Peg the Patriarchy® at The Met Gala 2021
WHO KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE WEEK I’D WAKE UP AND SEE PEG THE PATRIARCHY® ON A DIOR DESIGN AT THE MET GALA...WITHOUT ANY MENTION OF ME?
TL;DR: Dior designed a vest for Cara Delevigne (co-owner of Lora DiCarlo sex shop) to wear to the Met Gala that had Peg the Patriarchy® on it (similar font to my original). Cara spoke to media as if she owned it, no credit to me, and gave it a different performative feminism take instead of my meaning behind the phrase.
Here are some awesome media stories I got to be a part of that describe what happened at The Met Gala:
Where did peg the patriarchy come from
I coined Peg the Patriarchy® in 2015 and trademarked it shortly after. Peg the Patriarchy® has connected me with so many amazing like-minded people who want a spirit of change. I’ve put it on some fun merch and sold it all over the US, Canada, Australia, UK and parts of Europe since 2016.
Since then, I’ve had an amazing time packing up orders, writing notes to buyers, watching people wear Peg the Patriarchy® and sharing how it makes them feel - and most of all I’ve been so proud to have art out in the world that people connect to. I have also had a shitty time from dude bro graphic designers, companies who refuse to print my brand or treat me differently, censorship on Instagram and more. As a sex-ed based business - there are many barriers for me that don’t exist for other businesses. I can’t buy ads like a normal business, I have to spell words wrong to try to dodge shadow-banning and I am vulnerable as a person. My DMs constantly have cis men in them feeling entitled to me because I am a woman on the internet talking about sex and pleasure.
What happened Monday night?
I finished teaching a BDSM class online on Monday and headed to Twitter to share how fun it was, when I was shocked at the amount of mentions I had tagging me in a photo of Peg the Patriarchy on Cara. Some people were celebrating me for this high profile exposure, and it is pretty cool to see your art travel outside of your regular spaces - but it traveled without me. This would have been a cool opportunity to collaborate and lift each other up. Performative feminism unfortunately still reinforces patriarchy - competitiveness, power over instead of power with, entitlement etc. I was OVERWHELMED with support, care and feeling very seen, but unsure what to do. So I went to Instagram to thank my audience and share my story:
"You know where Peg the Patriarchy® started. 😎 I can't express how supported, loved and in community I feel with all your messages, DMs, stories, comments and tags. 💕
While I'm giddy that Peg the Patriarchy® made it to The Met Gala, @caradelevingne co-owner of @loradicarlo_hq tried to pull it off as their own. No credit to me, the creator and owner of the trademark.
This happens to small artists all the time. So much so that I have an assistant whose job includes finding and tracing people printing and selling Peg the Patriarchy. Remember that as a fat, queer, POC I am working twice as hard just to do what I'm already amazing at. From censorship to patriarchy to racism, all biz barriers specific to my social location. Enter sex shop co-owner at Met Gala with a custom designed vest with Peg the Patriarchy on it. What's grossest for me is the media interviews - with Cara blatantly owning it as if it wasn't already owned. Sound familiar? *Coughs in colonialism*
This bumps down my views in search making it hard for people to buy my art, misrepresents my brand and has caused me a ton of work now chasing down copycats printing merch.
I coined Peg the Patriarchy® in 2015. Peg the Patriarchy® is about subversion, not about an anal sex act and not about men. It's a metaphor for subverting the system that requires subservience within a gender binary. I have met so many cool people through this art over the past five years. It has brought me joy, livelihood, giggles, hate and connection. A pretty good mixed bag.
You have all been such a source of warm light and fierce fire. The way you are showing up in my DMs, mentions and comments is filling my heart up. What's mine will always be mine, but know that we see what you did, Cara.
You can support me by buying my art at pegthepatriarchy.com, continuing to share and hashtag #pegthepatriarchy and mention me where you see the Met Gala pic. Thank you for making it easier to protect my peace by feeling like I belong in community with you. I am thriving 🤗 💗"
What’s next for Peg the Patriarchy®?
As a small crafter and because of the way trademarking works, there is little legal recourse for me. However, restitution is possible. It would be so easy to lift me up by Dior, Lora DiCarlo and Cara sharing a public apology and directing their audiences to support my business. What’s important is that we know this isn’t the first or last time privileged white creators steal from BIPOC creators. Remember Alyssa Milano appropriating #MeToo from Tarana Burke? Let’s lift each other up, we are on the same team and it takes ALL kinds of tools and strategies to end patriarchy.
How can you support me now? Keep tagging me in posts, share my art, shop in my small business.