le charme discret de la pumpkin spice latte

I made a new puzzle, and to be honest, I am not sure I’m okay with it.

Bourgie Mary! Bourgie Mary! Bourgie Mary!

Here it is as a pdf: Bourgie Mary! Bourgie Mary! Bourgie Mary!. Also online.

I’m going to talk about my questions below but will be giving away puzzle theme stuff, so if you are going to puzzle it, read this afterward. If we are still friends.

Discreet-charm-poster

(I see the poster every time I visit Erin, which I just did, and it’s a phrase that springs to mind strangely frequently)

So here’s what I want to say: I am really peaceful with calling out the general practice of clueless white people to assume or pretend that the dominant culture is all there is and that everyone probably wants to hear about and be part of it.

I’m…sad that this meme maybe also manages to impugn all women. Does it? Or just the ones who presume their way of being in the world is the only one? That, to me, is why this is an apt meme: the unwelcome imposition of the white person’s way of being on the mirror-looker. The signal of what subset of white people is meant comes with the seasonal latte (enough disposable income to purchase branded specialty coffee; lives in a place one can get such beverages) and yoga pants (enough disposable income to spend time on yoga, or money on its technically unnecessary gear, or both; lives in a place where one can do/get either). These details in particular are associated with young white women of privilege. So to me, this calls out a narrow subset of white people who get their privileged preferences all over others because they assume that those preferences are shared, because no other possibility comes to mind. You know: hegemony! To me, this does not make women in general smaller–it feels to me just as likely that the imaginary recipient of the spectral visitation is another woman with her own dang preferences who gives nary a shit about fall, lattes, or yoga, or who sees the value in all three but also acknowledges them as a) of subjective value and b) possibly culturally conditioned.

But I don’t know! Is it crappy to women? This is the hardest I have ever thought about one of my own puzzles. And the most conflicted I have been for a while about what might be Okay for Humanity. Usually what happens along these lines is that Bill watches football, and I watch the commercials and yell out what I find to be their implicit and deeply problematic assumed worldviews, like “Oh, women can’t lift things!” “Oh, people of color don’t eat at this restaurant!” etc. I’m always very right about everything–not a great sign. So this internal conflict is welcome, and if you have something to add, and teach me, I’m ready.


2 thoughts on “le charme discret de la pumpkin spice latte

  1. Interesting! To me it impugns a certain type of white women and has the unfortunate implication that women not in that socioeconomiccultural bracket are not women, or are not white. This is the problem with the whole stuff white people like thing: it congratulates middle and upper class white people on their racial self awareness while erasing the experiences of all the other white people who aren’t like them, as well as the ( numerically smaller group of) people of color who share those tastes etc.

    Sent from my iPad

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