Chatter: Lady Gaga’s meaty get-up, MoMA’s kitchen exhibit, STFU Rose Prince

Meaty fashion: So much controversy around Lady Gaga’s meat get-up at MTV’s Video Music Awards, which she claims wasn’t anti-vegan or pro-meat but rather a statement protesting the treatment of gays and lesbians in the military. PETA hated it. (They’d rather a sexy woman like Pam Anderson just draw outlines of cuts of meat on her real flesh than use a dead animal.) An LA Times blogger said her “antics aren’t in service of any real, learned feminism, activism or even pop-art bomb throwing.” I’m certainly not the world’s biggest Lady Gaga fan (I love her provocative style, but it’s the music I just can’t get into), but I actually kind of liked seeing something of thought-provoking substance, even if it was sirloin wrapped, come out of the VMAs. (She also wore a meat outfit on a recent cover of Vogue Japan.)

Feminists caused kitchen orphans, obesity and fast food: Rose Prince certainly stirred up the did-feminism-kill-cooking pot that is always simmering on the stove here at the Feminist Kitchen with this article in the Daily Meal. Prince, right, who is promoting her new book “Kitchenella,” claims that women who go off to work are to blame for “creating a generation of kitchen ‘orphans’,” who have no choice but to watch cooking shows for entertainment and then go out to eat at a restaurant because they didn’t have a Betty Crocker at home to nurture them as young children. She even goes so far as to write: “Yes, it’s feminism we have to thank for the spread of fast-food chains and an epidemic of childhood obesity.”

Seriously, Rose Prince? I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again, blaming women for having the courage to do something other than cook and keep house for a living does nothing to advance the notion of equality of the genders. Instead of blaming feminism, why not point the finger at fathers for not picking up the slack when their wives finally stood up and insisted they could do more than feed a family? Why not blame the microwave?
Kitchen Power! I like the way The Feminist Groite thinks: “For many women (the kitchen) is the only place where she can be left alone and has complete power. It doesn’t matter if a woman is exercising her power in a boardroom or in a kitchen its still POWER….I think we need to reclaim the power, prestige, and purpose of the kitchen. It can be a slavish place for some women, but for others of us who cook out of genuine love and joy its a liberating place. Feminism is about choices and I chose to reclaim my power one meal at a time.”

Kitchens at MoMA: The Modern Museum of Art in New York just opened an entire exhibit dedicated to kitchens, and gauging from this conversation between New York Times food writer Pete Wells and arts critic Roberta Smith, the exhibit doesn’t just showcase kitchen aesthetic, but it makes a commentary about the practical ways manufacturers attempted to reduce the “suffering and tedium” of cooking. From the New York Times T magazine:

The show has a definite feminist agenda. The role of women is highlighted throughout the exhibition, not only in the part they play as consumers but also as reformers, architects, designers and artists who have critically addressed kitchen culture. Should MoMA have named the show “Counter Balance”?

2 responses to “Chatter: Lady Gaga’s meaty get-up, MoMA’s kitchen exhibit, STFU Rose Prince

  1. Thanks for this post! I do love Lady Gaga, even as a vegetarian. I’m not sure if her meat dress came across as feminist, or what the connection was (Women are treated as pieces of meat, so why don’t we really throw that back at the Male Gaze?) But I appreciate her risk-taking in general.

    As for the “feminists = fat, lazy, junkfood addicted kitchen orphans” That lady can pack her idiocy up and take it back home with her, because that’s just lazy talking – clearly, she hasn’t investigated more into the issue to see what the real causes are. It’s so easy to blame abstract ideas and people you don’t know for the problems you’re clearly not experiencing. My mother was a staunch feminist in the male dominated arena of the Canadian Military, working the flight line with a bunch men all day (or night, depending on the shift), who would then come home to cook, bake, and sew. I grew up knowing that the kitchen and the sewing machine were important aspects of being a woman. I love to cook, and I love to design clothes (still terrible at anything but handsewing), but the only reason I do, I know, is because my military, feminist mother showed me the grace and beauty and inherent power in those things – they were tools for survival, and they were art, too – and what was more, was that as women, this was where we began to find confidence in our sex – with the ladies, making dinner, sewing clothes or quilting over coffee. It was a tie back to tradition, but it wasn’t a chain – it was something to be respected. Both of my brothers can cook, and my dad can sew.

    So, respectfully to Rose Prince, I invite her to step out from behind her apron and join the real world, and speak to some true feminists and working mothers – perhaps then she’ll remember that her mouth is where we place food, not feet.

  2. Love that the feminist kitchen is back! Also, I kind of think Lady Gaga’s meat get-ups (especially the one on Japanese Vogue) are sexy and fabulous and agree with you that her music is much more bland than her personality. I actually couldn’t name even one of her songs and when I saw them performed on Glee, I was bored.

    Wish I had time to visit Moma and the kitchen exhibit while I was in the city last week. Isn’t New York just the best?!

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