Dudebros: A Field Guide

Jan 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Columns

I have noticed that my office has lately had an upswing of dudebros.

You tend to not notice just one or two – polo shirts happen, everything’s cool – but when they start to congregate it gets very obvious that you’re in the middle of a Situation (and if you say that to a group of young men and they all laugh, swear they don’t watch that show, and then immediately start quoting the show, you are among dudebros).

Other signs you are among dudebros, from actual observations in the field:

– Boat shoes are discussed in very serious tones. Loafers without socks are not boat shoes. If you make this mistake you are in trouble.

– You hear, “I am going to pound you so hard!” “Dude, you WISH, I’m going to be so far up your ass – ” and the sounds of a scuffle, and it turns out to be sports and not a porn shoot.

– “I don’t know about Chipotle, it’s a lot of carbs and I’m behind on my cardio. Let’s just hit the salad bar.”

– “Are the stripes on this tie too big? I don’t want to look like an intern.”

– “I can’t believe there’s no good place for beer in the neighborhood any more.”

– “I mean, she’s nice, she’s just not deep. I like deep.”

– “Oh man, there are so many girl drinks here I can’t even take it. Hi, can I have a sugar-free skinny vanilla latte?”

Chances are, you have probably met a dudebro. If not, they’re easy to spot – you will know a dudebro by his mating call, “Hey, my friend thinks you’re really cute, and I agree!”

But there’s nothing to be afraid of! When in his natural habitat, the dudebro is docile, even friendly. The more you look like a Barbie doll, Kate Middleton, or a Starbucks employee, the friendlier he will be.

You know you have upset a dudebro if he’s driven to his distinctive cry of distress (“Dude! Don’t just drape that sweater over your shoulders! What are you, a douche?”).

And, when provoked, the dudebro has been known to become discomfited, or even hostile! For your own safety around dudebros, do NOT:

– Get in between two men who are throwing a football back and forth. Not because they’ll hit you, but because there’s only so many euphemisms about balls you can take before you hand them DVD copies of Brokeback Mountain and say, “This joke is from 2005, and so is that shirt.”

– Beat them at a demonstration of physical prowess. I mean, if you can, you totally should, but just be prepared for them to give you a “respectful” nickname like The Crusher, and then have them constantly mention how much they work out and how weird it is that they’d even lose a game of badminton like that when they can benchpress like, 250.

– Feel free to explain institutionalized sexism to them, at length. They will blink a lot and nod. When you’re done, they’ll ask, “But then why are there so few women engineers?” Try not to stab them in the hand with a pen; you’ll get in trouble.

– Stare at them unblinking for a long time as they talk to you while you’re trying to do work. When they pause for breath, say, “That date was fun!” When they explain it wasn’t a date, say, “But Chloe said your date was exactly like that.”

– Challenge their ability to eat one hundred hot dogs in half an hour. They will do it and die you will be on record as the goader who started it.

However, since dudebros are proliferating and unavoidable, in the end it might be best simply to cultivate an identity they dare not trouble with – stack your desk high with books like History’s Greatest Massacres or some Virginia Woolf novels, which they can’t decide if it’s feminist enough to make fun of, and they’re not about to read big long books just to find out, so they’ll leave you be. In this way, you can peacefully coexist with the wild dudebro right up until he’s in Congress. Then we’re in trouble.


Alison Burke demands that you RESPECT her GENIUS. *Throws boa over shoulder, walks out*
*Comes back in, shoves a magazine off your desk, walks back out *

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.