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Annals of teeny-tiny microaggression: It’s now “sexism” to make fun of pumpkin spice latte

October 7, 2015

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

It’s a girl thing

Min Cheng, writing for the Swarthmore student newspaper, the Phoenix, has your number:

Why the PSL hate? Clearly, not everyone thinks that they taste bad or make you feel sick to your stomach. I myself have never experienced these ill effects. I sit here, in Eldridge Commons, wearing yoga pants and drinking my sugar-free pumpkin spice latte with soy milk (making fun of people who order drinks with long names is a whole separate issue, so I won’t touch on it here) that I ordered from the Science Center Coffee Bar just a few minutes ago. Frankly, it’s pretty delicious, and while not cheap at $3.25, it’s manageable every once in awhile. It’s a seasonal item at the school’s coffee bars, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc., which if you’ve taken Intro Economics, is simple supply and demand. If consumers expect that an item will not be supplied in the near-future, they’ll buy more of it while it’s available. In light of these factors, it’s hard for me to understand why some people think PSL enjoyers are out of their mind.

It all comes back to sexism. People love to hate on what girls like. When I was in middle school, people made fun of Uggs and North Faces and Taylor Swift. In high school and bleeding into college, people make fun of leggings (‘they’re not pants! Your butt is showing!’) and selfies and Instagram and Pinterest and Lilly Pulitzer and flower crowns and crop tops and Grey’s Anatomy and mason jars and Starbucks and pumpkin spice lattes. It never ends. The PSL hate seems to me like a symptom of a larger problem: girls don’t get to have valid emotions (“You’re being irrational. Is it your time of the month?”) or likes/dislikes, especially if they’re considered ‘basic’. Even when they like something that guys like too, they’re accused of faking it to get male attention (fake geek girls, which is definitely not a thing).”

But there’s a qualification: Cheng, whose surnames suggests she’s East Asian, says it’s OK to diss what white girls like:

“If you’re hating on white girls because they’re white and subscribe to White Feminism or participate in classism or homophobia or ableism or cissexism, etc., excellent. I’m with you there. Just make sure you’re not hating on white girls because they’re girls that happen to conform in spite of everyone bashing them for it.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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