The politics of food have for a long time been part of a historical heritage of a country. The food that is considered the staple of a country shapes its history. The articles in The Gender Politics of Food and the “Finding a place for father: Selling the barbecue in Postwar Canada” are both centered on the gender role in food-related issues. The articles present their arguments from different perspectives, but their central focus is the gender roles of the society concerning food. The essay will analyze and conclude both the arguments.
The Canadian Food patterns according to Lacovetta F. and Korinek V. are new to anybody who is not a native Canadian. They argue that food is not only about knowing how to cook, but the processes involved in preparing the same (ANIUK). The medical practitioners introduce different food ideas something that does not sit well with the mothers from Canada, who believe their way is right. In their article, they seek to find a middle ground for both the native Canadians and immigrants. They argue that transforming the recipes into what best fits the individual may sometimes come off as offensive to other people.
Some of the food that was brought into Canada has taken root and become a staple for both the middle and upper middle class. The complex politics of food in Canada after the end of the world war took shape in having the household chores most especially the kitchen chores belonging to the woman. After the cold war, there was a mass immigration of people into Canada (ANIUK). Most of whom were women and children. It made the campaign of getting the Canadian woman to transform into an expert in handling their tasks in the home. The effects of trying to make the immigrants adapt to the ways of the Canadians was a soft spot that any wrong action would affect the relations of Canadians and the immigrants. The Canadians tried to help the women get along, both the immigrants and the native Canadian women.
The Canadian nutritional campaign was aimed at rectifying the malnutritional menace that faced the war survivors in Europe. The state of the people in the European camps was a sorry sight with the Jewish survivors looking more affected than the rest of the people. The most prevalent message in and around Canada was the fact that Canada would offer the best resources for food and basic survival. The immigrants were given high hope for life in Canada(ANIUK). The films about Canada always showed it to be the land of plenty and the ideal place for the immigrants. The women in Canada were supposed to be in a position to shop on their own and keep the house in order efficiently and at the same time remain in good shape. According to the article by Korenik the role of the woman was to worry about the family’s nutritional status and health.
The debate presented by Korinek argues that the place of women is in the kitchen and the home. They were the strong backbone that held the family together indoors(ANIUK). The men, on the other hand, were outdoor characters, and they were solely the breadwinners. There is a clear definition of roles, and even the society supports the fact that men are not cut of indoor activities. The debate here is that the Canadian woman is the ideal homemaker and that the immigrants should adapt to the same.
The article by Chris Dummitt, Finding a Place for Father: selling the Barbecue in Postwar Canada, affirms the position of the women to be the kitchen (Dummitt). However, there is the introduction of a new aspect, the barbecue. The barbecue that is an outdoor cooking skill and technique was introduced as a man’s role. It was a time when the role of the men in the family was only focused on supporting the family. The barbecue was opposed at some point, but the advertisers were prepared, and they eventually succeeded in doing the barbecue a man’s job. As it is, the barbecuing in the current world is solely a man’s job. The women were left to handle all the household chores in the house but any cooking that was conducted outside the home, the men took charge. In this article, the Canadian front is still seen to be the land of plenty. Resources were in abundance for healthy family survival (Dummitt). The social position of the men in this article is complicated. The men are both public and private figures; they have a bit of a domestic side to their personalities.
The barbecue article presented the other side of the men. It shows that the men have a more intimate side to them. The stereotype of the women belonging in the kitchen and taking care of everything in the home is broken. The men’s role in the barbecue shows that they can also be involved in the tasks of taking care of the home (Dummitt). The masculine figure is given a softer side in the article.
The report also differs from the Korinek article in that, it allows for the men to have a domestic side and assist in the house. The Korinek article only looks at the woman as the housekeeper. The two articles also have a difference in the way they approach the food subject. The article by Korinek focuses not only on the purchasing skill of the native Canadian women as well as their housekeeping ability. The women had a variety to pick from the store. They had everything under one roof, so shopping was easy. This kind of shopping knowledge was not a common feature in the countries where the immigrants came from. It was not a common phenomenon in many countries because of the war. The two articles agree on the part where the woman is tasked with taking care of the home as per the traditions, and the man is the breadwinner.
The two articles are right about one thing, they both show the role of the woman has or the longest time been keeping the house in order. Even in the current world, the women are seen as the housekeeping experts. They worry about what the family will eat, how the house will get cleaned and even what needs to buy for the house. Neither of the articles is entirely right because the stereotyping of roles does not mean that either gender cannot step up when required. The barbecue can be done by women as well as the men (Dummitt). The men can also handle house chores efficiently. The only right thing is when the women and men in the society can work together to complement and supplement each other to ensure life is made easy.
ANIUK, JON. ‘Sisters Or Strangers? Immigrant, Ethnic, And Racialized Women In Canadian History – Edited By Marlene Epp, Franca Iacovetta And Frances Swyripa’. Gender & History 18.1 (2006): 182-184. Web.
Dummitt, Chris. ‘Finding A Place For Father: Selling The Barbecue In Postwar Canada’. Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 9.1 (1998): 209. Web.
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