Earlier today, I wrote about how the cult of normalcy is alive and well in American culture.
Amongst the acolytes to the cult of normal is a certain person who is the mutant offspring of the jock, redneck and prep, all of whom 15 years ago would have hated each other and pounded each other into a pulp in high school, but now have created that unholy Uru-Khai of American males.
I’ve come across plenty of these types over the years; as mentioned, they were once more of a breed unto their own, but as youth culture has homogenized into samey-ness—one shops at Hollister whilst the other at Hot Topic, but they still shop at the same mall and are thus cut from the same cloth—so have the subtypes.
You’ve seen him before: Tapout or Affliction t-shirt, $150 jeans, smells like the Stetson man took a dump and bottled it, more product in the hair than most women. Chinstrap goatee. Those awful hemp necklaces with the shells and crap. Armband tattoos. An i*od with awful new country and some awful new metal followed up by some hideous club rap. Can’t wait for the next UFC pay-per-view. Or for Thursday night.
[EDITORIAL ASIDE: How is it possible that evangelicals have decided that this was a good market strategy for youth or men’s ministry?!? Another topic for another day.]
What’s worse, though, is not image and, make no mistake, that’s ridiculous. What I cannot stand is the way they treat women. In short, I have not seen or heard a single instance of a douchebag treating a significant other with anything close to resembling respect. Then again, this is the primary reason douchebags become douchebags in the first place.
And this really ticks me off because there is no shortage of women who are duped to think that this is attractive! Again, when we’re slaves to normal, our expectations conform to the parameters of the normal, no more, no less.
And women, you deserve better than that. Douchebag, you repulse me and you should repulse yourself. I mean, seriously. How do you walk by an Abercrombie and not feel like you huffed spraypaint for an hour? Is that like stinkbait for you?
My youth and young adulthood was spent seeing–as an intellectual whore, up close–good girls destroyed by idiot boyfriends. Some, quite literally, destroyed: predated by creeps with nice cars and fancy clothes, some who ended up pregnant and the guy bailed faster than anything or disappeared outright. Speaking from my personal frame of reference, some of these people were in the church culture. Some of them were church culture! Some yet were church staff!
[for more on intellectual whores, et al, visit laddertheory.com, which I discovered years ago, but would strongly advise the sensitive to avoid and perhaps is not exactly safe for work. Caveat lector.]
Away from my worldview, though, we have men, absolved from responsibility, following often the same cues women get from culture—all the while, we talk about body image with girls and the evils of visual stimuli with boys, when more often than not, the reverse is true—and culture then tacitly enables hideous and abusive behavior!
I’m not a violent person, but seeing this destructive cycle and the cultural embrace of such personified idiocy makes me want to justify violence, like a window air conditioner to the head. (Watch the hair, bro!)
I understand that I’m not the norm and never will be, but can’t we expect a little more from American males than douchebaggery? Shouldn’t we? Ladies?
(Wait, there are women who might actually read this?)
There’s a club where I live that is unfortunately named Midnight Rodeo, which naturally lends itself to the unfortunate nickname Midnight Ho-deo. Really? Hooking up with a guy here is a good idea? Really, you want to be associated for the night with a place that is a thinly-veiled sexual idiom at best and a sexist epithet at worst?
(Really, business owner, that’s on your checks, mailing address, permits and tax returns?)
And there are guys still out there, not different from me: really good guys who aren’t given a chance because they are not what is acceptable or normal in the rebellion-as-conformity age. And perhaps we still have work to do on our selves, but don’t we all?
What, then, would be the difference between a day/week/month/year with a jerk and a day/week/month/year with a decent guy? Either find someone worthwhile, or sit it out. There’s no sense having fun with a jerk, because fun with jerks usually ends nastily, regrettably or both. Don’t encourage the behavior by buying into their bullcrap, sold to you by the same culture that tells you to be a certain size, shop here, act a certain way, do all these things this way, and, by the way, have a positive self image of yourself.
And for you, Douchebag: wait, you can read? Good for you! Now go back to your free-weights and let the grown-ups have our adult conversation.
I’m not impressed by much in those of the Western male persuasion, but there’s a difference between being someone normal and being a man. And I’m not getting into the sanctimonious or self-righteous stuff, either. The douchebag makes me angry because he represents everything that is wrong with men and this era. And he’s dumb enough to not recognize it because he’s too awesome wearing sunglasses at night in a club, and his methods work in a culture enslaved by normalcy.
As long as they’re out there, and women fall for that garbage, I will be thankful that I’m not and fight the good fight for respectable men and women everywhere.
And wish I could grab the nearest window unit.
And for those of you who have been victimized or hurt by a cretin like this, I’m really very sorry. My heart goes out to you. We’re not all that bad, and not all of us want to get in your pants. There are even some of us who would treat you like royalty without ulterior motives. (It’s true!) Some of us were raised better, some of us just know better.
In short, you can do better. Expect more from us. You, as much as we, have nothing to lose, except perhaps the douchiness. I think we can all stand to live without that.