Foodie Feminists Say ‘Oh No You Didn’t’

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Part of the problem. Photo: Courtesy of Bemelman's Bar

Contemplating Frank Bruni’s piece on gender roles in dining rooms (and the postscript that followed it), the Huffington Post’s Molly Lass today questions the way men and women are served booze: “The darker, bitterer and more expensive the drink is, the more likely men are assigned to drink it, while women are regulated beverages that are light, fruity, or insipid.” Admitting that these assumptions are partly valid if insulting, she hopes more women will learn to take wine lists by the horns. Another reaction to Bruni’s piece, however, expresses disbelief that he would advance such stereotypes at all.

The Grinder’s Miriam Wolf asks Bruni:

Did you have to trot out hoary assumptions like women are bad tippers? … Did you have to talk about how all the women who ask you for restaurant recommendations want to make sure the lighting isn’t too harsh? Did you have to dig someone up to give you a quote that "women more often hesitate if the name or look of a dish is too blunt a reminder that they’re biting into an animal[?]"



Indeed, the Grinder’s foodie feminism is in full force today. Another writer, Traci Vogel, is irked, just like the Feed was, that Josh Ozersky’s new blog is promising to feature “guest columns from some of the top men in the field.”



Men, huh? Although I’m sure it’s non-gender-specific men we’re talking about. As of this posting, however, no women have been the subjects of features on The Feedbag’s front page except the bikini-clad waitresses at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone (possibly NSFW). Feature topics have included Coolio, Patrick Connolly, and the King of Spain. It’s so male it’s like the Drudge Report of food blogs.



You’d think Ozersky’s next post, after that, would be about the fact that Magnolia Bakery’s UWS location now has a private dining room (it does!) or (more seriously) maybe he’d plug next week’s Women Chefs & Restaurateurs event, but instead, it’s an (albeit interesting) Q&A; with the bearded, burly guys behind Walter Foods, in which Dylan Dodd says, “It’s kind of a masculine menu. The whole place is kind of masculine.” (Well, we can add that one to the "male" restaurants list.)



Of course, the Grinder ignores the fact that Josh wrote many Grub Street posts about female chefs, and so far, Stephanie Shih is writing just as many posts as he is for the new blog (which, it must be said, isn’t even two days old).



So where does this leave us? Let's discuss it over a Bradshaw! Or, yeah, in the comments …



Drinking While Female [HuffPo]

Like Grub Street, Except with More Balls [Chow]

Really, Frank Bruni? [Chow]

Earlier: Are There ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ Restaurants?