5 Good Things Douchebags Have Unfairly Monopolized

Before jumping into this article, I recommend reading my disclaimer/companion piece on the word “douchebag”.

Cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling we get when people or things we hate make associations with people or things we like. You would feel slightly different flavors of cognitive dissonance if, say, a politician you can’t stand openly supported a platform you were passionate about; or conversely, if a politician you are aligned with came out in support of something you strongly oppose.

The prevalence of douchebags in society has introduced new problems related to cognitive dissonance. We all like to rally behind a staunch anti-douchebag agenda (or at least pretend to), but one of the primary features of a douchebag is their herd mentality. As such, it’s fairly inevitable that some things we non-douchebags enjoy would be embraced by the douchebag community.

It’s important to note that partaking in or enjoying any of the things on this list does not make you a douchebag in and of itself. It merely has the potential to create cognitive dissonance within you if you are not, in fact, already a douchebag. Given this information, you may feel compelled to abandon such interests, or you may defiantly refuse to allow something you like to be co-opted by assholes who ruin it for everyone else. The choice is yours.

5) Fedoras


This is the most specific and narrow item on this entire list, but it’s actually what inspired the entire article. You see, I happen to own no less than three fedoras. I like how they look. I was never much of a baseball cap guy and when you go down the list of alternative hatwear, the fedora always seemed like a good option for me. I associated it with an older, gentlemanly style. Mad Men-esque, you might call it, or Indiana Jones (and I already carry a leather satchel). Additionally, a straw fedora is a comfortable and stylish way to keep your head cool in tropical environments.

Douchebags ruined all that. Wearing a casual fedora out in public is no longer an option. The douchebag association is simply too strong. In the occasion when I find myself on a beach, I’ll never give up the white straw fedora, but all other circumstances forbid it.

The good news is, douchebags religiously follow trends and the fedora’s time in the spotlight will end soon. When history has moved on, perhaps I’ll dust off my own again…

4) Tattoos


There’s a well documented history of the relationship between assholes and tattoos going back to some time in the 90’s. Prior to that, tattoos were generally the domain of military men, bikers, punk rockers and other assorted swarthy folk. Now, everyone’s got ’em, and douchebags have the market cornered on all the worst ones.

We all know about the tribal thing. There’s probably no singular better way to fly your douche flag than the tribal tat. I don’t think anyone still gets the barbed wire around the bicep thing anymore, but the most notable feature about tattoos is they are permanent, so you still see those from time to time.

It goes beyond that. A cursory Google search for bad tattoos will lead you down quite a rabbit hole. Or you could do as I’ve done and just look around a gym. I’ve seen car manufacturer logos, Looney Toons characters, the famous red and black nautical stars on EVERYTHING, and sports team logos.

In fact, one of my favorite gym characters is a guy who is only ever seen rocking a Pittsburgh Steelers hat, Steelers muscle shirt, and Steelers tattoo all at once. That’s true dedication to being a douchebag.

And no, I will not apologize to Steelers fans.

3) Muscles

Gym rat

Speaking of the gym, you can’t really escape seeing a lot of douchebags in general when you’re there. But the odd thing is, there tends to be an unspoken code of respect and consideration at gyms, and only the most extreme of douchebags ever act out there.

Nevertheless, douchebags (at least the male variety) are so vain and so beholden to clichéd notions of masculinity that they spend hours in the gym pumping away on their arms, chests, upper backs, arms, and abs. And also their biceps, triceps, and forearms.

I’m hammering the point home with a sledgehammer that douchebags love building up their vanity muscles, because I need to wedge some separation between what they are doing in the gym and what I’m doing, and I know it’s not all that far apart. Everyone wants a good body, but douchebags NEED a good body. The funny thing is, they will all claim it’s in the service of pulling good tail (or whatever they call it), but the reality is they’re only trying to impress other men.

2) Partying

Solo cup

Here’s a fun little tidbit about me that my closest friends already know – I didn’t start drinking until well after 21. And while our lawmakers and moral authority love to pretend otherwise, waiting until you’re legally of age to start drinking is a very rare thing.

However my delay had nothing to do with the law, or with an inability to procure alcohol. I was too put off by the associations that drinking carried. Throughout high school, that type of partying was the number one douchebag cliché. In some ways, it still is. The only reason I ever consented to trying alcohol at all was because the activities of my friends essentially forced me to come to terms with it. To quote one of my favorite movies, I discovered drinking could be a natural, zesty enterprise.

Still to this day, I’m not entirely free of the cognitive dissonance of drinking (sometimes in excess) at parties while not identifying as a douchebag. But just as it is with tattoos and exercise, small distinctions make all the difference. I hate cheap domestic beer and prefer higher quality drinks overall. I experiment a lot and have developed an appreciation for fine scotch whiskey. I like to keep a well-stocked liquor cabinet and entertain guests with tasteful mixed cocktails. And, on occasion, I get completely blitzed with my friends. I’m not too torn up about it.

The other disctinction is simpler: Douchebags tend to be terrible drunks. They’re aggressive, destructive, and mean, and all their worst qualities are amplified when alcohol is added. That’s kind of what makes them douchebags. And when it comes to popular night clubs, I can’t handle being in those places for too long. Apart from the universally terrible music they play, at volumes that make conversation impossible, and the ridiculous cover charges, and the overpriced, poorly made drinks, and the drastic overcrowding that makes sitting down or making it up to the bar a distant fantasy, it’s really the douchebags that put me off.

1) Sports

I initially didn’t want to include this one, because as you may or may not know, I have no interest whatsoever in sports. A part of me wanted to believe that douchebags and sports just went naturally together, like… ummmmm, like…

"Sorry, I've got nothing."

“Sorry, I’ve got nothing.”

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized sports is the number one biggest “good” thing that douchebags are monopolizing. And for all the lovely, decent sports fans out there, that’s a tough break.

I’ve come to realize that my lack of interest in sports is nothing more than that – a basic lack of interest. They don’t really hold my attention. But I totally understand the appeal. Sports gives us a sense of instant comradarie, and a persistent source of entertainment that goes on forever without repeating. And there are all sorts of complex, interesting systems outside the game itself with regard to gambling, drafting, advertising, and so on. At an intellectual level, I get sports.

But boy do douchebags love ’em. And if you’re a male douchebag, you’re virtually required to be a fan of at least football, if not basketball and baseball (of all the mainstream sports, hockey seems to attract the fewest douchebags). Not only must you appreciate football, you have to be so invested in it that you bellow and scream at the TV, in private OR public, when things don’t go your way.

Side note: Loyalty to a sports team is almost always totally arbitrary. Every year, the players change, the coaches change, the owners change… sometimes even the city the team calls home changes. But people will still maintain their fierce loyalty in spite of all of those. At that point, the loyalty is pretty much just to the logo.

Despite what I said above, I sometimes wonder: Did my indifference create my aversion to sports, or did douchebag hate create my indifference? Either way, I’m grateful not to have that compulsion in me, because my dangerously low douchebag tolerance wouldn’t allow me to spend too much time in sports bars. Not being interested in sports has saved me from so much douchebag exposure over the years.

So many of the people I love DO enjoy sports though – some quite obsessively – but I guess they just have thicker skin than I do.

Comment (1)

  1. I agree with a lot of this and think some applies to lady douchebags as well. They spend hours at the gym but most of that time is taking selfies or texting on machines (raaaaaaaage), they party too much, and they “love” sports (particularly the Steelers).

    Speaking of ladies, the opportunity I think you may have missed in discussing fedoras was the Men’s Rights / Pick Up Artist connection. The fedora is so beloved by misogynists that it’s practically part of the uniform. In feminist circles, they’re nicknamed Trilbys since they tend to wear Trilby hats but call them fedoras – stupid about women AND headwear.

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