Touché par la Douche

If you haven’t read about the dust-up between the science writing community (on behalf of the much beloved Ed Yong) and (now contrite) University of Manchester PIO, Aeron Haworth, go just about anywhere on the science blogging internets. The twitter rhetoric surrounding this event brought into clear focus the dominant position of “douche/douche bag/douchey” as an insult has taken in our modern culture.

This must stop. First, items associated with female reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics have never needed your help building their unjustified association with weakness, the unclean, and general negativity. Second, is this an effective insult? Really?

Accuser: You, are without doubt, an ineffective and unnecessary product for cleaning female genitalia.
Douche: But I do get to touch female genitalia.[1]

Zinger! Yeah. And, before you give me any crap about cleanliness, etc., I’ve been to college. I’ve seen how you roll.


  1. I suppose I should clarify, for the educated audience, that this dialogue is a riff off the line from Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Norrington: You are without doubt the worst pirate I’ve ever heard of.[2]
    Jack Sparrow: But you have heard of me.

  2. “You are without doubt the worst pirate of which I’ve ever heard.” Come on, Disney.

Author: Josh Witten

2 thoughts on “Touché par la Douche”

  1. One of the many bizarre elements of this story is the idea that a university PR person has to act as gatekeeper between journalists and scientists:

    1) Most scientists will be thrilled to talk about their work to pretty much anyone.

    2) Unlike a company which has intellectual property to protect, universities (at least none that I’ve worked at) don’t require their scientists sign an agreement saying they won’t talk to journalists without somebody’s permission. No gatekeeper is required here.

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