We term many guys “douches” (short for “douchebags”) because they annoy us the same way douching annoys vaginal health in the literal sense of the word. According to WebMD, “[d]ouching upsets the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina (called vaginal flora). These changes make the environment more favorable for the growth of bacteria that cause infection.” Douches are intended to freshen the vagina, usually with a solution made up of water and vinegar that is sprayed upwards through a tube attached to a bottle or bag (hence “douchebag”). Although douches found in drugstores and supermarkets contain antiseptics and fragrances, WebMD still dissuades women from douching.
If a woman naively accepts the metaphorical douche into her life, he will disrupt her everyday life the same way an actual douche will disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in her vagina. According to one definition from UrbanDictionary.com, a douche is “[a]n obnoxious bastard who mooches…and is a complete and total ass to everyone.” The vinegar-like sourness from his discarded beer cans littering her carpet permeates the flora of her apartment. He refuses to wash the dishes or take out the trash, causing a bacterium of maggots to grow like an infection.
Like the misbelief that a douche will make a woman clean (“douche” is from the French meaning “wash”), she misbelieves that the figurative douche is “the one” and feels she can change him, which is problematic. WebMD says that “[w]omen who douche more than once a week have more difficulty getting pregnant than those who don’t douche.” This is because douches have problems with long-term commitments.
But can women be douches? They are feminine hygiene products. I hope women would agree that there are women who exhibit rude, douche-like mannerisms, however mild.
Once, I had a job interview for a sales position in the video games department of a large electronics retail store. It was a three-round interview throughout the weeks. My first interview with the small electronics manager went well, especially since he oversaw the video games department.
My second interview was with someone very high up–the assistant manager. She seemed nice. She smiled and shook my hand. We did not sit across one another at a table, but rather next to each other, making the interview more like a chat.
However, her attentiveness shifted. She didn’t make eye contact with me as I answered her questions. Why? She texted on her cell phone. She would ask a question and as I answered, her head tilted downwards and her thumbs busied themselves. And every now and then, she glanced at the door, looking as if she were in a hurry to finish.
Fortunately, I made it to the final round (didn’t get the job, though), but the assistant manager was rude. Had she been male, most people would call her a “douche.” Another definition found on UrbanDictionary.com states that “douche” is “an insult in the same manner as idiot or moron, but more specifically directed towards persons who have power over your judgment when you don’t want them to.”
Since she was second in command, she thought she could do whatever she wanted. Had I texted, I would’ve been disqualified from the interview process.
So is there a masculine hygiene product that can be used as a metaphor for women who are jerks? I can’t think of any. (There are douches for men, but I won’t discuss what they’re used for.) The nearest is “alcoholic aftershave” since it burns, like an unrequited love.
But a woman can easily say, “It’s your own fault you cut your face!” and that stinging is her saying, “I told you so.”
Women are lucky. They don’t have a metaphor. Men do.