So I think it's really important to acknowledge the ways our words are used and the meanings we may or may not be aware of when we speak, and to take the harm those words and meanings can cause very seriously. Whoever said "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" was, quite frankly, a total idiot.
The purpose of this post is to defend the use of one of the words discussed in the post at Can Be Bitter, not in denial of what the words means, but because of it. The author points out that douche is an insult primarily because it is a thing that is used in the vagina, which obviously makes it gross and terrible and something no one would ever want to be associated with. And that's true, for sure, but it's also true that douching in itself is a pretty oppressive and dangerous practice, and for me that makes it a pretty damn apt insult for a certain type of behaviour.
- Douching, first, is the act of squirting corrosive, flower-scented chemicals up the vagina, also known as Patriarchy-In-A-Box. It is based on the idea that vaginas are dirty and gross and something to be embarrassed about. Just like this.
- Douching is a harmful, unsafe practice that denies the actual function of female sexual and reproductive organs, and uses that denial to assert male control over them. Just like all of this nasty business.
- Douching is also about selling women products they don't need to fix something that isn't wrong with them. I can't find a link to ALL OF ADVERTISING EVER, so use your imagination. Or go watch some tv. No, wait. Don't.
- Douching is a symptom of the idea that female bodies exists for male pleasure. Just like this.
It turns out there are a lot of people (mostly male people, but not exclusively) exhibiting dangerous, oppressive desires to control vaginas and the things that happen there. Douches, one and all!
*Photo credit: Gawker