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The gender politics of food
154

JellySlice · 10/09/2020 16:07

A thread about the gender politics of chicken for dinner reminded me of a colleague who was organising a series of large business dinners hosted by our MD. My colleague would always order lamb for the men and chicken for the women. She was distraught one day when a male guest had to drop out at the last minute and sent his female colleague instead. My colleague genuinely believed that it was rude to serve men chicken, and that no woman would willingly eat lamb because it was too rich and heavy.

Is or was this kind of belief common? Man's food and woman's food?

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DeaconBoo · 10/09/2020 16:08

What century was this?

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fatblackcatspaw · 10/09/2020 16:36

WTF???

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slipperywhensparticus · 10/09/2020 16:39

🤣🤣🤣 yes! Meat is expensive lamb is really expensive so men get first dibs

I'm in the Midlands im loving these threads because its not just my family being crazy for once

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NearlyGranny · 10/09/2020 17:06

I used to run training in hotels a lot and we had a disaster on one occasion with a buffet dessert. The hotel had catered for the whole roomful - about 60 professionals - but it wasn't a sliced up sort of dessert, more a spoon out one. The men - less than half the room - rushed the table and scoffed the lot in great, heaped bowlfuls. None of the women got any, and we had to ask the hotel kitchen to bring out emergency dessert, which of course we were charged for. None of the men stopped for a moment to consider that they were eating two or three people's shares!

This never, ever happened when we had all-women groups.

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DianasLasso · 10/09/2020 17:11

Portion size is the other one. We regularly see threads where women are served smaller portions than men. (Now, admittedly women need less calories than men - but we're talking "special occasion, treat out" circumstances here, and the default assumption seems to be that women need "lady-like" portions).

Also crops up on "weird family dynamics" threads where the men get served the best meat first, then the women in the family get the odds and sods left-over bits of the joint/chicken/whatever.

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MillieEpple · 10/09/2020 17:13

I had a collegue that used to order a quiche in any buffet type order 'for the girls'. We organised a lot of breakfast buffets with a random quiche.

My mother in law insists there is always fruit cake 'for the men' ? Apparently they like it. She was in catering.

But you cant do gender and food and not discuss bbqs? Salad v meat

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Stripesgalore · 10/09/2020 17:18

Reading these threads makes me realise why so many women have eating disorders.

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Shedbuilder · 10/09/2020 17:50

Friends were married in a lovely old house in the country. More than 20 of us stayed over and on the second day one of the guests (she's a professional chef) made dinner for everyone aided by me and a couple of other women.

We were about 50-50 vegetarian and meat-eaters and everyone had been polled and asked what they would eat.The majority of the vegetarians were women. When we laid out the serving dishes on the buffet table the vegetarian dishes were separate and clearly labelled.

I was one of the last out of the kitchen and by the time I got to the food all the veggie dishes had long gone. All the meat-eating men had filled their plates with everything on the table, including the veggie food. Four of us women sat and eate bread and salad because the men had eaten our meals. There was a lot of meat left over. Most of the men were unrepentantly 'Oh, we didn't realise.'

The whole thing was steeped in sexist entitlement. The vegetarian women got short measures and then tried to share their meagre dinners with those of us who'd been left out. Women did the cooking, serving and cleaning up afterwards and it was the women who went without because the men were thoughtless and greedy. I was so angry.

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Shedbuilder · 10/09/2020 19:50

Whoops, reading that back where I said 'polled to ask what they would eat' I meant they were asked if they wanted the meat or vegetarian menu. No one asked for both.

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MadamBatty · 10/09/2020 20:01

The veggie thing is very common when I go out say in an Indian. Men say let’s gets lots of different dishes for the table...I might get a mouthful. I say no I want my own meal, don’t give a rats arse if that upsets anybody. The alternat is nothing to eat.

I was in the office recently, I ordered in sandwiches. team were asked what they wanted. A make graduate, on his first day ate my veggie ..he just didn’t Fancy what he ordered. He literally shrugged.

As a child the men & boys were served the best bits of the meat as they ‘needed it.

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Wavescrashingonthebeach · 10/09/2020 20:04

Im a vegan so id have neither ha.

You get the same thing with drinks tho. Ive been handed the G&T & ex was handed the pint when it was the other way round..

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OpenlyGayExOlympicFencer · 10/09/2020 20:05

@DianasLasso

Portion size is the other one. We regularly see threads where women are served smaller portions than men. (Now, admittedly women need less calories than men - but we're talking "special occasion, treat out" circumstances here, and the default assumption seems to be that women need "lady-like" portions).

Also crops up on "weird family dynamics" threads where the men get served the best meat first, then the women in the family get the odds and sods left-over bits of the joint/chicken/whatever.

Yes, and people who serve penis portions never seem to bother about women needing more iron. If you're going to give the women less because we need fewer calories on average and for some reason you've decided that's a good theoretical basis for hosting, the flipside to that is we should get more of any red meat on offer. Never yet heard it work out like that though!
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HermioneWeasley · 10/09/2020 20:08

I went to a wedding where there was a men’s dessert (something lovely and chocolatey) and women’s desserts (something shite and fruit based).

I insisted on a men’s one. Fuck that shit

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Stripesgalore · 10/09/2020 20:43

This thread is giving me the rage, particularly the house in the country meal story.

Also the recent grad eating someone else’s sandwich.

Just... AngryAngryAngry

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DidoLamenting · 10/09/2020 21:31

@JellySlice

A thread about the gender politics of chicken for dinner reminded me of a colleague who was organising a series of large business dinners hosted by our MD. My colleague would always order lamb for the men and chicken for the women. She was distraught one day when a male guest had to drop out at the last minute and sent his female colleague instead. My colleague genuinely believed that it was rude to serve men chicken, and that no woman would willingly eat lamb because it was too rich and heavy.

Is or was this kind of belief common? Man's food and woman's food?


No it isn't. Your colleague was bonkers.
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Wavescrashingonthebeach · 10/09/2020 21:36

Where was the chicken rota? Was that on the other thread? That made me laugh!

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JellySlice · 10/09/2020 21:58

@DeaconBoo

What century was this?

It was in the 90s. We were both in our 20s.

I thought it weird. But I'm an immigrant - for all I knew it could have been a regional thing or a class thing.
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Thneedville · 10/09/2020 22:06

@MadamBatty

The veggie thing is very common when I go out say in an Indian. Men say let’s gets lots of different dishes for the table...I might get a mouthful. I say no I want my own meal, don’t give a rats arse if that upsets anybody. The alternat is nothing to eat.

I was in the office recently, I ordered in sandwiches. team were asked what they wanted. A make graduate, on his first day ate my veggie ..he just didn’t Fancy what he ordered. He literally shrugged.

As a child the men & boys were served the best bits of the meat as they ‘needed it.

Please tell me you are more senior than him and have the power to make his work life a little more difficult than he might expect?
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Wavescrashingonthebeach · 10/09/2020 22:13

The "veggie" thing happened to me at a work induction. 10 or so of us in the boardroom. Break for sandwiches - big tray of meat options, slightly smaller tray of veggie options. Then my single "vegan portion". One of the girls eating the veggie butties was like "oo can i try yours?" Seemingly oblivious to the fact that would leave me short. Luckily i had stuffed my face with biscuits so happened to be amenable to sharing!

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sawdustformypony · 10/09/2020 22:16

This is a great thread - one of the best in a long time.

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BuffaloCauliflower · 10/09/2020 22:18

Tbf all buffets should always be more veggie than meat regardless who’s eating, because meat eater don’t exclusively eat meat and will always want the veggie stuff as well. But that’s by the by...

There’s absolutely a gendering of food, in so many ways. It’s harder for a man to be veggie or vegan without inviting commentary, and women are disproportionately more likely to be veggie than men. People have always found it stranger when my DH doesn’t eat the meat than when I don’t (we’re both pescatarian) because of course BIG MAN MUST NEED MEAT beats chest King Kong style.

I’ve seen plenty of tales here of men and women being served different amounts of food, or men being served richer food. If DH and I are out and he orders a salad and I order some great burger and chips thing, the server will almost always anticipate the meals to be the other way around.

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UncleMatthewsEntrenchingTool · 10/09/2020 22:18

@MadamBatty

The veggie thing is very common when I go out say in an Indian. Men say let’s gets lots of different dishes for the table...I might get a mouthful. I say no I want my own meal, don’t give a rats arse if that upsets anybody. The alternat is nothing to eat.

I was in the office recently, I ordered in sandwiches. team were asked what they wanted. A make graduate, on his first day ate my veggie ..he just didn’t Fancy what he ordered. He literally shrugged.

As a child the men & boys were served the best bits of the meat as they ‘needed it.

Is that you Smithy?
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Wearywithteens · 10/09/2020 22:21

This has been withdrawn at the poster's request.

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whirlwindwallaby · 10/09/2020 22:25

I think the veggie thing is a catering problem. Many dishes containing meat don't have enough vegetables, so you want about half of each to balance out. I'd want a slice of pepperoni pizza and one of spinach and ricotta for example. So if you have half vegetarians in a group I would cater for three quarters veggie dishes myself.

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Wavescrashingonthebeach · 10/09/2020 22:27

@Wearywithteens

I agree! It means when my Mum cooks Xmas dinner i get to be served first!

But seriously, its a case of speak up and be assertive or starve! And i love my food!

In situations like the "lets get a load of 5 indian sharing dishes" i normally make sure i get a decent portion then am happy to share out the veggie goodies as i want people to see how good it all is Wink

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