Feminist Announcement! We’ve got another thing to add to august list of Things Feminism Has Ruined. In addition to marriage, family, children, being pretty, the fabric of society, and aviator sunglasses we can now add something altogether more important: food.
And that’s because according to Michael Pollan – of The Omnivore’s Dilemma fame – women, and more specifically feminism, are to blame for the food ills of the contemporary western diet. In a recent interview with the NY Times magazine, Pollan opines that our love of carefully prepared food is:
a bit of wisdom that some American feminists thoughtlessly trampled in their rush to get women out of the kitchen.
Pollan further bemoans the fact that:
American women now allow corporations to cook for them.
American woman, Pollan fears, have lost the “moral obligation” to cook that they once felt. And this is a Bad Thing. Thanks, feminism!
I’m not even going to bother going into how ridiculous Pollan’s rose-tinted view of food in 1950s America is – Emily Matchar does that far better than I could over at Salon in her article Is Michael Pollan a Sexist Pig?
Historical nonsense aside, the really striking thing about Pollan’s comments is how he seems to have internalized the idea that if home-cooking is anyone’s work, then it’s women’s work. So if the home-cooking isn’t getting done, it’s the women who aren’t doing it.
Though I suppose it’s not particularly mysterious that someone so fond of nostalgic call-backs to 1950s Americana might not have particularly enlightened ideas about gender norms. Let’s just hope his nostalgia for the food traditions of the American past doesn’t extend back too far, given the now conclusive evidence that the settlers at Jamestown were cannibals.