In Defense of the “Basic B*tch”

by / 10 Comments / 1204 View / November 2, 2014

It’s November. And while the leaves have begun to change colors and fall fast to the ground—you’re finding yourself quickly running to the nearest Starbucks, in desperate need of a venti triple shot Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Oh, not so fast. I’m necessarily not talking about you (even though you probably are wearing thermal leggings, Sperrys, and have a gold Starbucks Reward Card in your Longchamp bag). 

I’m not judging you either, I promise. 

I understand you. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the hallmark of the white middle-class Autumn. They go hand-in-hand with Instagram selfies of leaf piles and nature walks in the woods.  They are also delicious, even though they don’t have any real pumpkin in them and have been described as artificial bullshit that represents what is essentially a void in your personal taste.”

Never has a white female been seen in public with a Pumpkin Spice Latte without someone else thinking something along the lines of the fact that she’s a “basic bitch”.

Basic Bitch defined by the Urban Dictionary: [a person who fulfills] all the stereotypes of your typical 22 year old white girl and absolutely nothing more.

And whether you just call someone a “white girl” or a “basic bitch,” this is about more than someone just judging you for the fact that you visit Starbucks when it’s PSL season. 

It’s about the fact that women can’t go one day without being compared to the “basic bitch” trope by men, and sometimes, even other women. 

Sometimes people joke about Pumpkin Spice Latte season, and all is fine and dandy.

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.20.40 AM

But usually, it doesn’t work that way. PSLs, Sperrys, Longchamp bags, leggings, ballet flats are all things that can be used as “evidence” to reinforce the notion that there’s a certain type of woman that’s  walking caricatures of the stereotype that characterizes us as shallow, materialistic, and easy consumers of the group-think mentality.

Think about it – there is nothing inherently wrong with Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Is there? 

For men, nothing really rivals the type of disdain women face when they buy Pumpkin Spice Lattes (although you could try to make a case that the mockery of salmon shorts on men at elite universities is comparable).

So while you’re thinking about where you can go between classes to get some studying done and get some more caffeine in your blood, don’t feel guilty if a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte seems like the answer to your woes.

Even though Starbucks is the epitome of capitalist culture, don’t blame yourself for loving it, that’s a whole different argument.

You’re not a “basic bitch” for enjoying the delicious high-fructose and milk-laden confection topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. You’re just a 20-something who knows what’s up. So go order that venti triple-shot Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy every sip of it. 




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  • Halifax Steppenwulf

    “Basic bitches” and their salmon trousered male counterparts (“salmon bastards?” that doesn’t have a great ring to it) are derided not just because they fall into a stereotypical mold, but because it’s a boring, shallow one. Compare this to, say, someone (male or female) who is a stereotypical nerd. That stereotype has a depth of interests and personality deeper than faux-artsy instagrams and plunging headlong into upper class consumer culture.

    • Wu

      Did you really just suggest that the “nerd” stereotype has a deeper level of significance and depth than the “basic bitch” stereotype?

      • Halifax Steppenwulf

        Yes. And I stand by it. I’d rather spend 6 hours locked in a room with a nerd than a basic bitch.

        • Wu

          But why?

    • Saea

      What exactly is your view of a “sterotypical nerd”? Are you sure you’re not conflating “gamer nerds” with actual, at least, quasi-intellectual and intelligent people?

      If you didn’t get the gist of the article, not everyone who drinks PSL are basic bitches. It’s basically just pointing out the sexism inherent in trivializing women who order them

      And “salmon bastards” has a nice ring to it…. except that in calling someone a salmon basterd we efficiently negate their humanity all because of one of their clothing choices…. just like we do with “basic bitches”…. see the problem?

      • Halifax Steppenwulf

        No, I’m talking about nerds. Gamers are different things completely. And, in case you’ve never met people like that, they all fit into a mold pretty well. And, no, salmon bastards doesn’t have the same ring as basic bitch because there isn’t any alliteration. “Pony punks,” (because the salmon pants are likely from Ralph Lauren) on the other hand, does sound a bit better. In Britain they can be called “Barbour Bastards” and that works pretty well.

        • Saea

          So wait, let me get this right…. you’re comparing ACTUAL INTELLECTUAL PEOPLE to the basic bitches prototype?

          Like, you can’t compare stereotypes to actual people. It doesn’t work that way. try comparing the sterotype of the basic bitch to the stereotype of the “nerd”. But it begs the question, where do you live and is there a legitimate “nerd” stereotype where you’re from?

          Because where I’m from the only stereotype is either the “dull socially awkward asian nerd who likes calc”(which is completely racist and ignorant) and the “female gamer nerd who plays Black Ops all day long while wearing exaggerated Ray-Ban glasses”

          • Halifax Steppenwulf

            Where can you possibly live where “girls playing CoD in Ray-Bans” is a thing? An alternate dimension. Because that’s not a stereotype. That’s a male fantasy. Don’t confuse the two.

          • Saea

            …..except it is a reality where I’m from. Maybe it’s women playing into the male fantasy of what “gamers” are susposta look like, but it’s definitely a thing.

          • Halifax Steppenwulf

            Then clearly UG has opened a wormhole to an alternate dimension. This phenomena needs to documented and carefully studied. I recommend seeing if the alternate world had anything better than fossil fuels to power it’s way of life or an explanation for why someone would play video games while wearing sunglasses.