Academic Absurdity of the Week: Alliteration Abuse

We interrupt the Cleveland Carnival to bring you this week’s academic absurdity, flagged for everyone as usual by the heroic NewRealPeerReview. This week’s winner achieves the triple play of the usual jargon, combined with an attack on meat, mind you, along with a felony violation, Aggravated Alliteration Abuse. From the journal Food and Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment:

Meat, Men and Marriage: Models of Masculinity

Jeffery Sobal, Cornell University


Gender permeates all aspects of life, including foodlife, and can be examined using singular and multiple models of genderedness. Singular models of masculinity gender-type foods as masculine and feminine, suggesting that men and women “do gender” by consuming gender appropriate foods. Meat, especially red meat, is an archetypical masculine food. Men often emphasize meat, and women often minimize meat, in displaying gender as individuals. Dealing with gender in joint marital food choices requires negotiations about sharing masculine and feminine foods as partner foods in joint meals. Contemporary Western “proper meals” center around meat, creating masculine marital meals that reproduce wider patterns of male dominance. Meat is often a contested food in marriage, with food negotiations conflicting about whether, what types, when, and how much meat is consumed. Multiple models of masculinities suggest that marital meat consumption does not necessarily follow formulaic, hegemonic gender patterns. These plural masculinities offer various adjectival gender scripts that can be selectively invoked in negotiating meals shared between partners. Multiple cultural scripts for strong men, healthy men, wealthy men, sensitive men, and other conceptions of masculinities are employed in marital negotiations about “doing meat.” “Doing marriage” involves negotiating and managing masculinities and femininities in food choices that reflect, reproduce, and oppose a variety of gendered societal food scripts. Both singular and multiple models of masculinity offer insights about meat and marriage.

For some reason the publisher, Taylor and Francis, wants $41 for this article. That would buy a dozen cheeseburgers at a decent greasy spoon. No wonder the patriarchy wins.


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