I recently (Jan 18th) got a Pike Place coffee from Starbucks for the hour drive home. I have issues with Starbucks more liberal views regarding social issues, but I figure once in a awhile I can patronize their establishment. The cup holder grabbed my attention. Of course, that is the whole point. It read, “Blond espresso – breaks rules.” On Tuesday ( Jan 16th) Starbucks had just introduced a new light-roast espresso.
Their on- line add gave this rationale: “Who says espresso has to be intense?” “We have for 43 years.” “So we did the exact opposite.” Starbucks is taking a risk with a Blonde espresso. As one competitor put it, “If you go too light with espresso, it can be like an acidic bomb. Some baristas might like it, but it’s probably, not a crowd-pleaser…You want to roast it light enough to taste good on its own, but dark enough to stand up to milk.”
Starbucks is going against it own self-imposed policy of using only dark-roast blends. But as Washington Post critic Tim Carman noted, “The slogan is downright comical in its braggadocio: Smaller, more innovative roasters have been breaking the espresso rules for nearly two decades.” He also wondered, “Will the demand remain once customers realize their Blonde lattes are now little more than caffeinated cups of milk and froth, with little evidence of the burned-coffee flavor that defined the drink for decades.”
What is your response to the slogan? When I saw the word “Blonde” on a yellow background, along with breaking rules, I have to admit, I thought of women and harassment, not coffee. I wonder if this was intentional on the part of Starbucks. Are they sublimely promoting dialogue between men and women over the broken state of sexuality. If so, I agree. As a follower of Jesus, I can give testimony to being a “one-woman-man.” After salvation, the greatest gift in my life has been my marriage to the same woman for 52 years. Peter reminds husbands, “As women [wives] they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground” (I Peter 3-7 – Message).
“Women are unhappy about the state of sex and romance,” observes Mona Charen. “They feel pressured, they feel disrespected, and they are fighting back.” What are seen as normal sexual encounters, are being expressed as harmful for many women. “At the heart of the MeToo moment in American culture is the dawning awareness of just how unfair revolutionary sex can be,” notes Samuel James. The sexuality of men has been assumed to be naturally brutish, needing to be tamed by feminist dictates. But men will still be men. As a result women are confused, hurt and even fearful of ongoing relationship with men.
Men, this is now our time. Men who have practiced moral purity and sexual integrity need to enter the dialogue with the women in their circle of influence. I full heartedly agree with James when he states, “The task of repairing a broken sexual culture…..begins with repenting of our prejudice against purity….We need to consider whether a more proactive, more equitable place for the sexes will be one that errs on the side of prudence rather than revolution. We are hearing from a generation that they want sex that doesn’t break, abuse or humiliate them.”
Men need to heed Paul advice,, “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the blest in others in conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (Col. 4:6 – Message) Let the “Blonde” slogan be a reminder of the many women, who need to hear a caring male voice in their lives.