Women Have Food Feelings, Men Just Have Food

Newsweek’s Jennie Yabroff wonders why women write food memoirs and go on food journeys while men write penis-y books like Cook to Bang: The Lay Cook’s Guide to Getting Laid. I KNOW.

I was still reeling from that title when Yabroff shared this quote from Mario Batali: “There’s two ways to make someone happy—both are by putting something in them.” He must love meals with Tina Fey!

The issue I have with Yabroff’s analysis is that after considering various essentializing forces and class and sex issues that might account for the gendered paths of men and women in the food business, she throws up her hands and places her faith in the market, saying that food writing is gendered like that because it is what the public wants: “We may have the same expectations of what comes out of men’s and women’s typewriters as what comes out of their kitchens.”

Uh, since when? And how do you know that, Jeannie Yabroff? What do we expect of men and women in the kitchen and as writers? Has anyone checked? When was the last time the items in a bookstore (or any store for that matter) really reflected our expectations and needs? Last time I checked, the items on offer are a combination of the assumptions and prejudices of the people who work in the industry, along with calcified distribution channels, pressures from big business and limited access to the means of production. That’s true of everything from food to magazines to shoes. That’s part of what keeps us shopping—we don’t really ever get what we want.

Maybe I should get a strap-on and some donuts so I can write this and see if it comes out differently.

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Categories: Snacktime