Food Feminism: The Influence Of Gender In Food

1905 Words8 Pages
Hamburgers are for men, salads are for women, at least that’s what society and advertising tells us. In snack advertisements men are seen bulking up on hot dogs, nachos and burritos, while women are searching for a healthier meal replacement by grabbing a low-calorie no-fat yogurt from the fridge. Nestle has already explained to their consumers that their Yorkie Bar, which explicitly states in big bold text upon the packaging that it is “not for girls”. These chocolate bars are instead to be scoffed back by big manly men with a large appetite and a bench press appointment. Cadbury has also informed many through their advertisements that a woman eating a Flake bar is quintessentially erotic. These chocolate bars often found being consumed by…show more content…
Within the notion of feminism, the main question is whether gender is of certain significance. When viewing food activism through the lens of feminism, gender is a controversial topic. Gender is defined as the social construction of the differences in sex. Biology determines the physiological and reproductive differences of men and women, whereas culture and society defines their value or significance through gender codes and discrepancies. For many years now, our culture has appropriated gender into food through stereotypes and advertising, as well as cultural norms in food production and distribution. Years of categorized gender norms influence everyone’s relationship with food, whether it be through stereotypes of what we are supposed to eat or how we are expected to behave with consuming or producing food. However, these stereotypes and targeted advertisements have negative effects on our foodways, as it uses this as an incentive or vehicle to divide men and women into two isolated categories. By enforcing gender stereotypes onto food products, it does not further positive action towards gender equality and in fact, harms the progression of…show more content…
This goes back to the idea of how culture frequently imprints concepts in our minds of how we should behave and how we are supposed to act. With the help of corporations and media, society continues to apply pressure on women regarding how much food they consume, how they behave around food and behavior or place in the kitchen. The gender specific duties of a woman implemented by our culture entail that females adopt a healthier or lighter style of eating. Women are supposed to eat salads or consume their meals politely and femininely because society tells them to. The woman is considered as the nurturer, the homemaker, the salad eater, and the kitchen cook. The man however is the hunter, the caveman, the meat eater, and the one with the robust appetite. The man is the one who is expected to develop a liking towards meat and junk foods. In a research study that was conducted at the University of British Columbia, researchers investigated individual’s opinions on vegetarians and omnivores. The participants of the study were asked to rate the omnivores or vegetarians personality based on limited information including their weight, height, activities and most importantly, their gender. The participants that evaluated the individuals noted that the vegetarians were the more virtuous and moral
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