Coffee Mugs are Oppressed

PSA: This article is not meant to take away from the ever-present issue of male circumcision, it serves only to bring light to the similar issue of coffee mug slogans excluding men.

Feminism has gone too far, and nowhere is this trend more obvious than in the hallowed American institution of coffee mug slogans. Think of all the women you see drinking from mugs bearing strong, individualistic, wholly gender-neutral statements as, “Actually, I can.” It is the height of ego to address unnamed detractors and boast of one’s abilities on one’s personal belongings, but this ego displays strength of character in its own way. Why am I, as a man, not permitted to show such complexity? Why was I met with raised eyebrows and a caustic “can you?” when trying to engage in the innocent pastime of sipping out of this same mug, acquired from the very same Hobby Lobby clearance section? The answer, dear reader, is that we allow women to adopt narcissistic personae in the name of empowerment, while castigating men for doing the same.

Every morning, my female coworker drinks tea from a mug that says “Never underestimate a well-read woman.” Is it too much to ask that I be allowed to enjoy the same simple pleasure with a “well-read man” mug without being branded “Bill O’Chailly” or “Earlnest Heminggrey”? Every evening, my female wife drinks from a mug that says “lean in.” I enjoyed Sheryl Sandberg’s take on work-life balance as much as anyone else, and my god-given freedoms and unusually flexible hips mean that I can lean in any direction I so choose. And yet my wife denies me this mug, like so much else, for the sake of “decency” and “not setting women back 50 years.” 

I’ve lost so much because of my cup crusade. I’ve stopped talking to friends who insinuate that I somehow lose dignity from drinking from a “Nevertheless, she persisted” mug with the “s” in “she” scratched off. Tensions have flared in my own family after the same teenage daughter who uses an RBG mug called my lovingly hand-rendered Clarence Thomas on my own drinking receptacle “in poor taste in every conceivable sense.” 

However, I am willing to bear these costs. After all, women should not be the only ones who feel empowered when they swallow.