We’ve collected many images of the gendering and sexualization of food, where foods are turned into sexy female bodies or are shown alongside sexy women. Miriam sent us a link to Brick House Tavern & Tap, which markets itself as a Hooters-lite for-the-guys restaurant. The menu includes some sexualized elements, and is based on a clear gendering of items. Clearly it’s objectifying women (check out the website), but what interests me is the message we get about masculinity.

There are salads for men and women; the male version includes two types of meat and boiled egg:

Picture 1

Men are supposed to control things; foods are described as dominant or submissive. I presume the “man-cave” dish would fall into the dominant category:

Picture 2

Men’s foods are unhealthy. Steamed, rather than fried, options? Those are for the ladies:

Picture 3

Real manliness is associated with guns:

Picture 4

UPDATE: Reader Lisa says,

I thought the “gun show” reference was to biceps – e.g. men have muscles and women don’t. (e.g. Do you have your tickets to the gun show? har har har)

That makes total sense. I’ve had the good luck to never have heard that particular joke until now.

There’s also a class element:

Picture 5

And desserts are “the happy ending,” with “double d” cupcakes and “sweet, innocent” (girl)-next-door apple crumble:

Picture 6

It’s a common theme (see Lisa’s post on frozen dinners): real men need big meals with lots of meat. They don’t worry about health–they want you to deep-fry everything, dammit! Trying to eat a healthy, low-fat diet is for women. And foods are depicted as parts of women’s bodies (“double d”) or associated with sex (“the happy ending”).

See also Campbell’s ad saying beef soup is for men only.

Maria B. and Heather both sent in the video for a new iPhone app created to publicize Amp, an energy drink (the brand is owned by Pepsi). In this app, called AMP UP Before You Score, you get to choose between 24 “types of ladies” (Rebound Girl, Sorority Girl, etc.). The app then gives you links to types of information you could supposedly use to impress–and thus have sex with–each type:

The app also includes a discussion board where men can brag about their sexual successes.

Women as sex objects? Check. Depiction of sex/relationships as a game where it’s acceptable for men to manipulate women so they can “score” with them? Check. Stupidity? Check.

According to a story at NPR,

On Tuesday, Pepsi sent out a tweet that said, “We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate [your] feedback.”

Quite the apology, that.

As the commenter for the NPR story points out, though there has been a lot of complaints about the app, and despite their heartfelt appreciation of consumers’ feedback, PepsiCo is unlikely to pull it unless the controversy gets quite a bit worse as long as they calculate that the app is popular with the target audience–young heterosexual men–and doesn’t endanger consumption of other Pepsi products. They may even see the controversy as a benefit, if the company thinks it makes Amp seem hipper or edgier to young men as a result.

Adeste S. sent in this performance by two women about the difficulties and frustrations of being transgendered:

Performed at Brave New Voices.

NEW! (Mar. ’10): Ryan sent in this video of Sass Rogando Sasot speaking to the United Nations about transgender rights. From an article at Coilhouse:

Her speech, titled “Reclaiming the Lucidity of Our Hearts”, addresses the need for vastly improved acceptance, support and protection of transgender citizens worldwide.

Her entire presentation is very moving, but about 8 minutes into this clip, something shifts in Sasot’s voice and delivery. What began as an engaging speech swiftly transforms into something far more urgent, immediate, and beautiful.

Sometimes you see an image or video that is pretty subtle and complicated, and it takes some mental wrangling to figure out what it’s conveying and what cultural ideas it’s drawing on or contradicting.

And then there are things like this, sent in by Joshua B.:

1. Normalization of heterosexual male gaze (until the very end)

2. Girls getting naked

3. While washing a car ‘n stuff

4. And they come in various ethnic flavors

That’s pretty much it.

About the man at the end, reader Victoria says,

I think it’s still the male gaze – just adding gay men to the mix at the end. The “Or, if you prefer” (or whatever they say) seems to clearly speak to the men in the audience.

I agree.

Wonderful Pistachios has a new video featuring Levi Johnston, the guy famous only for nearly becoming Sarah Palin’s son-in-law when he and Bristol got pregnant. Here’s the video:

Hah! Because teen pregnancy and stuff = hilarious! If you’re the dad, anyway. I’m trying to imagine this video being made with a teen mom instead. Also, the silent Black man as an accessory to the White star is a great touch.

This just seems to be in terribly bad taste to me. Also, it’s an awfully long way to go to get to make a “do it” joke, and I’m not sure most people would get that the “protection” is the pistachio shell. I had to watch it about 3 times before I figured it out.

UPDATE: Apparently I didn’t actually figure it out. Reader DC says,

I think the “protection” they’re talking about is the black guy that’s supposed to be a bodyguard of some kind. The “does it” part is about cracking open the shell.

Duh. That makes sense. I mean, it makes sense that’s the “protection” they’re talking about. The video is still dumb.

And Ella says,

The guy is his real life body guard “Tank”. This may sound entirely unnecessary, but out of perverse curiosity I read the GQ feature about Mr. Johnston and the story is actually quite sad. It does delve into why he has Tank in his life.

The company really likes to say “do it,” apparently, as they do on this page letting you know there’s an app for your iPhone. An app where you crack pistachios.

Kristyn G. sent in this excellent image showing the clear division of the world into two paths: that of the sexually active flirt, destined to a life of shame and loneliness (by age 40), and the good girl who can become a happy mother and grandmother:

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Apparently it appeared in a “social hygiene” manual in the early 1900s.

Also see these trailers for old movies about teens gone wild.

NEW! Awesome reader Maria found the boys’ version:

246px-The_two_paths_(m)

Jesse M.F. sent us this cartoon:

2008-01-07-Misinformed

How would we know women like sex as much as men? They have to want to have it all the time, wherever they were, with whoever was available. Because that’s how guys like sex, and that’s the only way to be really sexual. If you don’t like that particular version of sexuality, you need to rethink how sexual you are.

tumblr_kpgy8xxhuW1qz7ng1o1_500-1

In the Bible (book of Genesis), God sends two angels to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These angels were charged with the task of evaluating the rate of sin within the walls. If the people were completely overridden by sin, God would destroy them.

What if those angels were statisticians, with access to GIS and geomapping software? How would the story have been different?

Some geographers at Kansas State University recently did an analysis of the spacial distribution of EVIL in the United States. Which part of the country is most afflicted by sloth? Lust? Greed? Envy? Wrath? Gluttony? Pride?

That’s right, folks – these geographers have operationalized sin, quantified it, then measured and mapped it. Pride is the aggregate distribution of all other sins, since it is supposedly the root of all evil (though one could also make a good case for apathy). Here’s how the sins are measured (and here’s a good view of the maps):

  • Greed: Average incomes versus total inhabitants below the poverty line
  • Envy: Total number of thefts (robbery, burglary, larceny, and stolen cars)
  • Wrath: Total number of violent crimes (murder, assault and rape) per capita
  • Lust: Sexually transmitted diseases per capita
  • Gluttony: Number of fast-foot restaurants per capita
  • Sloth: Expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation versus rate of employment
  • Pride: An aggregate of the six other sins

By looking at sin at the aggregate level, what they’re doing here is examining sin as a social fact, as opposed to an individual trait. This would be a good extension of a lesson on Durkheim and suicide as a social fact. This study really shows why we really can’t truly measure concepts such as this across space and time, since the meaning of these individual acts will vary. Are the same acts categorized and labeled as rape in Montana as they are in New York? How violent does a person need to be before they are arrested for assault, and does that differ by region? Are we really measuring rates of STDs, or rates at which people get treatment for them? If my measure of gluttony is different than yours, can I apply my measure to your actions and call you gluttonous? Or should I be using your measures to evaluate your actions? Is this aggregate data showing different rates of sin, or is it just an effect of different meanings attached to the concepts?

This would also be useful in showing how we can’t extrapolate individual characteristics from aggregate data. For example, I live in Indiana (but teach in Kentucky). This region is low in envy, lust, wrath, and pride; average in gluttony, sloth, and greed; and not particularly high in any of the sins. Apparently I live in one of the more virtuous parts of the country.

I guess I can cancel that fire and brimstone insurance.

But does this aggregate data also indicate that I, Anomie, have greater odds of being virtuous? NO. The fact that I am virtuous in every way is merely a coincidence. You see, their data is not measuring individual sinful behavior. Rather, it’s measuring social facts, and structural conditions, that they hypothesize to be correlated with individual sinful behavior (but I take issue with some of the measures). For example:

  • I don’t have any STDS. CLEARLY I am not lustful. CLEARLY.
  • If you have more fast food restaurants within a five mile radius of your house than I do, are you more gluttonous than me? No. But at the aggregate level, this may be a good quick and dirty device. At least they didn’t use obesity rates as their measure.
  • And if I make $100k (one can dream) in Indiana, then move elsewhere to a job with the same salary, does that mean my greediness has changed along with my place of residence?

Now, excuse me while I get back to my slothful appreciation of art.

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Angie Andriot, also known as Wicked Anomie, maintains the (mostly) sociology blog Wicked Anomie: Sociology Run Amok. On occasion, she likes to toss off her cape, hop offline, and play the role of Angie Andriot: Grad Student Extraordinaire – deftly juggling the writing of her dazzling dissertation at Purdue University with the imparting of wisdom to her lovely students at University of Louisville. She is particularly fond of symbolic interactionism. And cheese.

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