Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coastie's: Codeword for Jewish American Princesses?

For many of us who attended Midwestern Universities, there was a divide in culture (and often Socio-economic status) between students from the Midwest and students from the coast. A recent video out of the University of Wisconsin tackles the issue of 'Coastie's head on, and it specifically calls out Jewish girls spending their 'daddy's money'.

Props to Jewschool for bringing this to our attention.

Coastie is defined on Wikipedia as

a term used in Midwestern U.S. universities to denote students who come from outside of the region, mainly from the East or West coast. The term is also used to describe students from the suburbs of Chicago. The term is thought to have been coined in the early to mid 90s. Although the most general use of the term denotes only the origin of these students, there are often implicit or explicit associations that use of the term can evoke. One is that coasties do not pay their own tuition because they come from socioeconomically privileged families. Other associations include living in private residence halls and membership in a fraternity or a sorority. Additional associations are fashion-related and are therefore more ephemeral. The most recent coastie fashion consists of Ugg boots, The North Face jackets, plain black leggings, American Apparel v-neck t-shirts, Longchamp Bags, and over-sized sunglasses.

The term took on new life, however, when the following video starting making its rounds:

As you can clearly hear, the performers call special attention to Jewish honeys (attractive girls) spending daddy's money, as well as a clear Jewish American Princess line.

Now, I'm with Talib Kweli when he says
Now if they call you out your name and that's a different thing
Anything but Queen I'll go to war like a King

And normally I'd be willing to go to war for my Jewish honeys, except that... well... it kind of rings true. It's not that 'Coasties' can just be reduced to their material components, but there sure were a lot of girls (and guys) at Wash U who sported the attire described on the Wikipedia article.

Dearest 'Coastie' friends, how does this song resonate with you? Are you infuriated? Flattered? Or does it not bother you since you moved back to the coast after school and haven't thought about the fly-over states since?

For various responses see: the AP article, the Heeb quip and the Sisterhood response.

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