebags.
This is not a democracy, it’s a cheerocracy. And “douchebag” stays.