They are the two most passionate topics for me to write upon. Recently while I was conversing with a friend about socialism and its impact on women empowerment he quipped about an incident that took place in early 1960s in Germany. The concept of socialism was strongly creeping among young Germans post the war and in a conference a brave woman threw a tomato at her male colleage for belittling a feminist speaker. The famous later labeled ‘tomato throwing incident’ became a culture in itself to voice political disagreement.
A woman’s relationship with food has always been passionate and controversial. From deeming a woman’s place in a kitchen as a symbol of feminine oppression in many cultures to food opening doors beyond borders to women to become Masterchefs and become identities of their very nations. A woman’s equation with food and her role as the primary nutrition provider to the family has bigger economical impacts in various industries.
Food industry in the consumer sector is marketed to tap this very nurturing emotion of a woman. Imagining her responsible for the health and wellbeing of her family and selling to her a number of high calorie and sugar ridden ready- made packaged food as nutritious options. In many ways we are partly to blame. We like the felling of importance that somehow by placing a good looking bowl on the table we would win all the love in the world. This translates to define a woman’s self esteem in various cultures.
Cooking is the biggest form of unpaid labour. Feminism neither pushed the women out of the kitchen nor did it undermine any family values. For generations not all women were happy being bound to an unsalaried underappreciated food business in their homes. it makes no sense assigning gender roles to something as basic as food that a human being requires to survive.
When I was younger I assumed innumerable culinary roles and thrived on the compliments I received for them. There is nothing wrong in loving to cook at home and everything inadmissible in being expected to as a form of duty sometimes sacrificing your whole identity.
Food sovereignty is another blooming movement where women are taking control of what they eat. The movement has seen involvement of women as home gardeners, growing organic produces in their kitchen gardens and making bold decisions opposing consumer trends on what is fed to their family. The attempt to grow what you eat stems from the broad and eco conscious choices of sustainable living and mindful consumerism, both of which are huge learning curves for maturing women. Women with families own up more responsibilities on food than single women, study says. But the trend is slowly changing.
In your 30s its time to make some conscious frugal lifestyle changes and eco conscious decisions simply because we need an earth to pass on to the next generation and also partly because its cool to empower and take control of our lives starting from something as basic as food.