**Please note: This post utilizes profanity but only in an objective and anthropological manner, not in the way I usually use it in day-to-day conversations. Your sensitive eyes have been warned.**
In the past two years the term douchebag has made a real comeback. I remember hearing grown-ups use this word when I was a kid but for most of my adult life other words have been used, asshole or dickhead, for example.
Why douchebag, why now and what, officially, is a douchebag anyway? Urbandictionary.com was very helpful in answering this question. To summarize, someone who is not very knowledgeable but incredibly arrogant, someone who is not malicious but still annoying, and/or someone who is lazy and irresponsible. Think about assholes and dickheads as blue-collar criminals and douchebags as the white-collar criminals who wear nice suits but steal people’s 401(k). Anyway you look at it, you don’t want to be around them.
Odds are sometime during your day, you encounter one of these, generally speaking, men. Your initial response? Roll your eyes and try to leave without being caught up in their drama. Maybe you get stuck talking to one at a bar or you see him arguing with a salesperson in a store. Perhaps he is married to one of your friends. Regardless, you have to deal with them.
But why is douchebag such a trendy word? Has the androgyny of hipster culture rendered the annoying man so benign that we are simply irritated by his inability to determine his outfit? Or, perhaps, has the over-education of one specific demographic created men who constantly need to demonstrate their superiority through ridiculously arrogant behavior because it’s not polite to get into a bar fight? And, moreover, why am I even concerned about this?
I am concerned because I think there are a lot of good guys out there that don’t realize that they are acting like douchebags and I don’t think we have given them any other ways to positively differentiate themselves. Looking back in time, guys would assert themselves physically to demonstrate dominance. Now, to “fight” like a typical guy is to de-legitimize a man’s upbringing, education and social sophistication. In the past they could differentiate themselves through their trade. Now, physical labor with tangible products is not seen as valuable work compared to the “important” ephemeral work that many lawyers, accountants, and other professionals “create.” So if you want to show people you’re smart, talented and successful, you go to an expensive restaurant and argue with the sommelier about the wine selection. Think about it.
I ask you — shouldn’t there be something between the two? Something between a hyper dominating person and a whining complainer? Inasmuch as we are raising girls to develop both feminine and masculine traits, are we doing this for boys and, ultimately, the men around us?
In short, I don’t think that douchebags are really that horrible, they just want to be validated. That is not to say, however, that I enjoy tolerating them. In fact, after one cocktail at a bar my tolerance for drunk douchebags is nonexistent and in this post I am openly warning him (and his kind) that they should take their martinis elsewhere before I start quoting philosophy and emasculating them in front of their friends.
But, wait, doesn’t that make me the douchebag now?
For examples of douchebag behavior, see this clip from Fox’s New Girl where Schmidt is required to put money in the Douche Bag Jar every time he steps out of line. Enjoy!