Tag Archives: gender

Sexual Politics of Meat

Reading a section from a book written by feminist antiviolence activist, Carol Adams was extremely interesting in many different ways. She’s been a successful author for several different influential essays on feminism, animal rights, vegetarianism, and the relationship between domestic violence and abuse to animals. Due to her strong views and large variety of thoughts perceived through the different essays and books, she’s a credited author with information that needs to be relayed. In this particular book, she discussed how sexism, racism, and classism are adjacent to meat consumption, so to speak.

At the beginning of the text, I find it intriguing about the paintings found in the basements. Henry VII was pictured eating a steak and kidney pie, while his six wives and all the other women were shown with fruits, cabbage, and other products containing no meat. That then brought the point across that people with power have always eaten meat, and that meat is a masculine food. In the following section, the author suggested that women have been starving at crazy rates disproportionate to men (Adams). That then led to the explanation of Ethiopian women being forced to make two different meals, one for males, and the other typically containing no meat for the females. That’s crazy due to the fact that men require less protein than women pregnant or nursing.

Another interesting aspect brought up was the reflections from cookbooks that portray men eat meat. Typically, most cookbooks address the men in the meat section, as well as not including meat on featured foods for Mother’s Day. In contrast, for Father’s Day, cookbooks suggested a large broil that should include steak for the father. I’ve never thought or compared that distinction in cookbooks from that time, so that’s just something I found interesting. Basically, the section focused on the hierarchy suggesting that even in poverty situations the meat is given to the man.

Turning from the previous topic, the next section provided information on the racial politics of meat. Honestly, I didn’t even know that this was a “thing,” or ever has been a “thing.” This focused on the racism requirements powering arrangements that customize towards the white culture. The two beliefs discussed included that if meat supply is limited the white people should get it, and if meat is plentiful everyone should eat it (Adams). This sprung forth the hierarchy of meat protein in standards of race, class, and sex.

The moral of the story is that meat provides a masculine touch to men, as well as creates many different issues involving racism, sex, and gender. The more important someone was, determined whether or not they ate meat, carbohydrates, fruits, or something along those lines. When terms of vegetarianism are brought up, many people think that men are challenging the masculine role, and they just shouldn’t do that. What’s so different from a women being a vegetarian than a man? There really should be no difference.

After reading this section from the book, I’ve learned a lot of new things about the sexual politics of meat. Although I knew of the struggle of equality between genders, I honestly didn’t know there were that many ties between meat consumption and racism and sexism. I thought the author did a very good job getting the information across in a coherent, factual manner. She provided the reader with insightful information about politics involving meat, and definitely helped my understanding!