‘10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman’ blew up on the Net last week. Clad simply in jeans and a crewneck t-shirt, the actress Shoshana B. Roberts walks through the city without saying a word, and is subjected to more than a hundred unsolicited ‘compliments’ and cat-calls. How does the simple act of walking become a statement in sexual politics? Males and females face active and passive aggressions in many aspects of their everyday lives – and that includes the act of eating. Eating is just when you put something edible into your mouth and start chewing, right? Apparently not. Even our foods have to be shuffled into gender-specific categories, for what good reason I don’t know. Check out this list of foods commonly gendered.
Once I was having dinner with a male friend, and indeed I had in front of me a bowl of salmon and leafy greens. I vaguely recall that we were talking about our favorite foods, and I had probably named something hearty and messy, when he casually mentioned: “What, not one of those salad things that you girls eat?” Never mind that I could be opting to have a salad because of taste preferences, health reasons or just because. Never mind that it’s my palate, my body and my life that you’re reducing into one sweeping generalization.
Humans have evolved to a point where takoyaki machines can flip those fluffy octopus balls automatically, but evidently our taste buds have not. Because males are evidently still savage cavemen who need to establish their dominance in the ecosystem, they dig into bloody meats by the slab. Females, while we would like you to take nice, dainty bites out of the vegetarian quiches, please don’t eat too slowly as well.
Want to get laid? All you have to do, according to the media, is give a woman some candy. In no time she’ll be nestled in the sheets, wearing silk and other sheer fabrics, with a piece of chocolate positioned precariously on her collarbone. For added effect, have the woman pop the chocolate bar into her open mouth and express unrestrained pleasure at the combination of cheap chemicals and cocoa butter knock-offs.
Burgers are probably on the top of those ’10 Foods Not to Order on a Date’ lists. While women should part their lips for creamy desserts, opening their mouths for large, wholesome burgers is a definite no-no. Girls, don’t use your fingers – you’ll look like a Neanderthal. Guys, don’t use the cutlery – you’ll look prissy. Maybe we should just stick a screen in the middle of the table and lower it when we’re done eating.