Culture Shock Top 5

Five Ways in Which Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is an Inherently Oppressive Seasonal Drink | Kathryn Fitzpatrick

Gasp!

Ladies (and other people whose interests involve things traditionally considered feminine),

There’s a secret hiding in your Starbucks cup – a troubling feature assisting in upholding the current tyrannical power structures of a divided social landscape.

Lurking in the latte beneath an innocent dusting of cinnamon that’s dissolved in “just a splash” of almond milk with oils so thick they coat your mouth like movie theater butter, those blasted capitalists have hidden condensed milk! Just when you thought your sustainable lifestyle was free of problematic influences, you’ve been duped into becoming another cog in a machine working to enslave all of humanity. And here’s how:

5. Vegans
Consider the vegans. How are they to participate in the pivotal joys of autumn while being deprived of one of the season’s central components? Leaves might crunch beneath their faux leather boots and they may dress as slutty kitties for Halloween just like the rest of us, but they will never experience the freedoms associated with purchasing a latte designated specifically for fall. This is intentional exclusion brought on by willful ignorance and careful marketing.

4. Religion
While we’re on the subject of exclusion, let’s think of those who cannot have dairy because of religious practice – those sad freaks whose god won’t let them enjoy a nice glass of milk, let alone a hot autumnal beverage. In not thinking critically about the needs of all its customers, Starbucks as a corporation has no doubt offended the right of its more theologically-inclined customers to partake in a delicious seasonal treat.

3. Cost on the East Coast
Let’s also evaluate the cost. At five dollars or more for the average size, (assuming, of course, the American dollar is your preferred form of currency; assuming, of course, you operate using a cash exchange system rather than a system based on the trading of material goods) the only social group with the means to procure such a luxurious beverage is the bourgeois class. When a common plebeian obtains such a drink, they are contributing to the system that prevents them from climbing the economic ladder. They are essentially throwing their money back at the oppressors in power, keeping themselves from gaining traction on a global social plane.

2. The Cows
While we’re deliberating dairy, let us also examine the role the cows play in this scheme to keep citizens of the world disenfranchised. Unable to speak on their own behalf, they are forced into a system, dooming them to a lifetime of undervalued labor. Think of their udders; chapped and redder than Soviet Russia. These defenseless animals are perhaps the purest victims of this exploitative business model. We can view this type of profiteering as a metaphor for the plight of poverty-stricken women in rural, low-income communities worldwide.

1. Indifference
As a reader, and possibly an uneducated individual unaware of the ferocious totalitarianism working to keep all of humanity subservient, you may be thinking “You’re just some dumb young person,” or “This is bullshit!” This type of knee-jerk reaction is simply a sign of your own social privilege – a complete blindness to the severe oppressive nature of this hot, seasonal beverage. Companies like Starbucks count on the indifference of the general public in order to promote a dictatorial New World Order on developed nations and beyond.  Think of the people who remain at a disadvantaged place in the world because of the purposeful apathy of people like you. Reevaluate your place as a global citizen. Then give your local senator a call.

Blue Muse Magazine is a general interest literary magazine published by the students of the English Department at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. We publish poetry, fiction, and a gamut of creative nonfiction on anything and everything the blue muse inspires us to write.

1 comment on “Five Ways in Which Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is an Inherently Oppressive Seasonal Drink | Kathryn Fitzpatrick

  1. Hm. Clunky.

    Like

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