WHAT IS A DOUCHE?
Above: A douche with a douche.
“Douche” is one of the douchiest words in the English language. Just using it kind of makes you a douche. (So yes, we are douchebags.) It was probably cool once. But then again, so were trucker hats. And that’s why it’s such an important term for America’s higher education.
Once upon a time, the word douche meant a very specific substrata of jackass. It meant you wore a backwards hat, maybe waxed your chest, used the word “bro” a lot, drank Red Bull and vodkas, had a name for both your car and your penis, felt a reflexive need to high-five after sex, and would someday either work as a trader, or just act like you did. A douche was someone who never helped the homeless learn to fingerpaint or took organic chem, didn’t watch independent films made by privileged children from New York City, and, though we’re not sure if anyone ever said this out loud, wasn’t female. But then everyone, even forty-year-olds, started to use the term douche. Or douchebag. Or dbag. Or d-nozzle. Or dilly fountain (actually, no one ever used that). And it sort of lost its specific meaning and came to stand for someone who had very little self-awareness. Who formed a Quidditch team at Vassar. Who joined a freegan collective at UC Berkeley or the college Republicans at University of Texas. Who wrote an article, and then a book, calling colleges “douchey.” Doing community outreach doesn’t make you douchey, but lord knows it doesn’t protect you from being douchey. A douche is anyone who takes himself too seriously, someone who goes whole hog into ultimate Frisbee or someone who thinks that because he goes to Wharton he is already the chairman of the Fed.
That kind of behavior, it should be said, is what college is all about. If we weren’t all douchebags in college, we wouldn’t find the prospect of pictures from college becoming public so terrifying. We wouldn’t have a single image for this website. So use the word “douche,” be it, and then destroy all evidence.
—H.L. Rogers, Peter Littleton, and the ADC team