Through past interpretations relating food and gender, one can observe a struggle of "power" in the once female dominated kitchens. Although food has been known as a female oriented subject, a male presence in the kitchen particularly involving the preparation of meat, has become prominent in the kitchens of today. With the increase in equality involving the preparation of food, it is likely the kitchens of tomorrow will be filled with both male and females participating on the same level. With this, could it be possible gender roles in our society are becoming obsolete?
In the past, as mentioned in Vissor's essay, women played a vital role in the preparation, and distribution of food, although it was seemingly forced upon them being the woman's responsibility. The woman in reference to Vissor's essay had very little rights around the house. When it was meal time, they were surely slaving away at a hot stove, preparing a feast fit for the awaiting men.
After they has accomplished this task, they served their guests and proceeded to eat in another room altogether. In ancient Greek times, the dining room was called an "and ron, "a room for men": and a woman eating there was a woman out of place, marginalized and unworthy of respect." Although in the Ancient Greek culture the men took no part in food preparation. Other cultures such as the Winnebego Indians had men partake in some aspect of preparation. These Indians "insisted on handling the meat (a prestigious, "masculine" food) ", however as in the Ancient Greek culture, the women weren't permitted to join the men at dinner." When reading Vissor's essay, I often wondered why food was such a power struggle. Were the Winnebago Indian feasts the beginning to a male presence in the preparation of food, or just of that culture? The way these cultures viewed food in contrast to the culture we live in seems humorous and ultimately unjust to the interests of females.
In our society today, the female dominant factor in the kitchen is becoming non-existent, as Vissor states "the gap between the sexes has closed." Today you don't have much of the lopsidedness of the past with gender roles. The whole family may help out in the preparation of food, either male or female. The primary responsibility of the female has become balanced, however, in some pars of the world females may still be "slaving" in the kitchens, paying no attention to western traditions. With women becoming viewed as equals in society, they are no longer the primary sources of food, which I feel is the way it should be.
In our society, gender roles in the kitchen are often overlooked from that of the past. We often forget, or fail to realize the struggle and hardship women have gone through regarding gender issues. Fortunately today, with the gap between the sexes closing in on one another, women can prepare food without the constant hardship that follows. With the equality in the kitchen on the incline, the future of both male and female presences cooking is promising. The male biased view that women are somewhat slaves to their whims has become, "a thing of the past." As we have seen in the past, males have been in the driver's seat when it comes to equality. With the increase of females in the workforce, both men and women now compete for positions previously done by men.
In the future there may not even be the notion of gender roles in existence. If you were to apply the equality of women to a graph from the 1800's to present, you would see a dramatic incline in equality, both inside and outside the kitchen. With this dramatic increase, it may be possible to make generalizations about the future of woman's rights. The thought of the equality of women in the future, also proposes questions: what does the future hold for women? Will the thought of gender roles be non existent to cultures of the future? Ultimately, one cannot answer these questions with much certainty, unless bearing of striking resemblance to Nostradamus.
In my family, the food is prepared in much of the same respects as the Winnebago Indian Tribe. My mother quietly prepares the side dishes, while my father prepares the "masculine" foods. I sometimes observe my father putting such delicate care into the production of the food he cooks (usually the meat), carefully observing every detail. My mother, on the other-hand, stands quietly in the kitchen making sure never to offer advice on his cooking, to do so would contradict the pride he so eagerly puts into his cooking. This sense of pride is even carried into the dining room. My father often marvels at his work, eagerly awaiting our response.
My mother, however, doesn't share this emotion; she discusses daily events rarely ever mentioning the portion she has cooked. My father may and usually will, ask us what we thought of his masterpiece. Knowing the pride he takes in his cooking, we will say something positive not to break his sense of accomplishment. With the emotion, pride, and dignity involved in my father's preparation of food, it shows the contrast between what was previously done in the past, and what is done now.
Women's positions in households of the past would have found themselves slaving over a hot stove not because she wanted to, but because that was her "place." With my family, everyone helps out in the preparation of food. Unlike the Winnebego Indian's, my family doesn't single out the women and children as the Indians had done. We all enjoy the feast that has been prepared equally between the sexes. Through the hardship women have gone through "slaving" over a hot stove, women have risen upon a new era of equality. This is an era where gender roles are becoming unheard of in our society. Once a female dominated endeavor, now equally shared responsibilities are carried out in our society, a society where equal rights have become more of an agenda and less of a problem..