Whenever women like a certain food or drink, that item often receives backlash from people who deem the product “unworthy”.
Taste recently discussed this reality by examining the rise, fall, and gendered branding rosé received through the past year.
Women and rosé
According to Taste, rosé is over. The publication takes that factious tone because since the wine has gained popularity amongst women, some male foodies, journalists, etc., have deemed the beverage a tastebud travesty.
Although a popular food trend turning “lame” is nothing new, rosé’s downfall has supposedly occurred because of the women who drink it.
Taste aptly reports that the “backlash” against rosé highlights the reality that often times, when a woman enjoys something, it’s ruined—think yogurt. However, when a man enjoys a trend, that trend is important.
“When men buy into food trends, they bring much-needed attention and success to what they’re consuming. Some sommeliers rolled their eyes after Sideways made male wine drinkers everywhere drop their Merlots for Pinot Noirs, but nobody was accusing Pinot Noir of overstaying its welcome,” reports Taste.
“And when men get into women’s trends, they elevate and legitimize them—or even create an entirely new market.”
A familiar story
This type of stereotyping has been true for a long while. That frustrates Katie Moseman, writer, photographer, and owner at Recipe for Perfection and Magnolia Days.
Moseman works with brands to create recipes used in marketing to a mostly female audience. She has extensive and on-going experience with responding to trends that appeal to women. “My personal pet peeve when it comes to women and food trends is that any recipe that’s labeled ‘easy’ is looked down upon,” says Moseman.
“If you call a technique a ‘hack’ (a much more masculine-sounding word than ‘easy’), it’s novel and genius. But call it ‘easy’ and it’s a cheap shortcut for harried moms. It’s insidious the way language is used to anoint what’s elevated and what’s debased.”
Moseman adds that there’s a large divide between what’s acceptable when marketing exclusively to women and what’s acceptable when marketing to a wider audience. “It’s almost like completely separate sets of adjectives are used,” she says.
“I’d like to see less condescending or cutesy language used toward women. And I’d like for being a ‘mom’ to become less of a stigma. Moms can like rosé and wear mom jeans while still being complex individuals who deserve respect.”
Women are changing the food industry
The food industry, in general, has traditionally been male-centric. This reality also influences how food industry influencers—view these women-centric food trends.
Recently, Anthony Bourdain, television foodie personality, said his praise of the food industry’s “meathead culture” was misguided. Bourdain once addressed how that culture shaped him and his career in his book, “Kitchen Confidential”.
Bourdain began to really speak out about the viral sexism in the restaurant industry—and really, Hollywood at large—after his girlfriend, Asia Argento, said Harvey Weinstein assaulted her.
“It’s probably too late to change the hearts, minds, and attitudes of generations of old-school male chefs,” says Bourdain, “but it’s definitely not too late to change their behavior, if only out of self-interest.”
Bourdain adds that others within the food industry will need to ask themselves, “what was I doing when this sort of behavior was going on around me? Was I the sort of person that people could confide in,” Refinery29 reports.
If this does happen, Bourdain thinks that the food industry and workplaces everywhere will change—drastically. “Maybe it’s too late for our children,” he says. “But I think our children’s children will grow up in a different world where instinctively they will find inexcusable the sort of workplaces that people of my generation saw as normal.”
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