Sunday, January 31, 2010

Food, Sex and Gender....A new semester at Indiana University



So its a new semester for me at Indiana University (as of a month ago:P) and I'm excited to say that my first class of the week, my Monday afternoon delight, is a course taught by my advisor Rick Wilk on food, sex and gender. This lovely triumverate of topics brings a whole new meaning to the term "food porn" and elicites thought about the extremely gendered nature of food and food advertising. For example, to judge by today's advertisements, only women consume yogurt or soymilk in any form. These foods are almost exclusively marketed to women: svelte, healthy and happy looking women with perfect digestive tracts thanks to the wonders of the products they are consuming.

Some other highly gendered foods: chocolate, salads, steak, hamburgers, desserts and sweets, quiche ("real men don't eat quiche"). What gender is my photo up top? I would love to hear peoples' views on how marketing and social interaction genders certain foods. What foods are gender neutral? Any comments? Insights?

Our class is doing a panel at an international food studies conference in May. The title? "Sometimes a Banana is Just a Banana". And sometimes it isn't. What do you think?