I have gotten a comment or two about my liberal use of the insult “douchebag.” I believe that Jill on Feministe defends the use of the word by feminists just fine – douching is a terrible practice that does long term harm to women’s health, suggesting that women who do so aren’t exactly on their own side, either. To refer to someone as a “douchebag” is in common parlance gender neutral, and is in fact not connected with women’s genitalia except in reference to it being harmful/likely to spread yeast infections. People I apply this term to do make me itch, especially Joe Francis.
I will say that someone telling me specifically what words I am and am not allowed to use is a rather oppressive practice in itself, especially when under the guise of “thou art not feminist enough.” Yes, words do have significant power – and that’s why I choose my insults with consideration.
For reference, here are insults I consider perfectly acceptable for myself to use:
- Barbara Streisand
- SUV Driver
There are others, but I’ll stop there.
Clearly, if you dislike my vocabulary you don’t have to read. But you are not within rights to tell me what words I am and am not allowed to use – and you do not get to say whether or not I am a feminist. That’s my call.