Cara Delevingne's 'Peg The Patriarchy' Vest Seriously Sucks
When British supermodel Cara Delevingne hit the Met Gala red carpet on Monday wearing a Dior vest with the phrase “peg the patriarchy" emblazoned across its bodice, the supermodel's Maria Grazia Chiuri-designed top singlehandedly sparked shock and awe, launching an all-out digital debate over whether the garment's message was powerful or meaninglessly performative.
Yet among those respectively delighted and outraged at the sight of such a bold expression finding a place on the world stage of fashion, it seems no one was quite as surprised as Luna Matatas, a Toronto-based sex educator, artist, podcaster, and queer woman of color who says she coined and trademarked the term “peg the patriarchy" in Canada back in 2015. Matatas not only says Dior ripped off her work without asking her permission or offering her credit, but also, that she learned the luxury fashion house had used her phrase just like the rest of us – by checking social media.
“I was teaching a kink class online and I went to Twitter to share how fun it was, that's when I saw mentions and tags of me on the photo of Cara wearing a vest with Peg the Patriarchy on it,” Matatas recalled to Vice of unwittingly learning her phrase had made its Met Gala debut. Because as we all know, nothing says “American Independence," the theme of this year's Met Gala, quite like allegedly stealing the intellectual property of a queer woman of color!
Although the educator told the outlet she was initially caught off guard by how publicly her message – one she explained on Instagram isn't about literal anal sex, and rather, serves as “a metaphor for subverting the system that requires subservience within a gender binary" – had found its way into the limelight, it seems she quickly changed her tune. “Then I realized how impactful it is to have your art shared without credit to you,” she explained. "Especially in communities with more power and influence, and on white cis bodies. It would've been so easy to credit me and to lift each other up through the message of dismantling patriarchy... As a queer woman of colour, I thrive in community with people of all genders committed to fighting patriarchy."
Dior, Delevingne, and Lora DiCarlo, the sex toy company the model co-owns, have all remained tight-lipped surrounding these serious allegations of theft, yet Matatas says she's hopeful the star will ultimately acknowledge her work. "As a small business, I don't have a lot of resources to defend this, despite owning the trademark," the artist explained. "So, I hope Delevingne sees the value in supporting creators, because it takes nothing away from her outfit to do so."
Purportedly ripping off a small creator, however, is far from the only issue with Delevingne's statement look. The phrase “peg the patriarchy” is perfectly acceptable in an educational environment, accompanied with proper context and a wealth of informative resources about pegging, sex, and sex-positivity, which Matatas offers in spades. Yet broadcasting “Peg the Patriarchy” from the Met Gala steps without a single f---ing scrap of context has some seriously bad implications, including negatively altering the expression's important meaning.
“If someone doesn’t know what this means, you’re gonna have to look it up," the Suicide Squad star told Vogue's red carpet correspondent, Keke Palmer, when asked about the text on her vest. Although Delevingne later added that “it’s about women empowerment, gender equality — it’s a bit like, ‘Stick it to the man,'” her explanation skimps on critical nuance. With this lack of context, several social media critics interpreted the message differently than likely intended, viewing it as spreading the false messages that pegging is bad …
… and even humiliating.
Others took this speculation a step further, arguing that viewing pegging as a punishment – especially when one party does not want to participate – has some Revenge Of The Nerds-level bad implications.
“Pegging is actually a consensual sex act between two partners, not a punishment to be used against cis straight homophobes,” wrote Twitter user @peachflavorjess,who says they're an OnlyFans creator. “There’s a different name for non-consensual penetration.”
So folks, here's to hoping Delevingne and Dior investigate the situation and give credit where credit is due. Allegedly stealing from small creators – especially queer women of color – is never in Vogue.
Top Image: Just Jared on Instagram/Luna Matatas on Instagram