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Category Archives: privilege

Unicorn Frap: Quit the Sugar Shaming

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few days, you know about Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino.  It’s brilliant marketing, by the way – bright colours, playing to the universal love of unicorns, and it’s only in existence for five days.

And it took exactly one day for people to find something to complain about.  This meme is floating around social media:

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And people are outraged.  “You mean to tell me that this artificially coloured and flavoured sweet drink is loaded with sugar?  You’re going to cause diabetes!” they cry.  I saw one person suggest that Starbucks should be held legally responsible for marketing this to children.   Never mind the extreme ignorance on how diabetes happens, people are genuinely pissed off and surprised that this thing isn’t the picture of healthy living.   And to those people I have just one question.

What in the actual hell did you expect?

Who took a look at this flourescent beverage and expected anything less than a sugar-loaded cup filled with sweet, sour deliciousness?  And, maybe more importantly, have you looked at Starbucks’ other drinks – do you have any idea how much sugar you consume on a daily basis?  If you think the Unicorn Frap is the problem, you truly have no idea.

A quick perusal of Starbucks’ nutritional information website shows me that SEVERAL of their drinks meet or exceed 76g of sugar.  The Venti Java Chip Frappuccino, for example, comes in at a whopping 89g if you add the whip (85g without).  In fact, most of their frappuccino options come in with a sky-high sugar content.  

A Grande Caramel Apple Spice has 71g of sugar, while a Venti Peach Iced Green Tea Lemonade comes in at 48g.  Even a Grande Oprah Chai Latte with coconut milk registers at 28g of sugar – still well above recommended limits.  

If you really think that opting for a different beverage choice this week would’ve been healthier, you’re probably just plain wrong.

Starbucks aside, many of our everyday drinks contain exorbinant amounts of sugar – and, although there maybe should be, I’m not seeing the outrage over that.  A single can of Mountain Dew has 46g of the stuff.  And a medium Sonic Vanilla Shake has 71g.  Are you seeing the trend yet?

And I haven’t even gotten into the fact that I’m a grown-ass woman who can make my own diet choices.  And if I want to indulge in a rainbow drink once or twice or ten times this week – that’s my goddamn right.  And it’s yours too.  

The problem is not this pretty drink that you’ve suddenly decided to demonize.  The problem is society as a whole.  We put sugar in everything – a LOT of it.  Any time you’re opting for that sweet treat, you’re going well over what “they” say you should.  

Sugar is a problem.  I’m not disputing that.  We eat too much of it, it’s hiding everywhere, it’s causing health issues. It’s just plain not healthy for us.  But let’s stop acting like this is one drink’s or even one company’s fault.  Instead of shaming me for eating the equivalent of three Snickers bars, why don’t you advocate for reduced sugar content all around? Lobby Starbucks for actually healthier options.  Pressure policy-makers to tighten up regulations.  Encourage nutrition education and then lobby for healthy options to actually be affordable.  

This isn’t about the unicorn.  It’s about society.  Place your blame where it’s deserved.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in privilege, Random Shit

 

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The Man Who Didn’t Rape Me

The Man Who Didn’t Rape Me

I took my dogs to an off-leash park this morning.  It’s a huge place with rolling hills and wild deer and while popular, is large enough that you don’t see many people on your journey.  45 min into our walk, I decided it was time to turn around and head back.  It was a chilly morning and I had plenty of things to do today.

At that moment, I noticed something.  As a woman walking on her own, I notice everything. This something was a man – white, middle aged, walking alone.  No pets, no friends.  And, as a woman walking on her own, instinct told me to move a bit faster.

I veered off the main path to a side one that would lead me back to my car.  As I casually glanced over my shoulder, I see the man do the same. Weird, I thought. This path isn’t very popular.  I quicken my step and notice, after a few minutes, that the distance between us hadn’t lengthened.  I pause my podcast and stow my phone in my pocket.  I recall my dogs to my side every 30 seconds.  I survey my surroundings, memorizing them – every rock, every branch.

A few more minutes later, I see another something.  A woman, also alone, also walking her dog.  I quicken my pace again to close our gap and get within twenty feet.  Our dogs meet, and I turn around.  The man is gone.  The path we were on was the only one around, and the land is flat.  He has left, and I can breathe.

The unfortunate part of this story is that it’s not unique.  It’s not uncommon.  Ask any of the women in your life and the vast majority will have a carbon-copy tale of a time where they just didn’t feel safe.  (LGBT folks, I haven’t forgotten about you. I know you have similar experiences).  And I’m one of the lucky ones.  None of my situations have turned ugly. Yet.  There’s still time. But there are many, many more women who cannot say the same.

A lot of assumptions were made in that moment.  It’s entirely plausible that this man I saw was taking his morning walk, and turned around because he too had hit his halfway point.  It’s wholly unfair for me to think he had ill intentions.  It’s wholly dangerous for me to think he didn’t.

And that’s why when you excuse “locker room talk”, when you laugh at that inappropriate joke, when you give light (or no) sentences for sexual assault, when you accuse the women who do come forward of lying – I can’t support you.  I can’t understand you.  I can’t wrap my head around why, why you’d want to perpetuate the very thing that ruins my morning walks.  That makes women everywhere nervous to be alone.  That makes men everywhere a potential danger in a woman’s eyes.  Even if he doesn’t really pose a threat.  Even if he is just trying to talk a walk.

Rape culture and misogyny hurts us all – profiling good men and victimizing women. We walk a little faster, we breathe a little heavier, solemn in the knowledge that it very well could be us.  For many of us, it already is.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in privilege, Random Shit

 

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Fellow White People: Wake the Eff Up. Black People are DYING.

Fellow White People: Wake the Eff Up. Black People are DYING.

I mean, I know that’s not new news. They’ve always been dying.  They were dying when we kept them as property.  They were dying when we desegregated.  And they’re dying now, even when on paper they’re supposed to have the same rights as us.

I’m as white as White people come. The glow-in-the-dark, lobster the moment I see the sun variety.  I don’t know shit about the Black person’s experience.  And guess what, fellow White person?  Neither do you.

We don’t fear for our lives whenever we walk down the street. We don’t constantly get told, directly or otherwise, that we’re second class.  We don’t know what it’s like to have to teach our children to be afraid of those that are supposed to help us.  We don’t know what it’s like to still be a threat when we’re already pinned down and helpless.

See, when we go on killing sprees, people chalk it up to mental illness and discuss all the ways they’ve could’ve helped us before we snapped.  They detail our lives, trying to figure out where society went wrong.  When we rape people, we’re given light sentences and sympathy, lest a harsher punishment wreak havoc on our gentle souls.   Even when we suck, we have privilege oozing out of our asses.  And when we get killed, society looks for someone to blame rather than wondering what we did to deserve it.

So yes, all lives matter, but our lives have never been the ones at risk.  We were born knowing we mattered, and quite literally every system of society has gone ahead and confirmed that for us repeatedly throughout our lives.  Even you, broke White person.  Even you.  So let’s do a favour and fuck right off with our whiny “what about me?” rhetoric.  I know it’s super hard when everything ever has always been about us and now for once in our silver-spooned lives this conversation isn’t.  Fuck off anyway – our fragile, privileged hearts will get over it.  I promise.

Oh and while we’re at it, let’s stop looking for the isolated incidents where we actually were targeted and acting like that’s totally the same thing as a society of systemic-built oppression and racism, m’kay?  We don’t have to worry our pretty little heads – society already cared more about those incidents anyway.  Because, oh right, our lives were already valued more than our friends of colour.  Tell me again how all lives matter?  Perhaps we can say that when it’s actually true.

For now, wake the fuck up.  Black people are dying.  Stop telling them how they get to react to that. Stop telling them it’s not fair that they don’t care about us – as if that’s what they were implying or that we ever truly cared about them.  Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up.  Listen for once.  Listen to understand. Recognize that we don’t.  Ask how we can be good allies.  Ask how we can help.  And figure out, once and for all, that Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that White lives don’t.  Indeed, White lives were the only thing that ever did. I’d be pissed off, too.

 

 doesn’t mean other lives don’t. Like people who say “Save The Rainforests” aren’t saying “Fuck All Other Types of Forests” – Matt McGorry

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2016 in privilege, Random Shit

 

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