Ye Olde Douchebag Decree is going to look a little different today. We've got on our hands a bona fide REFORMED Douchebag, y'all. Call it a Christmas Miracle. Michael Moore, you are the man of the hour. Come on down!
I don't have to tell you that this week has been a total Wikileaks shitshow. But would anyone have guessed that the honoree for Douchebag Decree: Wikileaks Edition would be famed power feminist Naomi Wolf?
Me neither. After all, plenty of media have taken the low road in theorizing about the convenient timing of Interpol's arrest warrant for Wikileaks head Julian Assange on two incidents of, as the official charges read, "rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion." From using facetious quotes around the word "rape" to referencing one accuser's CIA connections to making creepy jokes about the Swedish rape dismissal/descriptor "sex by surprise," it's a veritable douche parade out there in blogland.
But Wolf's supposedly humorous Huffington Post piece, "Julian Assange Captured By World's Dating Police," proved that, despite not knowing any more about the series of incidents that led to Assange's Dec. 7 arrest by Interpol than the rest of us (and perhaps knowing significantly less, seeing as how the sole source she linked to in the piece was Britain's Daily Mail), she was all ready to assert her feminist cred and use it to trivialize what could indeed be valid, actionable incidents of sexual misconduct.
As you might have heard, Mexican sports reporter Ines Sainz was harassed with cat-calls and "suggestive comments" this past week while at the New York Jets practice field. The Association of Women Sportscasters has called on the NFL for an investigation, and the Jets owner has apparently offered an apology. There are some really, really, douchey ways that the media is responding to this story.
In more than three decades as an author, radio host, and moral
proselytizer Laura Schlessinger has been called out more than once. In
1998, the woman lambasted the irrationality of her fellow
vagina-Americans in the bestselling book Ten Stupid Things Women Do to
Mess Up Their Lives was confronted with her own moral lapses when nude
photos of her—taken by the radio host Bill Ballance, with whom she had
an extramarital affair—surfaced and were gleefully passed around the
web. In 2000, as Schlessinger prepared to launch a televised talk show,
gay activists who took exception to her view that homosexuality is "a
biological error" that should preclude gay couples from adopting
children launched the watchdog site StopDrLaura.com.
(The talk show tanked fairly quickly, after more than 170 of its
advertisers pulled out in response to StopDrLaura's efforts.) In 2009,
numerous news and opinions outlets pointed out that her new book, In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms, was an example of blatant hypocrisy, given that she herself had never been a stay-at-home mother.
Here's the thing, Ms. Goldberg. You're saying that your judgment of whether someone is racist is the most valid judgment because you're black; that everyone's a little bit racist, and that because everyone's a little bit racist, it's not okay for anyone to condemn racism. You're saying things that would be unquestionably considered racist if they came from a white person, but that you seem to think are just charming and irreverent. You're also suggesting that I actually watch a full episode of The View, which is just silly. There are a lot of things wrong with your defense of Gibson, then your defense of your defense of Gibson, but I still don't want to give the Decree to you alone. I think pouring a cooler full of haterade on you is kind of an easy way out. If you read the comments on any of the blog posts or YouTube videos about this incident (my advice: don't), it's obvious that although you're speaking only from personal experience, you're still voicing pretty popular opinions.
You know how in Gattaca doctors used hormones to control the personalities of fetuses, ensuring a creepily uniform generation of "perfect" people, like the guy who plays Ethan Hawke's brother in the movie? Well, now there is a doctor who is attempting to do something similar by eradicating non-"feminine" traits in female fetuses—an "abnormal" disinterest in babies, not wanting to play with girls' toys or become mothers, "career preferences" that are deemed too "masculine"—and she's this week's Douchebag Decree recipient. Dr. Maria New, come on down!
Ben Roethlisberger. He's a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers! He's the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history! He's one of the NFL's highest-paid players, with a $102 million dollar five-year contract! He's a rapist! And he's not just an All-Star on the field, folks, he's also our second Douchebag Decree All-Star! (Applause.)
Roethlisberger, right, with a fan in Milledgeville, Georgia. Someone please submit this photo to this blog.
Sometimes a simple acknowledgment of douchery just isn't enough.
Sometimes you have to step back and marvel at how consistent, how
dedicated, how impressively shameless a person's commitment to being a
total asshole is. And that's why Bitch has decided it's time to start
recognizing those individuals as the All-Star douchebags they are.
Practically, it just makes sense: We plan to be awarding Douchebag
Decrees for many years to come, and there are some people it would just
be easier to mention once, acknowledging that not only have they
already amassed an impressive body of douchebaggery, they will surely
keep it up for the foreseeable future.
It's in this spirit
that we give a nod today to the lifetime douchechievements of Mrs.
Caitlin Flanagan: author, columnist, wife, mother, professional scold,
and 24-karat-gold douchebag.