Food & dining

Pumpkin Spice Derangement Syndrome. It’s real.

CJ Gunther/EPA/file

Of all the things to get worked up about in this world, pumpkin spice would not seem to be a natural target of national outrage.

But look out! As pumpkin spice invades shampoo, Blue Diamond almonds, duvet covers, mustache wax, and other innocent products, backlash is growing.

There are #AntiPumpkinSpice memes. Rumors of a pumpkin spice-free zone. Accusations — and an entire scholarly paper — arguing that pumpkin spice lattes are a sign of white girl privilege.

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What has pumpkin spice ever done to us? Oh, let us count the crimes:

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Number one: Because pumpkin spice latte’s arrival signals the start of fall, its appearance at Starbucks (and elsewhere) is what makes summer end. That snow you’re dreading? It’s pumpkin spice’s fault.

As Instagrammer @lizaroo wrote on Sept. 1: “Sept. 22 is the first day of fall. Not today. Not tomorrow. Put down the pumpkin and stop being a life ruiner. P.S. Pumpkin spice causes constipation.”

Number two (related to number one): With its fall — and hence holiday — association, pumpkin spice makes people think of Thanksgiving, which stresses them out because they’re not ready to face their families. Pumpkin spice is a trigger.

Number three: Pumpkin Spice Derangement Syndrome is less about pumpkin spice than about the alleged lifestyle of its fans (think yoga pants). An attack on pumpkin spice is an attack on Lululemon.

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But tyrannical as pumpkin spice may be, even haters have to acknowledge the important role it plays in our society. Americans need a villain. There’s a slot for it. If pumpkin spice were a person, it would be Ivanka Trump.

And even as a menacing cloud of cinnamon-clove-ginger-nutmeg-allspice hangs over the city, another threat looms. “Maple is a trending flavor,” a Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman told the Globe.

Beth Teitell can be reached at beth.teitell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.