For various reasons, these last couple of weeks have shared the theme of feminism. I have never thought of myself as feminist, and dare I say it, I have never felt particularly supportive of them. Anyway, it began with a lecture for one of my French modules which was entitled ‘Gender and Sexuality’. What was particularly illuminating was some Uni Lad quotes: one young man thought that 85% of rape cases went unreported was ‘a pretty good statistic’. Even I find blatantly sexist jokes funny – what does that say about how ingrained female inferiority is in today’s society? Seeing how gender and sexuality works in literature has also opened my eyes to the way that females are perceived, both in society and in relation to men.
I also helped promote the launch of the second edition of the Warwick Globalist whose theme was ‘The Politics of Sex’. The launch event featured speakers about the concept of gender, but it was heavily centered on feminism. Lucy Holmes, founder of the ‘No More Page 3 Campaign’ gave a talk. I found it all very interesting, and it definitely made me think about the position of women in politics and the media.
The other point of the feminist triangle I was surrounded by was anchored in Paradise Lost, which I have just finished studying. The very establishment of the female as inferior to the male from, supposedly, the creation of the world, is a monumental concept because it highlights the magnitude of the struggle that feminists in contemporary society face: their aim is to break down a set of traditional views that have existed for thousands of years and are still unchallenged in a fair few countries. This concept’s intertwined relationship with religion empowers it further because of the influence that religion holds.
There isn’t really a direct link between this and food I am planning to write about, but I came home for the Easter holidays yesterday, and after reading a restaurant review in the newspaper magazine which had all sorts of intellectual content I felt compelled to up my game. I thought I would at least say that I have become hugely more aware of the position of women in all areas of society and I am fascinated in a slightly morbid way by this accepted patriarchal society that exists today.
So, having explained what I have learnt about the world since being at university, perhaps a good way to round up this blog post (which is, as it stands, not exactly related to food despite its name) is to summarise what I have learnt about food since October:
- When Ben and Jerry’s is reduced, no matter how poor you are, you can always afford it
- Mushrooms are a staple food
- Potatoes are a faff and not worth the effort – frozen mash, despite what people say, is tasty and quick
- Tesco Value is not just the dregs of the earth but is PERFECTLY edible
- Potato waffles can be toasted?!?!?! (Still not grasped the enormity of this one only found out on Friday)
- Mushy peas are actually really tasty
- You can eat the same breakfast (weetabix with milk in microwave for 1 min with handful of sultanas sprinkled on top) for 3 months and not get sick of it
- Peanut butter and jam straight out of the jar is a dreamy snack
There we go: hopefully this post has convinced you that I am developing into a well rounded (intellectually and physically ha ha) individual. I still sleep with my teddy, though.