Coffee Turned Feminist Rant

So it all started when I went to have my coffee…

I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love the smooth liquid sliding down my throat and warming me from the inside out. I love coffee so much, that I moved to Seattle. Okay, I’m kidding about that last part, but living in the Coffee City of America is a definite plus.

I started my addiction to the java bean at a young age. Every Labor day weekend when I was young, back when elementary school started Mid-September, my family would go camping. My birthday also happens to usually fall on Labor day weekend, and every year for my birthday, my dad would make me a special cup of coffee. It was my favorite present. This tradition continued until I got old enough to make my own coffee, and then, coffee sort of became this unspoken bond between my father and I. I think for us, it was an ode to those years camping, and the memories we had.

Since I’ve been a coffee junkie for a while, I definitely have my specific tastes when it comes to how I prepare my coffee. First, I use whole coffee beans and grind them each morning. This way, the coffee’s oil is at its most flavorful. Second, I use Arabica coffee beans that are dark roasted. In my opinion, this is a bold flavor for those who enjoy the true essence of coffee. I then use the drip brewing method to preserve and enhance the taste of my coffee. Lastly, as I am still sort of a wuss, I sweeten it up a bit with some almond milk and honey.

Honey. My second addiction. I love honey. I love the taste. I love the different types. I love the golden color. I love that it’s natural. Problem is, beside the fact that the bee population is dwindling, is that honey isn’t cheap. Nor should it be I suppose, if you think about all the hard work the bees to do produce that honey. Anyways, to cut down on costs, I’ve been using less honey, which means my coffee is becoming less sweet.

As it so happens, today, I did not put any honey in it. I figured I’d try and go with just the almond milk. It’s the closest thing I could get to straight black coffee….the coffee lover’s goal. Quite proud of myself for taking a step toward this accomplishment, I went to “the Facebook” to brag.

At first, I wanted to come up with something witty about how Seattle is turning me into a coffee pro. But…pro wasn’t the right word. I was practically already a pro. I had my preferences, my methods. No…to drink black coffee, you have to be brave. No, brave wasn’t right either. Brave sounds like you’re afraid to drink black coffee. But that’s the whole goal! Yeah it’s hard to drink black coffee starting off and like the taste. To drink black coffee, is to drink like a man. That is essentially what I wanted to say. Drinking coffee like a man, tough, bold, strong.

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t write that. Drinking coffee ‘like a man’ isn’t a proper way to describe an action. So I went to the thesaurus, being sure there was a proper word to describe this feeling. There wasn’t. In the end, I typed masculine, to find the synonyms I was looking for, bold, strong, brave, honorable. Under synonyms were the antonyms, weak, shy, timid, cowardly, feminine.

At this point I didn’t even care about the coffee post on Facebook. I was appalled. I was appalled that we associated these characteristics with these genders, which often get confused with our physical sex. To be a woman is to be feminine, and to be feminine is apparently weak, shy, timid, and cowardly.

Our society accepts this. I mean, it’s in a thesaurus for crying out loud. Is this what we want to teach our children….our girls? That being a female is associated with these qualities? These qualities that confine us and limit our power and potential as humans? We need to start redefining what being a female is. It is not weak. It is not cowardly. Being a woman is what we make it.

Feminism is growing, and women are standing up more and more for their rights. Seeing a bit of sexism written in a book on the English language shows me that we need to culturally redefine our interpretations and beliefs on women and what we are capable of…

like drinking a cup of black coffee.


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