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Why Coffee Shops Should Discriminate Against Women

Illustration for article titled Why Coffee Shops iShould/i Discriminate Against Women

Coffee shops discriminate against women! (New economic research claims to show.) Think it has to do with the way they order "half-caf grande triple shot soy extra-hot sugar free cinnamon dulce lattes," whereas men are all, "Um, medium cappucino"? Well, yeah:

Up to a point. The researchers found that men are more likely to order simpler drinks. Yet comparing fancy-drink-ordering men with fancy-drink-ordering women, the longer wait for women remained.


This is, naturally, all from Slate, along with some treatise about how discrimination, over time, is a bad policy, but I would actually side here with the coffee shops, in favor of discrimination against women. See, thanks to the unattainable standards of beauty perpetuated upon us, women are much more acutely aware of our options with regards to the relative fat and/or sugar content of the milks, syrups and other ingredients in the drinks served up by your average coffee shop, and are therefore much more likely to enter a Starbucks with a complex formula in mind as to what they're seeking.

As in: "One mid-afternoon caffeinated 'reward', caloric content not to exceed 265, with no more than 18 grams of carbohydrates, but sufficiently indulgent taste that I do not feel as though I am depriving myself when I bypass so-and-so's birthday cake and/or the secretary's Nutter Butter jar, so maybe I should add whipped cream on that — I wonder if they have the sugar-free kind here?? — and oh god, there I go ordering whipped cream with soy milk again!" [Bows head in shame.]


"Um, can you repeat that order, ma'am?"

Now obviously some days, the women are like, "Fuck all that, I'll have a black coffee and a bagel with light cream cheese," but speaking as a former barista, you can literally see these wheels turning in the heads of women in line, and that's why you wait until the last possible minute to ask them for their final order. Because the man who orders a "venti quad-shot six pump skim mocha" — that guy orders that same drink every single day. And chances are, if you make it with whole milk by "accident," he won't have a meltdown. He can't. He's not conditioned that way.

So anyway, all I'm saying is that deliberately alienating women who order frilly customized drinks is actually just a way baristas strike back against the media and societal forces encouraging her to obsessively gauge the content of her espresso beverages, thus encouraging her to order something simple and quick-to-prepare. Like black coffee! And it'll save you money. I hear women have a problem with that, too!


Do Coffee Shops Discriminate Against Women? [Slate]

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Barry Petchesky

Amen, Moe. I feel like I always get stuck on line behind the woman who can't figure out what Rube Goldbergian drink she wants, ends up stuttering it out, and has to repeat it twice. And all I want is a damn black coffee.