Shameless Magazine, the print edition, (subscribe! subscribe! subscribe!) has a column, written by Melinda Mattos, called The Last Word: “A shameless look at the history, use and power of everyday words.” Today, while browsing the comments section of a feministing.com post, I was faced with the question: is it anti-woman to use the word “douche” as an insult?
Admittedly, I use the word “douche” quite a bit, along with entertaining variations like “douchebag” or my personal favourite, “bag o’ douche.” Ironically I use it most often to describe individuals who are sexist, mysogynistic, anti-woman and anti-feminist. (Which, when used literally, also sums up my feelings on douche of the store-bought variety.) I’d never actually thought of it as a term that was anti-woman; obviously it’s not the classiest of words, and I’m no proponent of namecalling, but is use of the word “douche” sexist? Is it sexist because it seeks to emasculate by labelling someone (generally men) a feminine product, or is it rather a label that describes someone who “exists to both inculcate shame into women and profit off of that shame while harming women’s bodies in the process.”
This blogger defends “douchebag” as a feminist insult, stating “we good feminists know that douche is definitely a Tool of the Patriarchy.” I’m interested to know what readers think…
(give me a break, it’s friday.)