If we think of the douchebag as a social identity as much as an accusation, as a subject with a distinctive persona locatable within the categories of race, class, gender and sexuality, then we find that the term carries a remarkably precise definition.

The douchebag is someone — overwhelmingly white, rich, heterosexual males — who insist upon, nay, demand their white male privilege in every possible set and setting.


The douchebag is the demanding 1%, and the far more numerically significant class of white, heterosexist men who ape and aspire to be them. Wall Street guys are douchebags to be sure, but so is anyone looking to cash in on his white male privilege.

And an… interesting rebuttal here.

GP But I wonder if maybe it’s all part of the branding of seriousness – that somehow the crippled emotional range of a suicidal male has become dominant in culture? This is the “serious stuff”?

MA My theory is that this was just a wrong turning that art took in response to the first half of the 20th century. How you feel about Beckett is a very good index of your respect for misery. There’s a killing sentence in a Nabokov late novel called Transparent Things, where the hero is interested in this girl and she insists on taking him to an avant-garde play. He says, “I knew what avant-garde meant, or turns out to mean, so I was not surprised when the curtains parted to reveal a naked hermit sitting on a cracked toilet in the middle of an empty stage.” And I think, you know, that’s Beckett skewered for ever. In my twenties and thirties, writers who were incredibly pissed off were taken very seriously.