How Insecurity Destroys Your World View.
The synopsis of this article is that Ruth got visibly excited in the grocery store when she realized that her favorite brand of non-dairy coffee creamer had released a pumpkin spice variant for the fall season. The plot twist is that Ruth’s boyfriend Ben is a misogynist that thinks of Ruth as a quote “Basic Bitch,” because Ruth loves her pumpkin spice.
Now it is important to note that Ruth makes it pretty clear that this was the feeling she had when Ben rolled his eyes at her excitement after finding this product. “ I could practically feel Ben’s exasperation as I flung open the fridge door and excitedly grabbed a carton.” Ruth wrote in her blog post.
She goes on to explain that the more she felt bad about being so “basic” she started to realize there was a lack of equity in the disparagement of men and women when it comes to consumer trends and this upset her greatly. Why must she feel shame for her indulgence in pumpkin spice when Ben doesn’t feel bad about his beverage of choice?
A better question would be, why does Ruth let external forces dictate how much joy she gets out of her indulgence in pumpkin spice coffee creamer?
Ruth explains that “at its core, ‘basic’ is a term used to demean women (and only women) for liking certain mainstream things.” She also excludes the fact that there are male consumer stereotypes like calling a man a ‘gym rat’ or ‘Abercrombie,’ both of which describe consumer habits and personality traits.
I do have to say that I agree with Ruth here that ‘basic’ is a term used to disparage women for liking mainstream consumer goods. The issue here is that this behavior is primarily coming from other opinionated women. This is merely anecdotal but I can not recall a time when a male I know has called a woman basic for liking a certain product.
Men generally do not care about consumer trends as often as women do. I would say that if anything men get frustrated with overhyped consumer trends especially when advertising agencies like to smack you in the face with ads around every corner. I think the nationwide pumpkin spice craze is the antithesis of this kind of behavior.
I would wager that Ben’s eye-rolling was more along the lines of ‘oh great the season has arrived’ rather than ‘oh great I’m dating a basic bitch.’
I also would like to point out that Ruth conveniently omitted whether or not Ben actually called her ‘basic.’ I would also wager that this was Ruth’s internalized fear of being ‘basic’ rather than Ben calling her that. I say this based on my positive opinion of Ruth as she does not appear to be the type to be with a man that would disrespect her like that.
Running around linking coffee creamer to the ‘patriarchy’ based on your own insecurities only serves to disparage actual meaningful dialogue on actual systemic injustices that occur daily.
Yes, I do have a positive opinion of Ruth. I read a few of her articles all of which she presents herself as rather articulate and intelligent. Obviously, we do not agree on the subject of feminism or the ‘patriarchy,’ That doesn’t mean that I don’t value her opinion or lived experience it just means we disagree.
Don’t let your own insecurities determine how you view the world, that thing you think someone else is thinking probably isn’t the case. Don’t assume, confirm by asking.