Gender Roles In We Are What We Eat?

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“We are what we eat” is something that is often used amongst many in the field of food studies. In order to better understand this phrase that defines who we are, we must start off by analyzing the important role that gender and social classes play in the realm of food studies, and the way they shape the cultures around us. Firstly, gender differences have shaped our foodways from many different perspectives; firstly from the role of women in a domestic setting. From the writing by Alice P. Julier on “Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality” , we can see how the setting of a dinner party can vary between the roles that each women play. In the writing, we can see how the women was tasked with buying and producing the food for the household …show more content…
Women are often faced with certain stereotypes that have been passed on through generations, starting with the stereotype of appearance, stated in the writing “Waiting on equality: The role and impact of gender in the New York City restaurant industry” by the Restaurant Opportunities Centre of New York & The New York City Restaurant Industry Coalition , shows us how appearance can serve as a proxy for gender. This objectification of women has been present especially in the fine-dining restaurants after the World War 2 when European immigrants fled to the United States, bringing about their influences of European culinary and service values. This adoption of cultural values within a society helped create gender roles and norms that exist till today. This carries on to the back of house where a professional chef is always seen as male figurehead exemplifying power and masculinity, leaving the women to assume the roles in the pastry department - seen more as a delicate and less complicated job. The questions of how gender roles can be related to identifying oneself through food, also lies in the way the TV and media presents culinary professionalism as a male dominated field. The article on GQ “The rise of Egotarian Cuisine” by Alan Richman , shows us how food can embody a level of intelligence that often …show more content…
Besides eating for the sake of nutrition and hunger, food can embody a greater context and meaning through its ability to portray cultural capital. From the reading “The high and the Low” by Jack Goody , we can see how class separations can be formed amongst the ranks of the Chinese society, and that the notion of frugality can serve as a social factor that can define the difference between these classes. For the poor, staying frugal was seen as way of living, providing them with the necessary amount of food to eat thus using food as a function of life. Whereas for the rich, frugality was seen as a voluntary component of their lifestyle, this difference changed the way classes viewed food through the importance of it for survival. A simple act and notion of frugality not only serves as a separation between the classes but it could result in the bigger picture of identity, whereby identity can be formed through the type and amount of food that one eats. “We are what we eat” through social class can therefore be seen as a way to differentiate one from another. Lastly, “We are what we eat” can be seen identified through the social status that one tries to represent, this can be seen most prominent in the movement towards organic and pure food, mentioned in the article “Pure Food: The Status Symbol Of The

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