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Sugar, pumpkin spice and everything nice | The Triangle

Sugar, pumpkin spice and everything nice

Fall is upon us, and that means pumpkin spice is back. Everyone has an opinion on pumpkin spice, because it’s impossible to escape. Almost every coffee shop in the district serves some kind of pumpkin spice latte, and you can also get (among other things) pumpkin spice ice cream, pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin spice pizza, pumpkin spice gum and pumpkin spice dog food.

Now, I for one am firmly pro-pumpkin-spice. I can’t afford to go out for coffee very often, but when I do, it’ll be a pumpkin spice drink every single time during the fall. I will be the first person to try that pumpkin spice hummus my friend found at Trader Joe’s and bought as a joke, and I will unironically enjoy it. I genuinely believe that this flavor is one of America’s best creations since the pop-up toaster.

But here’s the real issue with pumpkin spice — so many people make fun of those who like it, dismissing it as a “white girl” flavor and looking down on anyone who loves it. There’s nothing inherently in pumpkin spice or even the way it’s advertised that suggests it is for any specific group of people, but even if there was — what would be so wrong with that? I, personally, have often heard men claim that it’s totally okay to make fun of white girls for drinking pumpkin spice because racism against white people can’t exist. While this is true, it completely misses the point.

The point being that rather than calling out white people, as a whole, for liking pumpkin spice, men are specifically calling out white girls, and this makes it very much a sexist issue. So often, in all areas of life, women’s opinions are dismissed and considered to be less valid than men’s. If women show a genuine interest in stereotypically masculine pastimes such as sports or videogames, they’re dismissed as being fake, or posers, or only trying to get attention from boys. However, if a girl prefers to be interested in traditionally feminine things like makeup or shopping, suddenly she’s shallow, doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, and will never find a guy who’s willing to put up with her interests.

All this means that when pumpkin spice is called the “white girl” drink, and when said white girls are ridiculed for daring to order something that they actually enjoy, men are just promoting the longstanding idea that women’s opinions simply don’t matter. And when men say they can’t drink pumpkin spice because it’s a white girl’s thing, they’re suggesting that the worst thing ever would be to like something that is generally seen as a women’s interest, or to be like a girl in general.

We see this in pumpkin spice season even more than at any other time of year. So I say no matter your gender, you’re entitled to have your own opinion on pumpkin spice. If you love it and want to try every single pumpkin product on the market, go for it! If you hate it and can’t wait until everything pumpkin-related disappears from the shelves, that’s fine too. But either way — be proud of your opinion, don’t let anyone else influence it, and don’t look down on anyone for their own views.

By the way, pumpkin spice Frappuccinos are the bomb. If you only get one pumpkin spice thing this fall, make it one of those.

Ed Gregory Flickr
Ed Gregory Flickr