Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Food & Gender

Ann Althouse wrote a post this morning about cold soup, starting by mentioning Bourdain and his childhood experience with vichyssoise (he loved it). Reading a couple of other blogs, she notices a comment made by a female blogger, saying that "chilled soups seem to be a tough sell for men."

Althouse references Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, and asks how her readers feel about gendered foods. I think about the fact that I'm making quiche Lorraine for dinner tonight, and Cooper will be perfectly happy with that. He is also very masculine.

I think I do have some preconceived notions about gender and food, but they're not borne out of widespread stereotypes. Instead, they come from my immediate experiences with the guys around me. For instance, I think of rice served without Asian food as somehow feminine, but only because my dad and brother and Cooper don't like it. But quiche, especially the kind that's full of bacon? Totally gender neutral.

I was also wondering if I'd written anything about this subject before. I hadn't exactly, but last summer I did write about an article exploring the differences between the way men and women cook.

One last thought - English is a gender-neutral language, but I wonder how gendered speech connects to connotations about food in other countries. I'm most familiar with French, and somehow I doubt that French men have many hangups about the gender of their food. But I wonder about other cultures...

1 comment:

Erin said...

or how gender is determined for individual words for different foods in other languages? also, to me, quiche seems very feminine for three reasons: 1.dad HATES it. 2. it resembles pie which resembles dessert which for some reason i always consider feminine (probably bc women tend to crave sweets more and desserts seem more delicate) and 3. quiche is frequently served at bridal showers/ladies' lunch, but would never be served at a "man's" party. think about it.


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