In what has been a big week for the University of Essex Feminist Society, Secretary Taran Evenhill Baragwanath gives their side to the Great Feminist Cupcake Controversy.
Watergate. Gamergate. Hackergate. And now, Cupcakegate. That’s right, our very own Feminist Society is at the centre of a controversy so scandalous, that The Sun newspaper had to tell the world how men had to pay 18p more for a cupcake at a university bake sale than women and nonbinary people.
Honestly, the scandal. Eighteen whole pence that could go towards other good causes, such as jagerbombs at Fed, or a new Ferrari.
The Feminist Society, which won a gold standard last year, an achievement which involves raising money and community action, had put on the bake sale as a fun and interesting way to raise awareness of an issue that has women earning on average 18% less than a man (unless you’re academic staff at Essex – in which case there is no pay gap! Yay!). As well as selling some delicious cake, they were raising money for a brilliant charity (The Young Women’s Trust – seriously, check them out).
“As usual, the internet has completely missed the point of the bake sale.”
Unfortunately, as is the way so much of the time, some people decided to throw every single toy out of what I’m presuming is a very large pram, and expressed that they were indeed so outraged by this heinous crime of being charged 18p more by those evil feminists (who campaign for that yucky thing called equality), that the entire world must be vigilant just in case a feminist tries to cheat you too out of eighteen whole British pennies.
As usual, the internet has completely missed the point of the bake sale, which never set out to solve the wage gap with cakes; and nor did it intend to. I mean seriously, if we could solve inequality with baked goods we would have all saved ourselves a lot of time, effort and internet hate and done it years ago.
Sadly, the world is significantly more complicated than that, so our society strives to fight for equality in our little corner of the UK in our own unique way, which happened to involved baked goods. I think I was most shocked that the seemingly innocent combination of sugar, flour, flaxseed and spices (the cakes were vegan and gluten free too!) could commit a hate crime. I mean, who knew?!
“I mean seriously, if we could solve inequality with baked goods we would have all saved ourselves a lot of time, effort and internet hate and done it years ago.”
The two great schools of thought on the bake sale are divided over whether it was discriminatory toward men, who are obviously really oppressed within our culture compared to women, or whether it was an interesting feminist twist on an age-old form of fundraising.
My point is though, regardless of whether you agree with the bake sale, it’s not like you’re being forced on pain of death to cough up those extra pennies that would otherwise be down the side of the sofa or rattling around in your bag. If you don’t agree with it, don’t participate! Or you can ask The Sun to write an article on it – the choice is yours.
See you at the next bake sale!