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Nobody Puts Manchild in the Corner

October 3, 2009

I swore I wouldn’t make this blog political. I wanted to make it all about material culture, and okay, maybe some of the cultural politics of stuff, but I said I wanted it to revolve around our relationship with objects, and I wanted to write about ephemera and maps and the little things that I find because I am a magpie.

But friends, we have a serious issue on our hands, and if we don’t take action now, it may be too late. I was up half the night, worrying myself nearly sick over what is happening to our precious douchebags. You know, the guys who refer to (the ever-elusive) sex with women as ‘closing the deal’, the ones who, to the untrained eye, have a straight white male chip on their shoulder but who, to the seasoned and truly concerned observer, are clearly bearing a mighty load. The douche for whom the only real man is the man who thinks date rape isn’t real rape, who thinks domestic violence is a feminist conspiracy, who rails against those men who would dare to make friends with women, or betray mankind by refusing to engage in homophobic bullying, or – god forbid – not watch sports. The kind of straight white douche who refers to advocates for equality as ‘victim’ or ‘special interest groups’. Do you know any? It is likely that today’s normal and decent man and woman rarely encounter a douche except in captivity. Like a sad-faced white bear on a lonely ice floe, we must battle Social Climate Change before their once-privileged habitats have been all used up to build women’s refuges, nursery schools, playgrounds, gay parade floats, civic buildings named after civil rights activists, and stupid restaurants where the effeminate majority non-douche men and women go together to have pleasant conversation and even be non-sexy friends with each other. Where a man might go a whole day without gently correcting a woman. Nobody wants that.

The blacks and the women and the gays, they do make an almighty racket! In the midst of all this equality din, who will stick up for the white man’s God-given right to be on top? How can the straight white douche be heard when everyone else gets to talk, too?

Once upon a time, the straight white man had it all, and then the blacks and the gays and the wimmim came along and bashed at the door of his castle. And the white man said, “I don’t mind letting you be equal, but I’ll be damned if you’re gonna make rules that’ll turn my boys into black gay wimmins.” But deep down inside, he thought, “Who will be the men, when there are no men left to be the men who pick on other men, and women and minorities? Who will accuse people of getting victim status when there is no one left to make victims of non-douche men?” So the white man let them in, worried though he was, and he even invented a few things to make their lives easier, for which those ungrateful jerks never even thanked him. The white man invented the world, and here are the blacks and the gays and the women, turning up, having done nothing but perform the manual labour, design the interiors and clean up the puke and shit of the baby men, wanting to help run things? Get your own world, blacks, gays and women! But no, they suffered in silence, as douches are wont to do.

And now their habitats are disappearing. All they have left is the precious sanctum of the whites-only and men-only country club. Also the boardrooms, the senior jobs in academia, and the top jobs in government. Bullying helps to keep the fairies in line, but even that is under attack. Soon there may be no safe place where a real man will be able to dominate those around him using aggression and threats of violence. Even where they do maintain dominance, they are shackled to politically correct guidelines that prevent them from telling jokes about darkies and homos during board meetings. They are not even permitted to engage in a good old-fashioned slut-shaming.

Oh my! That does sound bad!
I told you it was awful, but you were probably thinking about taking a man shopping, which everyone knows will turn him into a girl. But yes, the meek, inheriting the earth? Not if we can help it! They will fight, down to the last douche, and they need our support. If you’re a woman, you can help with the sandwiches and blow jobs and by being a muse to your more intelligent and inventive male counterparts, who were kind enough to invent the washing machine, for which, by the way, you’re welcome. If you’re a black or a gay you can just learn to shut up and take a joke like a white man would. Besides, who died and made you as good as the straight white man? If you are one of those straight white men who thinks other people are just as good as you are, doesn’t believe that the ideal state of manhood is to subdue all around you and exist in an entirely emotion-free, Vulcan-like state, perhaps you should consider growing a pair.

Friends, it is time. Won’t you join me and help those who cannot help themselves? Let me introduce you to DoucheBag Awareness Group, or D-BAG, for short. Together we can ensure that there is NO DOUCHE LEFT BEHIND. Without a strong, healthy, douche population, who will correct the women? Who will twist words and accuse feminists and other activists of hating the white man, when it was the white man set them free? Who will accuse the non-douche white male population of being a bunch of fags, leaving them in the awkward position of denying it and feeling like they’ve validated someone’s homophobia? Who will ruin a perfectly good party by starting a conversation about the dangerous and rising tide of immigrants? Who will pop the comfortable social bubble by recounting an anecdote of The Woman Activist Who Simply Took Things Too Far?

What can I do?
It’s about time you asked how you can best serve the straight white man! If you can shut up about your special rights for just one stupid minute, you can organise a charity event. We suggest a 24-Hour Doucheathon, where participants collect sponsorship money to act like a total asshole for 24 hours, to raise awareness about the vital contribution douchey behaviour makes to our culture. Go on, catcall that woman in a short skirt. Remember, if you can see her knees, she’s begging ‘please’! Throw a beer bottle at the guy who looks ‘a little gay’ and make a completely harmless remark about taking it in the anus. Make a racist joke in mixed-race company, then lightly punch the black guy in the arm and go, “But we’re cool, bro, right? Homes? Mah n****r?” Who will speak for our douches? We also suggest the Collar Pop Flash Mob, where a group of people in traditional douche garb gather in a public area that has otherwise been encroached upon by blacks and gays and women, and all gathered pop their collars in unison. And finally, if you have access to a large mailing list and maybe the last broad who isn’t too uppity to learn how to touch-type, you can organise a Million Douche March, where douches and douche-friendly supporters take back the streets they invented, carrying signs that say things like “STFU while I’m talking”, and “I’m not racist, but” and “Show us your titties!” and chanting things like “I don’t know what you’ve been told, but the straight white man is better than you.” There is no need to rhyme because rhyming is like poems, and everybody knows that only girls, gays, and the pretend-oppressed write stupid poetry.

You have caused me to become very concerned. Is the douche endangered? Should I be careful where I fish?
You should always be careful about where you cast your bloody hook, but no, the douche is not in danger of dying out. Since the douche can reproduce asexually (after all, who would actually have sexy love with one?), and can survive for more than six months on its vast store of misplaced blame, the douche will be with us for a long time. We simply aim to raise awareness about the loss of the douche habitat, which is quickly disappearing as modern humans become less tolerant of living with or near douches. The douche in captivity is left with little more than radio call-in shows, newspaper columns, the television talk show circuit, and the Internet, where he is quickly drowned out by pictures of cute animals and sarcastic blog posts that would seek to emasculate him by using sarcasm to belittle douche culture.

I have never seen one in the wild. What should I do if I meet one?
Douches are like sharks. They seem scary and everyone picks on them and no one will leave them the hell alone and they are attracted to people in swimsuits and shallow water, but they are really very special. If you are lucky enough to meet one, observe from a safe distance and savour the moment. They are prone to attack, so do not make the douche aware of your presence by being of a non-white race, a non-privileged socioeconomic group, being friends with girls, or having boobs.

How will I know if what I’m seeing really is a douche? What are their natural characteristics? Do they make a noise?
Douches are one of nature’s amazing paradoxes. Most predators, like lions and tigers and properly badass animals that douches are known to adopt as totems, attack only when under threat or hungry. But douches often attack pre-emptively. They are especially likely to promote ‘common sense policies’ that involve preserving the status quo and thus their douche-given right to pick on women, other men, and people who have what they like to call ‘victim status’, which, within douche culture, is considered to be a very special rank, but where victims are given ‘special rights’ that must then be ceded back to the douches in order to demonstrate loyalty and gratitude for the douches’ collective largesse. It’s quite complicated.

The douche also has a tendency to describe to someone – especially a woman – what she has just said, or at least to describe what he decided she must have said in order to support his opinion of her, and then express serious concern about her opinions, her method of expressing them, or her lack of irrefutable evidence. If she provides statistics, he will calmly explain that statistics can be manipulated. If she gives anecdotes, he will furrow his douchey brow and warn her about those who use anecdotes in place of real research. If something cannot be backed up by science and she argues based on her own experience, he will explain to her that human experience is subjective, and what she thinks she sees and believes just simply may not be. It is usually the first time she will have heard this, so he may have to do it several times, with increasing concern that might turn to anger, if she refuses to be more acquiescent, or if she becomes obstreperous and demands to be ‘heard’ (If she had something worthwhile to say, you would have heard it the first time!). If she gives details of research she knows of or has herself done, he will explain that academia is firmly under the thumb of special interest groups who like nothing better than to fling their victimhood around as if they were white-male power cocks, flipping and flopping on a boardroom table. If she attempts to be flippant, he will take every word as testimony. If she is earnest and forthright, her will treat her as a figure of fun, to be mocked. You see how this works. The douche, you see, must always win, even if only by forcing the other side to give up in frustration.

The language of Douchese, otherwise known as Asshole English, features regular use of terms like ‘victim’ and ‘special rights’ and frequent assertions that the speaker is ‘not a racist’ and does not ‘hate women’, but is ‘sick and tired’ of all their ‘harping on’ about their ‘rights’. The douche does, in fact, make a considerable amount of noise, normally in long threads of incomprehensible and contradictory statements of opinion, and demands that an interlocutor provide evidence, while the douche stands firmly on his factual opinion. The douche often begins statements with apologies, like ‘I know you don’t mean this, but’ or ‘interesting attempt, but here’s where you went wrong’. Or a douche will insist that sticking up for the rights of the straight white man is no different from sticking up for the rights of poor lesbians of colour. The douche does not necessarily have a single set of opinions. The douche’s opinions are flexible, changing in order to be the polar opposite of whatever the person he is talking with firmly believes. His opinions are fluid, like douchewater. If you have encountered someone who fits at least two of these categories, it is entirely possible that you have come face-to-face with a bona-fide douche.

I don’t have time to organise a charity event. What else can I do to help?
You can help by remembering that every time you advocate for equality and respect for ‘women’, ‘blacks’, ‘gays’, ‘disableds’, or anyone who believes in the fundamental rights of human people to dignity, freedom from harassment or discrimination, and the ‘right’ to bodily integrity, you are making life more difficult for the peace-loving douche. A butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and a barfight breaks out in Mullingar. A group of women gather for an abuse survivors’ support group, and a douche fails to close the deal even when he bought the bitch dinner. Your actions have consequences, and what you call advocacy is actively contributing to the war on douchery. A war that the douches did not start. They were merely living their lives, happy in their own privilege, when their territory was encroached upon. They have developed a reputation for unprovoked aggression, but the truth is, the provocation is indirect, but it is there. They have been left with no choice but to fight back against the scourge of those who would take away their special rights.

That’s fine, but I asked how I can help?
Stop picking on me! You wouldn’t say this if I was a black disabled little ladygay person on welfare! You only say this because I am white!

Say what? I’m genuinely concerned. I want to save our douche habitats.
That’s not a question! I know that you probably hate all white men, and I am only trying to warn you for your own good! And you just get all offended. You victims are all the same.

I still don’t understand what’s going on. When did we get into an argument?
You act all concerned, but really you just want to piss all over the straight white man, the last downtrodden faction who has not been awarded victim status like everyone else. Go ahead. I don’t care. I’m not mad about it. I’m really mad, but I’m not mad because I just think you need to man up, is all. I’m not a victim. I’m just acting like one because I’m a big stupid baby. Ugh. Stop clinging to your special interest victimhood and using it to get all these privileges. Remember, I gave it to you, I can take it away.

Wait, are you mad at me or not?
No. Maybe. Who do you think you are, anyway?

I’m the one asking the questions.
You wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t white. You would show me respect if I was not white. You just hate the white man! My shoulders hurt from this TERRIBLE BURDEN WHICH I BEAR! Look, I want to live in an equal society, and because I know best, I am the person best poised to make all the rules in our equal society. It’s a level playing field, you see, it’s just that the field belongs to me.

A burden? Looks more like a bag of chips to me.
You’re so cute when you try to be funny. Do you want me to help you make that joke better? You should also be careful what you say in case you offend someone because I worry about your doe-eyed slutty stupidity sometimes.

Am I still supposed to give you money?
Oh, funny how you’re a feminist until you have to pay for something.

No, I mean you wanted a donation, but I can’t tell if you’re for real.
I am a douche. There’s no such thing as someone pretending to be a douche. You are being racist against the douche race.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2009 11:52 am

    Wait, is this article implying racism still exists?!??!

    • Jane permalink*
      October 3, 2009 12:00 pm

      Oh no, racism was invented by special-interest groups just to make the douches sad. But douches only cry when the local sports team loses the big game. So jokes on you, special interest groups!

  2. demurelemur permalink
    October 3, 2009 12:05 pm

    “Am I still supposed to give you money?
    Oh, funny how you’re a feminist until you have to pay for something.”

    Brilliant! I really enjoyed reading this. Those poor little douches. Vilified and victimised. Deprived of ivory back scratchers. It’s enough to make one weep.

    • Jane permalink*
      October 3, 2009 12:08 pm

      And the sad fact is, they can have all the ivory back scratchers they like, but what then, when there is NO ONE LEFT TO OPERATE THE IVORY BACKSCRATCHERS?

      That white man’s burden isn’t gonna carry itself, and boy does it ever leave the poor douche in need of a sexy, sexy massage.

  3. Tim permalink
    October 3, 2009 4:21 pm

    hi Jane
    I do enjoy your rants 🙂 Glad I caught you on FB too earlier.

    I only fear you’ve confumbled douchebags like Ian O’Doherty with white straight males in general, or is that intentional?
    In doing so you’ve bought into his ideology and his ideology sucks.
    Are you saying we’re all douches? or just the douchiest of us like IOD.

    Can’t ‘minorities’ be douches too? That’s only fair. (After all, white males make up less than 8% of the world’s population, which is a minority by anyone’s standards, but I digress. with parentheses).

    Generalising about white males is of course no more acceptable than generalising about “gays, women and blacks or whatever” (IOD’s words, not mine!). Having picked away the wizened, dried up flakes of bullshit, attempts at laddish-humour and attempts to be Kevin Myers, That may actually have been IOD’s main point. I think.

    And by “point” I mean, “pathetic attempt at being controversial”.

    I’m glad I don’t know any douches like you describe. But I do know a lot of white males.


    • Jane permalink*
      October 3, 2009 4:41 pm

      Tim, I direct you to the fact that I am talking about the brand of straight white male douche who dedicates time and energy to insisting that straight white males are under attack. I was not, in fact, referring to any one particular douche, either. I refer to the same kind of person who says he does see any reason for feminism or any kind of ism, and then proceeds to attack anyone who believes that equality is still something that has not been achieved. I see no reason for football, but I am not going to waste time or energy correcting someone about it, or attacking someone because they are interested in something for which I see no need. People don’t attack things that they believe to be unnecessary unless they feel threatened by them.

      The douches I describe don’t even really have an ideology, except to accuse others of threatening their privilege, which we/they are because privilege is not earned, and we should all be aware of our own privileges and make sure that we understand at least that we did not earn them. Douches fight to keep their privilege because they feel they are entitled to it. That’s a douche. There are indeed many types of douches. I have discussed only one here, and I most certainly haven’t bought into anything because I don’t sign anything that doesn’t come with a free gift.

      Actually, come to think of it your questions are addressed in the post above. Also, thank you for your gentle correction. Ahem. See above, again.

      I do appreciate talking with you, and I do enjoy it, but your comment doesn’t seem to have a point, except to suggest that I have said something which I have explicitly not said. Trying to explain to me what I probably think I’ve said, or what I sound like I said to someone who might be less sympathetic is a behaviour that I find pretty insulting, so if I seem a little annoyed, that’s because I am! Especially since our FB conversation addressed these already. It’s also not particularly helpful to take something clearly written as a bit of a joke, call it a ‘rant’, and start making it into something that must adhere to standards set for more serious writing.


      • October 3, 2009 11:22 pm

        Tim, I don’t really know you, but um, The Point, you missed it. Whoops! =) But hey I did enjoy your little rant!

  4. Tim permalink
    October 3, 2009 11:36 pm

    Comments don’t have to have a point, do they? they’re just comments. And I have no desire to “gently correct” anyone – I’m well capable of disagreeing with someone without having to tell them that, as long as I make sure I understand what they’re saying. Most of my questions are, as often, rhetorical.

    I don’t want to be associated with IOD – I have no desire to be lumped in with him as I didn’t like what he wrote, and asking someone to clarify what they’ve written is hardly criticism – or insulting. In fact that’s the second time you’ve accused me of insulting you. I wouldn’t have downloaded and listened to a radio programme if I didn’t care what you thought.

  5. Tim permalink
    October 3, 2009 11:50 pm

    PS – the rants I was referring to was our conversation earlier – not this piece.

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