People who know me, or have bought Three Stone Steps’ products, read this blog, or just browsed the about us section of the website know of my deep commitment to fair trade. It’s not just trade I care about, but like many of us, I have this thing about fairness and justice. This extends to women’s or feminist issues as well, obviously.
So, I was reading Bitch Magazine’s blog, and came across an entry, Um, May I Have that Without Cleavage Please? In the entry they describe a mobile coffee house that features female workers in lingerie, with coffee cup sizes in A, B, C and Double D. Get it? That’s bra sizes. Funny! I mean, selling coffee in cup sizes that are in alphabetical order is much clearer than that lingo of tall, grande, and vente. But, the letters are meant to be cute. They are adolescent: Women wear bras! Hee-hee!
But, back to the coffee shop in question. I follow the link to their site. (I don’t feel the need to link to it here since I’m not trying to give them a bump in the google ranking.) Anyway, the very first thing I see on the site is a fair trade certified logo. Immediately, it made me feel as though I had found a kindred spirit. But, had I?
After that recognizable logo, I looked further and noticed that the coffee shop’s logo was a drawing of a sexy woman, a la a beer commercial, coming out of the steamy coffee. How cute! So, they support their local, fair trade roaster. And, they marginalize women. Mmmmm…..and, like those who read Playboy for the “articles” or go to Hooter’s for their “chicken wings,” I’m not really sure that their clientele is their for feeling good about drinking a responsibly produced and roasted cup o’ joe. I mean, it’s fair trade on one hand, and objectifying women’s bodies on the other. To me, it’s sort of a wash. One cancels out the other. In fact, it’s really not that much better than that chain coffee shop that that offers tall and vente sizes. At least at the coffee chain we love to hate, the workers can wear day time clothing and aprons.
As for me, I’m still dreaming of my coffee on the beach.