September 6, 2013

Linguistic Equity

I feel like, for the first time, there's a male corollary to the word "bitch." Something that is gender-specific, cutting, and semi-ubiquitous. The word is "douche." (Runner-up: "creep.") I've seen men complain about these terms online, and I understand, dude. It's not nice, is it?

There have been other male insults through the years (dick, asshole). But these tend to be male terms for other males, whereas douche and creep are homegrown by the ladies. And many of those traditional terms are kind of lame, almost a compliment. "Bastard!" is something a Bond girl might say as she throws a martini into the face of an amused James Bond after he bests her. They are kind of the equivalent of "honky," an attempt at equivalency that never really took.

Of course, "douche" still has the female tie-in, as if the grossest thing you can be is something associated with a woman's body. But still: at least there's a parity here, albeit a nasty one.

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