ISSUE 2: Gatekeeping isn’t Girlboss, it’s galling

Stop telling people to name all of Taylor Swift’s songs when you see them listening to “Red.”


Photo Juno Le

Insults can often discourage people from doing or having things they enjoy. What may be intended as defending can easily end up being gatekeeping.

Juno Le, Editor-in-Chief

Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss. The three G’s.

The term “gatekeeping” first originated from 2011 Tumblr but was popularized by Drag Queen Katya Zamolodchikova on Instagram in a way of making “live, laugh, love” into toxic white feminism. It’s all funny now and then to girl-boss your way into things, but the gaslighting needs to stop.

For those out of the loop, gatekeeping is defined as the act of deciding whether or not someone has access or rights to a community, interest or identity. One example of gatekeeping is when someone makes fun of your coffee order because how dare you drink your coffee with creamer and syrups and how dare you not get your coffee beans roasted fresh by a skilled artisan daily. You obviously have no right to call yourself a coffee lover when you don’t drink your coffee black with beans imported from Guatemala. And god forbid you’ve decided to drink your coffee with ice. That’s gatekeeping, and it’s not real hipster of you if you do it.

Everyone has their own interests, but there’s a good chance you’re not the only person with that interest. Sure, you may have listened to the Beatles since middle school, but those old dudes have been popular since the ’60s. I hate to break it to you, but you didn’t discover Paul McCartney. So please, when someone wears a Beatles shirt to school, don’t ask them to name fifty songs to prove they know who the Beatles are. Try being happy that now you have someone to talk to the Beatles about.

The same goes for those trying to gatekeep Harry Styles. “Oh but I’ve been a fan of him since the X-Factor.” So what? He’s one of the biggest male pop stars nowadays, you can’t stop people from being his fan. He also auditioned when most of us were under the age of ten. If anything, this large attention on Styles now is doing numbers for him, and if you’re such a true fan, maybe you should be happy about that.

Experience doesn’t define someone’s love of something. So what if they’re new to it? That’s one more person you get to geek out about Star Wars with. Being new to a fandom or a hobby doesn’t belittle your love for it at all and it shouldn’t be affected by how long someone else has been into it.

Getting shut down for liking something just because you’re not “a true fan” or experienced enough sucks. As long as no one gets hurt, people should be able to like or do whatever they want. You shouldn’t have to prove your loyalty or devotion to something just for you to enjoy it. Gatekeeping is extremely cheugy, and we should leave that behind with the millennials who thinks me not being able to name every chair Cedric Diggory sat in makes me a muggle.

Now please let me drink my iced coffee with two pumps of french vanilla creamer and two pumps of hazelnut syrup in peace. And no, I will not name every song by My Chemical Romance.