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tekanji in phmt

2nd Carnival of Empty Cages

Lake Desire has hosted the 2nd Carnival of Empty Cages over at my blog. Although not a specifically feminist carnival, many of the links deal with the intersections between oppression. There's even a section dealing with the recent Burger King commerical and how masculinity in Western culture is often tied to meat eating.

I particularly like the excerpted post from Flogging the dead cow:
Note the way that meat is associated with strength and - at least impliedly - sexuality. Your very manhood is determined by whether or not you maintain a sufficient intake of dead animals. If you should fail in your duty to maintain this intake tean it is incumbent upon your female partner to gdragh you to an appropriate meat dispensary (cooking it at home is clearly insufficient) and put this right. Maybe you should go the whole hog and move to the States while youfre at it. Just to make sure.

I also discussed the BK issue in detail, and I know it was brought up on this forum, but I was wondering what y'all thought of the issue of meat and masculinity specifically?

Frankly, the only thing I can come up with as for why the two issues are seen as so closely linked is because meat eating is seen as a primal energy, and the dominant paradigm for men is that they're animalistic beasts at heart.

X-posted to: feminist and phmt.


First I have to say as a firmly male vegetarian I am not a big fan of the meat-man association.
Though I am not particularly surprised by the association between masculinity and meat. The link between the two goes waaaay back, at least in bits of western history (iron age Celtic culture being the example I am most familiar with). I think I disagree with you, though its a minor disagreement, about the source of the association. Masculinity has long been associated with physical strength. Physical strength generally requires hefty protein consumption. Meat has been the primary source of protein in the western diet for a really long time. I beleive that little logic chain to be the source of the link between masculinity and meat consumption. If it isn't the SOURCE of the link, it is certainly the way most men interpret the link now. I have a pretty serious passion for physical strength and strength culture so naturally I run into "WTF do you mean your a vegetarian?" all the time. Most men, especially those immersed in any kind of strength culture (powerlifitng, bodybuilding, strongman its really everywhere) IMMEDIATELY assume that a man who doesn't eat meat is weak, therefore barely a man.
It seems to me that there are two essential problems with this.
Firstly, and with really very little to do with gender issues, is the fact that it is quite easy to get all the protein you could possibly need without eating meat. The combination of soy/whey protein supplements and the availability of information about high protein non-meat foods makes it pretty simple. Though that simplicity is really only available to the reasonably wealthy, considering the cost and health literacy required.
Secondly, and the actually relevant part, is that linking physical strength with masculinity is stupid and crazy destructive. I don't think I really need to go into the reasons why a vital (health based) physical characteristic like strength shouldn't be linked with a gender. As was discussed in the BK link, it frequently produces extremely unhealthy behavior in men. The health issue that wasn't discussed in the link was how much the meat-strength-man equation leads to steroid abuse, which is a becoming a bigger problem every year.
If anything women are actually more negatively affected by the meat-strength-man business than men are. Namely because if if strength is masculine, weakness is feminine. It doesn't take a terribly deep look at fitness media to realize how aweful a crime against gender roles a strong woman is. Most women I have met are so enculterated with anti-strength propaganda they have very little idea of how most female bodies even react to strength training. It is particularly sad because strength can play an important role in health and self-defense.
Haha if I had it my way it would go something like "meat for no one, strength for EVERYONE!".
I don't remember if I posted this elsewhere or not, but I think in the U.S. the association between eating beef (it's always beef; pork, poultry and seafood aren't nearly as "manly") and masculinity is tied up in the whole cowboy mystique thing.