“Having it his Way” by Carrie Freeman and Debra Meerskin just confirmed my fleeting suspicion.
There is nothing more fragile than the masculinity men are so obsessed with maintaining.
Not that this is anything new in our society. Sexism is everywhere. Half naked women are flung over products to promise a sale, and no one questions anything of it. I can’t say I agree with it, but I will at least admit such tactics made sense.
What doesn’t is the new knowledge that even food determines one’s worth as a man or woman.
At the end of the day, food is nothing but fuel for our body. Whether one is male or female, we all need the same nutrients to keep us going for our busy schedules. Women need meat just as much as men, and men could benefit just as much from salads.
However, the need to maintain masculinity is proven to take higher priority over health, if advertisers are able to successfully exploit the gender roles for food.
For example, it’s perfectly okay to create pornographic images for Carl’s Jr. burgers. By doing so, women are equated to the meat: the man’s reward should he do the “manly” thing and purchase the biggest, greasiest burger from the menu, and also gain a beautiful woman because he made the proper choice as a man.
But who am I to judge? Sans the advertising tactics, I’m a huge fan of greasy, burgers. So what if men are flocking to buy them?
What makes this problematic is the fact that men who don’t care for the greasy slab are shamed as whimps, pansies, whatever your choice insult is.
This might not be so bad if not for the fact that greens are just as good as the meats. Without a well balanced diet, advertising makes an unbalanced diet, the ideal diet for men. Health is compromised just to sell a product, and it works.
As discussed in class, there are plenty of stories and encouters with men who avoid ordering or consuming whatever is dubbed as “girly” and my question is why?
Fruity drinks are delicious! Why are men so afraid of enjoying something that tastes good? More importantly, why are they so scared their masculinity will be compromised should they go for the salad instead of the steak. It baffles me to no end.
Granted, as a woman, I may not be the best person to discuss such a matter. I don’t know the struggles men live under with the expectations they are forced to live up to. What I can offer though, is a view from the outside, which can offer insight because of the ability to look at the big picture, rather than a niche I have been forced to live under.
Personally, I see no reason men have to be so fearful of enjoying a salad that there exists an academic article on the matter. Here’s hoping Freeman and Meerskin’s article can help bring some light to that, and allow all of us to pick up healthier diets without fearing our masculinity or femininity is on the line.