Ack! Don’t take away my chocolate! Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote an incredibly insightful tribute on Salon to the “Cathy” comic character, whose creator Cathy Guisewite is retiring the series after 34 years in print. “While (Guisewite) has surely wrung a lifetime’s worth of gags out of what she refers to as the Four Guilt Groups: love, work, food and mom, she has also consistently stayed true to the conflicted, unfabulous world of modern womanhood. Cathy will never be cool. Her face will never appear on a hipster’s T-shirt, even ironically.” But not everyone thinks Cathy, with all that anxiety about dieting and men, was much of a trailblazer.
A feast of food films: I’ve only seen a few of the films on this excellent list of movies dealing with food and feminism on a blog called Readology. I haven’t even heard of many of them, but what a fun college course they would make.
Work it, girl: A look into the strange intersection of feminism, body building, Weight Watchers and protein bars on a blog I stumbled across called Feminist Figure Girl.
Humble pie: Women have been able to vote for exactly 90 years now, and to celebrate the anniversary, this food history blog reprinted the recipe called Pie for a Suffragist’s Doubting Husband, which includes instructions for handling the “upper crust with extreme care for they quickly sour if manipulated roughly.”
I still don’t buy it: Twenty years after writing “The Sexual Politics of Meat,” author Carol Adams stands by her theory that in order to be a good feminist you can’t eat meat. In a two-part Q&A, she reflects on PETA, the trend of veganism” and what she means by saying that “in a patriarchal world women are animalized and animals are sexualized.” “I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every woman who has said ‘I’d be a vegetarian if I didn’t have to cook meat for my husband’,” she says.
Sweet potatoes in the face: For you “Mad Men” fans out there, Carolyn Foster Segal has a good overview on the Huffington Post about the symbolism of food in the show: The Thanksgiving Day food fight, that Betty Draper doesn’t seem to eat and why Peggy seems to have the healthiest relationship with food of all the women characters on the show.
Men outworking women? When measuring domestic work, childcare, voluntary work and paid employment, a British researcher has found that men do slightly more work as women. This gives a male writer at the Telegraph a chance to finally say, “I told you so,” to all those feminists “blinded by ideology” who have been claiming otherwise for the past forty years. Good thing one of his colleagues reminds him why he should be thanking feminists instead of tearing them down.
Items in the kitchen, A-Z: Art can be so strange. In 1975, Martha Rosler created this Semiotics of the Kitchen video where she (painstakingly) goes through items in the kitchen that start with every letter of the alphabet. Three years ago, an artist named Selena States recreated the video but mimicked using the items (apron, bowl, chopper, dish, etc.) in nontraditional ways.
Right in the junk: Hardly a month passes by without some obscure food inventor dying (most recently it was the creator of Cheez Doodles), and the New York Times has this homage to the “great men of junk food” who came up with the processed snack foods (Twinkies, Tootsie Rolls, Double Bubble) we now seem to have so much nostalgia for.
‘Feminists who can’: Feminists reclaiming domesticity were the subject of this great article by Emily Matchar in the Independent Weekly in North Carolina. The story is a good primer on the revival of DIY women becoming more self-sufficient in and out of the kitchen.
The gastroparesis diet: I couldn’t imagine having a gastrointestinal disease like the one Foxy by Nature has, but it’s interesting to read her take on how having a “broken stomach” has impacted her as a feminist.
It’s all about choice: The radical homemaker behind Barnyard Bookworm has a really thorough and thoughtful post about why living a simple life that includes growing and raising her own food has nothing to do with patriarchy or male dominance. “This feminist culture seeks to view women only as the accumulation of their business accomplishments, rather than embracing the whole image of a woman and her personal journey. A famous female chef is a feminist icon but a woman that cooks for her family is a slave?“