Today’s adventure in Pointlessly Gendered Products and the People Who Sell Them is brought to you by the Wall Street Journal via Anne Marie Chaker’s piece “Groceries Become a Guy Thing: As Men Shop More, Packaging Aims to Win Them Over; ‘Inner Abs’ Appeal” (16 Oct. 2013).
Can cookies, whole-grain bread and frozen yogurt be manly? Food makers are changing their products to signal, quietly, to men that they should eat them. Anne Marie Chaker and father of three Jeremy Alinder discuss.
First of all, I wasn’t aware that the proper bread- and delicious frozen treats sections of the grocery were barred off from anyone on account of their gender identity/expression (even though we know the reporter is really talking about cisgendered straight-identified men who are probably also white, middle-class, and able-bodied for good measure, because “default”). By “discuss,” Chaker means “shame a father of three who seems like a decent guy into saying that somehow gender plays into food when he basically tells her the opposite.”
Let’s get ready to rumble!
While I’ve regrettably come to expect national-brand beers to perpetuate the stereotype of beer as a man’s drink and insult women in the process, what about craft beers? Caroline Wallace of Bitch Beer recently discussed this in her article “How to alienate female beer drinkers in one easy step.”
Bitch Beer is a Austin, Texas-based beer blog written by a group of women. Bitch Beer’s name is similar to that of Bitch Magazine/Bitch Media:
We went with the name Bitch Beer because we want to disprove the old adage that women aren’t really beer drinkers. We’re evoking a name often given to sugary, low-alcohol content beer substitutes like Smirnoff Ice or Mike’s Hard Lemonade to prove that, from a stout to an IPA, these so-called bitches can drink any damn beer they please. You heard us, every beer is a Bitch Beer.
Wallace starts with a comparison of two beer ads seen at a local roller derby event. (Please refer to article for photos per BB‘s request that “All beer labels and photos of advertisements are displayed for educational purposes and should not be reused”). The first ad
was for [craft brewery] South Austin Brewing and features a bottomless woman toting a bottle of beer with the tagline “Your Champagne Just Got Jealous!” Now, as opposed as we are to the use of exclamation marks, and as confused as we are about why she’s still wearing her cowboy boots, the more disturbing thing here is definitely the use of a half naked female to sell beer.
Or, “A Study in Failing to Photograph Anything Properly.” Part 1 is here, with considerably better photos.
I really shouldn’t have promised this part 2 prior to checking my camera, but since I mentioned it, here’s a run-down and some cell phone photos!
I caught up on a lot of reading over the holidays, so I’m going to do a separate post on what I cooked and ate.
In this edition of Kitchen Library: cupcakes in Tokyo, craft brewing designations, a review of one of Kirin’s “low-malt” drinks, cherpumple, and more!
I finally got some decent photos of the persimmon cake, so I’ve updated the pictures on the recipe page (bonus one below).
Taiwanese food, women and alcohol, colonial Christmas cake, all the cauliflower, and some jam-making updates this week:
September Brew, Minoh Beer
Thanks to Jessica Goodfellow of Axis of Abraxis and Ashley of Surviving in Japan for featuring my kabocha purée recipe on their sites!
Kabocha daifuku at the Don Don Matsuri in Komatsu
While on my coast-to-coast beer-adventure, my friends and I stopped in a brew pub around Buffalo because when is it not time for delicious beers when you have good company?
I love brewpubs, but I confess that I’m not skilled at pairing beer with food. The great thing about brew pubs is that they know what pairs well, since they make it all. So here we four (two heterogamous couples) are, torn between the maibock and the amber ale. Female friend decides she wants the maibock, but the rest of us decide to ask for the waitress’s recommendation.
I don’t want to be able to see through it.
“I think the amber ale pairs well with most foods because it’s really smooth,” she says. “The maibock is also smooth.” And literally right as I’m about to agree with her that a smooth amber sounds great with this veggie dish I am about to order, she says to the group, “Oh, but that’s just my girl brain. Maybe your boy brains are different.”
Slight change of pace today as I have just returned to Kanazawa from an ambitious trip to the US. Since food and food culture are never far from my mind, much of my culture shock was culinary: actual vegetarian options! The cereal aisle! The peanut-butter aisle! Food labeled with allergy and dietary restriction information! Take-away boxes for large meals! Sourdough bread! Being able to substitute side dishes and ingredients!
Mostly it was neutral or positive shock; I was really happy to have plenty of choices to eat in the major metropolitan centers, rediscover some hometown favorites, and–you guessed it–have a constant flow of craft beer on draft. You all know how much I love Michigan and Michigan beer, but we didn’t visit my beloved second-homestate on this coast-to-coast whirlwind adventure. But between the two coasts and the Midwest, everyone I visited in the US, from my high school friends to my parents and in-laws, were determined to show me the beer time of my life on my trip home. Even the bride made sure there’d be nice dark beer for me and our real-beer-loving Japan cohort at the West Coast wedding! As a result, I got to enjoy some old favorites and try some new contenders, including some from Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, a microbrewery in my hometown of Cincinnati. Continue reading