Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another plea to stop insulting women and girls

A few years ago, I was at a restaurant with some friends, and a very young man called someone a "douchebag." I shook my head, and he, thinking I objected to his calling someone such a "bad" word, said to me, "no, really, this guy really deserves to be called that." "No," I told him, and when he went to argue with me, I said "because when you call him that, you're saying there's something wrong with my vagina, and I resent that."

This appeared to confuse him, a woman at the table laughed in an "I'm with you but I won't say so out loud" kind of way, and that was the end of the conversation. This morning, I noticed that someone on a major so-called liberal message board has asked its members to stop calling people douchebags for the same reason. Most of the response was relatively positive, though a few people made the standard put-down remark about the "language police."

What's interesting is that those same "liberals" would have a fit if someone on the board said "nigger" or "kike."

8 Comments:

I've heard feminists explain this one away by saying that douches are bad for you, so this is an acceptible insult.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 AM  

That would be true IF that were the way people meant it when they said it, but come on, everyone knows what they mean. Some feminists.

By Blogger Diane, at 1:32 PM  

I guess you missed the Great Douchebag Debate. You can get an overview here:
http://pandagon.net/2006/04/24/does-this-mean-i-have-to-start-smelling-like-vinegar-and-lavendar/

I wrote a post about it at FLP that got be accused of being the feminist police, and also brought me into conflict with a character named Pinko Punko who has been trashing me throughout the Internets ever since:
http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/?p=412

By Blogger Ann Bartow, at 2:39 PM  

Actually, I did hear about the Great Douchebag Debate, but chose not to get involved in it. And when I posted today, I forgot to link to it. Thanks for adding the link, Ann.

I just read the Pandagon post for the first time, and while I understand the rhetoric, I stand by what I said the first time--none of the men using the term is referring to anything other than the concept that "vaginas smell bad."

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