Cara Delevingne’s “peg the patriarchy” Met Gala outfit “was classic appropriation”, says the sex educator and artist who trademarked the phrase.
Delevingne drew a lot of attention at the Met Gala for her outfit, which included a white bulletproof vest-style top by Dior bearing the phrase “Peg the Patriarchy” in red capital letters.
However, Luna Matatas, an independent artist, sex educator and queer woman of colour, trademarked the phrase in 2015 and wishes that Delevingne had credited her for it. Along with everyone else, Matatas first saw the outfit on Twitter.
“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,” she told Vice.
While she was initially surprised to see how far her phrase has travelled into mainstream culture, “then I realised how impactful it is to have your art shared without credit to you”, Matatas said.
“Especially in communities with more power and influence, and on white cis bodies,” she continued.
“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.”
On the Met Gala red carpet, Delevingne told reporters that the phrase was about “women’s empowerment” and “gender equality”.
“It’s a bit like: ‘Stick it to the man,'” she told Vogue. This was later criticised by many who argued that painting pegging as a submissive act for a man was, in fact, enforcing patriarchal ideas.
Matatas disagrees. “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,” she said on Instagram.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Matatas added: “It’s classic appropriation. We’re talking about people with a lot of privilege. It really would have been so easy for us to link arms and lift each other up.”
Delevingne’s look was created by Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, also responsible for the brand’s 2017 “We Should All Be Feminists” shirt. PinkNews contacted the brand for comment.