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Dec 29 2005

Clean, Fresh Patriarchy-in-a-Box


This one smells like Country Baby Powder Flowers

You know what I haven’t been paying any attention to because of North Korean slave labor in the Czech Republic [check], and the loony idea that if men guard women in prisons somebody’s gonna end up raped [check], and the fact that Pope Ratzi is truly a tool of the Dark Side [check], and this bizarre poll tallying Saudi support for allowing women to drive [check]?

Douching.

I always wanted to start a band called The Massengills, but frankly I was unaware that anybody actually still believes their vagina capable of filling up with dirt to the extent that they need to hose it out with storebought chemicals.

I could not have been more wrong.

According to Reuters, which quotes some obscure medical journal, over one-fourth of American women “of childbearing age” (which I guess means between, what, 11 and 75?) regularly become so disgusted by their own pussies that they muck’em out with foreign substances. Naturally there are “health professionals” afoot. They’re attempting to stem the tide of douche fluid flowing across young American loins. “Cut it out!” is their refrain. “Vagina clean thyself!”

Please, those of you with legitimate medical disorders for whom douching has saved your life–for I didn’t just roll off of the bloggy truck yesterday and I know that you, the Feminist Douche Activists, are out there, waiting, with your purulent birth canals and your hand-knitted douche bags and your flared-nostril outrage that feminists all too often dismiss your concerns when dissing douching–please, put a sock in it. I don’t mean you.

I mean perfectly healthy young women who are apparently still being told they are naturally unclean. Knock it off, girls. Your vagina doesn’t stink; what stinks is country baby flower perfume manufactured in New Jersey! For you post-coital straight girls, the impulse to get rid of that gross snotglob of semen is understandably acute, but the wiser course of action is to avoid acting in the capacity of its repository in the first place. That’s what rubbers are for! Tell that dude “no glove, no love.” Or better yet, dump him!

Not only is douching is a crappy form of contraception, it causes microbial imbalances in the vagina, it causes emotional imbalances in the brain, it causes infections, it costs money, and it is a tool of the patriarchy.

I’ll tell you what my Great Aunt Holly “Clitoris” Faster told me: Never stick anything in your pussy, girls, that you wouldn’t stick in your mouth.

46 comments

1 ping

  1. aldahlia

    There are really people that use douche for birth control? I had no idea…

  2. Liz

    Today I’m going to follow my bliss by quitting my day job and signing on as drummer for The Massengills.

  3. Sasha

    Awww, why’d you have to go and do that to me? Now I’ll have to design and knit a douche bag.

  4. selma

    Hey, maybe the heir to the Massengill fortune needs a chick backup singer.
    http://www.davidmassengill.com/

  5. SneakySnu

    This is downright hysterical!

    Oh, another way of getting rid of the snotglob–though it sure doesn’t prevent conception–is to do Kegel’s exercises. They’re the same muscles you contract to stop peeing. Now, contract and hold 5 seconds, then release. And again! Expel those juices from around your cervix!

  6. Liza

    Your site is normally very funny, but this morning takes the cake. I thought it would be hard to top the right rev. blog spam, but this post was pee-in-your-pants funny. Horrifying, but funny.

  7. Steph

    I did find the fact that young girls and African American women were more likely to douche disconcerting. What the hell are these women being told about their vaginas?

    Classic patriarchy–coming up with a “solution” to a non-problem.

    They’ve also got Trojan “Freshness Cloths” and “Intimacy Gel” out for women too. More crap telling women they’re unclean.

  8. Twisty

    Please send a photo when it’s done!

  9. Twisty

    Thank you. We endeavor to give satisfaction.

  10. Christopher

    This may be because I’m an inexperienced young man, but I had always assumed that you washed your vagina in the shower. Or with a bidet, whatever the hell that is.

    I mean, I know from masturbating that my semen smells terrible, but I’ve always figured the solution to lingering smells was old-fashioned soap and water.

    Do they even have products like this for men?

  11. Twisty

    Show of hands: who believes vulva = vagina?

  12. Christopher

    You’ve thouroughly disabused me of that notion. But like I say, I’m hopelessly ignorant about such matters.

  13. Lake Desire

    I work at a grocery store, and those do seem to be two of the groups buying douches. Brave women, standing up to the faces of giggling courtesy clerks.

  14. Katina

    …you do know Czechoslovakia does not exist anymore, right? To correct your hilarious article, it would be the Czech Republic. The former Czechoslovakia ceased to exist Jan. 1st, 1993.

    “The more you know!”

  15. Twisty

    I’ve been in a coma since 1992. I just found out about Monicagate! What a ride!

  16. Dot

    This post is wonderfully funny. However, in the gloriously bizarro world of patriarchy blaming, I think most (perhaps older) women came to this belief because Momma said “You smell like a slut” or “Sex is sooo disgusting, you have to clean clean clean clean after completing your marital duty.” Women not only could not enjoy sex, but could not allow anyone to think they HAD sex. Wash that man right outta your hair!

  17. Justin K.

    The indications that younger women are more likely to douche surprise me. I’m in my 20s and none of the women I know (who mostly around my age) use the stuff (as far as I know). I always figured it was something women in previous generation did. This has indeed been educational.

  18. R. Mildred

    I’d like to speak up for the silent majority who would put many things in their mouthes that they would never put in their vagina if we had a choice about it.

    Things that I would put in my mouth but not in my vagina Include (but are not limited to) much too hot early morning coffee, anything found down the back of a couch, pennies, the rubber tipped ends of pencils (because they come off so easily with very little pressure), mice, large amounts of thanksgiving turkey and also chilli peppers.

    Which merely proves how out of touch and loooony slutty/frigid (delete as applicable) you feminists really are, or something.

  19. zuzu

    I’ll tell you what Massengill douches are good for: de-skunking dogs. But only the vinegar and water kind. The guy at the feed store assured me the douche had something in it other than just vinegar and water that would cut through the skunk odor. And damn if it didn’t work.

  20. Anon

    R. Mildred,

    The assertion is that “comfortable putting it in your mouth” is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for “comfortable putting it in your vagina”.

    I guess women really aren’t any good at logic.

    Kidding! Kidding! Please don’t kill me!

  21. Becker

    If there were no Massengill, Coca-Cola would just rebrand the market.

    But Holly! I think I have a song of hers lying around here somewheres. “Children of the Wind”, wasn’t it?

  22. Twisty

    Holy moly, Becker! You’ve got a copy of “Children of the Wind”? Aunt Clitoris has been looking all over for one of those!

  23. Nia

    Christopher, to answer your question I’d say that the male equivalent of the douchebag is circumcision. Some men need it because their foreskin is smaller than the glans and erections hurt. Some men want it because it is a requirement if their religion. The foreskin of all the other men is cut because of equal doses of inertia and “cleanliness”. The result is some degree of sensitivity loss on the glans.

    Douching of course does not cause sensitivity loss; I say it is equivalent because it is a harmful and unnecessary “hygiene”

  24. Becker

    If I still have it, it’s in the crawlspace under the St Swithin’s Day ornaments with the other 45s. It might take a few days to get you a copy, but I’ll have a look. I think I have the B-side too, that Yoko song.

  25. Becker

    Bah! I should never open my mouth. I do not have Children, although I do have Yoko and Rena’s Apartment. Not as collectible, perhaps, but there if you need copies.

  26. Sravana

    As a menopausal feminist, I must say that between vaginal dryness and vaginal dryness products, I’m douching about once a month for the first time in my 48 years. Lose the juice, and you will REALLY miss it.

  27. etymo

    I did find the fact that young girls and African American women were more likely to douche disconcerting.

    I noticed that bit, too. I figure that a good chunk of that relationship has to do with the fact that neither have adequate access to reproductive health care/education. I ranted about it a little on my blog, if you’re interested.

  28. wordgirl

    Our neighbors down the street have the last name of Massengill. Dr. Massengill, actually. I’ve always wondered why it didn’t make them feel uncomfortable. Maybe because he never worried about feeling “fresh”.

  29. kactus

    My mama always taught me to use a vinegar/water douche after my period was over. I never got into the habit of it, though, which meant that for years I thought I just wasn’t a very good daughter.

  30. Sylvanite

    Stupid people who don’t understand that douching only drives sperm deeper into the reproductive tract. I would guess teenaged girls of the sort I once caught telling each other that you could prevent conception by peeing after sex. I swiftly disabused them of this notion. I’m still amazed that people, especially women, do not know that they don’t pee out of their vaginas.

  31. Sylvanite

    I tried to post here previously, but my comment disappeared.

    The people who douche for birth control are probably the same ones who think that peeing after sex is also birth control. I overheard a couple teenage coworkers talking about it, and immediately disabused them of the notion. I’m still astounded that people are allowed to grow up thinking women pee out of their vaginas.

  32. Sylvanite

    I’ve been trying to respond to aldahlia’s comment above about douching being used as birth control, but my comment keeps disappearing. Sigh. One last time.

    The people who believe douching is good for birth control are probably the same ones who think peeing is good for birth control. I overheard a couple of teenaged coworkers talking to each other about how peeing after sex was effective birth control. I disabused them of that notion immediately. I can’t believe that people are growing up thinking that women pee out of their vaginas!

  33. Emma Goldman

    I’m gonna gross you all out even more: (diluted) Lysol was recommended as a douching agent. Yes.

  34. Sara

    The people who use it as birth control are screwed – not only does douching after sex not work as birth control, but it may actually make it *more* likely that you will get pregnant. Pushing that extra fluid in there just gives the sperm a hand in getting where they need to go. Oops.

  35. CafeSiren

    I’m reminded of Margaret Cho: “Hi, my name is Gwen… I’m here to waaarsh your vagina.”

  36. Sara

    And then there’s this stuff:

    Ewwwwww.

  37. Sara

    Uh…that was interesting. Let’s try again:

    FDS — Feminine Deodorant Spray

  38. laughingmuse

    This whole youngesters douching thing makes me wonder just how horrible and dirty and weird girls are taught that their “loins”/sex bits are – between the douching, and the full-on pubic shaving that seems to be going on.

    “I’ve heard of trimming the hedges, but you done scorched the earth!”

  39. Bunny

    douching has got be one of my top 10 feminist peeves (of course, #1 being white supremacist capitalist patriarchy). Just when I thought it was safe to peruse the feminine “hygiene” aisle without going completely apeshit (as oppsed to simmering anger), douching has reared its ugly head once again. And not only has it risen from the bottom shelf of your local Val-U-Mart, but douches are now sporting trendy psuedo-feminist, holistic garbaldy-goop slogans…Like sweet spots…has anyone seen this shit? Now your cunt can smell like lavender, chamomile or aloe-vera… and I quote:
    “SweetSpot Labs® products are “need” created collections designed to complement and complete beauty. Formulated with girl-friendly essences and gentle botanicals that only enhance you. Use effortlessly and often to make the scent of a woman even better. Good bye feminine hygiene. Hello SweetSpot Labs® Intimate Groomingâ„¢.”

    WTF?! (url: )

  40. CafeSiren

    Ack! Ack, ack, ack!

    Sorry… hairball.

    If my man wants to smell lavender, he can damn well go buy some. If he’s got his face between my legs, he knows what he’s going to be getting, and it damn well does not need to be “improved.”

    And why, oh why, is there no counterpart for men? Oh, right: because pussy stinks, but the smell of balls in tighty-whities is the world’s sweetest bouquet. Fah!

  41. Twisty

    Holy sweatin’ musk glands, I forgot all about that ball-smell! There’s really nothing quite like it, is there, animal, vegetable, or mineral.

  42. Ealasaid

    Side note: washing the female genitals with soap and water is actually a bad idea unless you’re using specially-designed pussy soap. Soap dries and irritates the tender skin and can cause a host of nasties to take up residence in your intimate bits by whacking out the ph down there.

  43. Ron Sullivan

    Now your cunt can smell like lavender, chamomile or aloe-vera…

    What, no chocolate?

  44. Christopher

    I suddenly had a vision of a Willy Wonka brand douche that makes your vagina taste like a full three-course meal.

    If only they could stop the people who sample it from turning into giant clitorises.

  45. Flamethorn

    It still didn’t work right. Did you put the http:// in front?

  46. belledame222

    Douche as skunk deodorizer!! That is truly inspired. Wish I’d known when our terrier got doused. A neighbor had recommended vanilla: for the record, this merely results in your dog smelling like skunk cookies.

    Less egregious but still annoying: flavored lube. If I wanted the taste of synthetic strawberries, I’d go to the dentist.

    And oh, yes, I remember reading about the Lyson douches in the excellent “Pink Think” by Lynn Peril. (who has a website, btw: http://www.pinkthink.com/. highly recommended).

  1. It's Self-Cleaning, Ladies | Health in life, women health, women's health articles

    [...] intervention could reduce the prevalence of douching among women. Discussion on blogs such as I Blame the Patriarchy, Feministing.com, and Pandagon, centers around the statistic that >25% of U.S. women of [...]

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