Some women think they can use words like douche “properly.”
Bear in mind it is literally a manifestation of men’s hatred and disgust and insistence on the female body as men imagine it to exist: unclean, impure, inferior, filthy hole that needs to be washed – don’t use it on just anything assholey. Respect it, and use it as that analogy.
Sounds all ironic and clever, doesn’t it?
Insults are defined by the dominant class. Oppressed classes don’t have the kind of power or authority to alter those definitions, and it’s dangerous for us to think we do.
We’re not going to redefine our way out of oppression. That’s a liberal feminist idea, and it’s completely fucking deluded, or it would have worked by now. We’re still fighting for our right to abortion here; redefining shit hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s a waste of energy better used for whacking the patriarchy in the kneecaps.
When you bandy around words like douche and hilariously call each other cunt, all the men hear is reinforcement of their sexist beliefs. You can smirk amongst yourselves and call men stupid for not getting your secret code, but your code means nothing outside of your group and has no effect on woman haters, the joke’s actually on you. And you’re pissing off other feminists who know better. Meanwhile men go on thinking saying douche and cunt are okay because hey, they heard women happily using those words.
Trying to reclaim antifeminist slurs is not only ineffective, it is cowardly. In pretending to go along with male supremacist culture, it avoids conflict with men. Nothing subversive about it.
Irony, subversiveness, satire: They’re all just flavors of compliance.