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Roasted wienie at Slate says backyard barbecuing makes men feel too masculine

July 24, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Jacob Brogan, grilling.

          Author Brogan and his grill: Eeww, I just hate feeling like a man!

Slate writer Jacob Brogan has found a new reason why grilling is bad for society: It makes men feel more masculine. And heaven knows, we can’t have masculine men! Here’s Brogan on the anxiety he feels when he so much as looks at his two-pronged fork:

“I’m uncomfortable with the pleasure I take in something so conventionally masculine. Looming over the coals, tongs in hand, I feel estranged from myself, recast in the role of suburban dad. At such moments, I get the sense that I’ve fallen into a societal trap, one that reaffirms gender roles I’ve spent years trying to undo. The whole business feels retrograde, a relic of some earlier, less inclusive era….

“On the one hand, there’s the peculiar alchemy of sun and smoke that makes summer days sprawl. On the other hand, it bears the stain of unintentional masculine cliché. Gathered around the coals with beers slung low, we’re all but enacting a myth of the American man, telling a story in postures and poses. No longer mere Ph.D. students, we have become bros.”…

And of course gender discrimination has got to be in there somewhere:

“Unlike most other traditionally ‘feminine’ forms of domestic cooking, grilling typically happens outside, and hence in the public sphere. The putatively masculine quality of grilling may derive in part from the old public-private gender split. In that sense, it shares a common cause with the belief that women belong in the home.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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