new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Sexism and Dining?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sexism and Dining?

Restaurants are now bastions of sexism?

I can't say I've encountered much sexism in the dining room. I have been ignored in restaurants before, but I sense that's more because I'm a poor teenager then because I exude some sort of Ignore Me I'm Female vibe. When dining out with my mother or some other female older then myself, we generally receive excellent and attentive service - certainly not service on a lower standard then that I experience when in the presence of the Almighty Male. Perhaps I'm not paying enough attention (always a distinct possibility with me) but I also don't recall being served my food first, ahead of men.

Some stereotypes do ring true. I eat a pretty healthy diet and I try to keep things light, although I tend to throw that out the window and hit up the red meat if I'm at a REALLY nice restaurant. Seems like I'm step with the rest of the world:

"Restaurateurs I interviewed (Frank Bruni) noted that more men than ever veer toward salads, and that low-carbohydrate diets have nudged more women toward generous cuts of red meat."

See, dead animals can be slimming, ladies!

But what about this?

"When I dined a few months ago at the restaurant Forge, in TriBeCa, the two women at my table were given one kind of amuse-bouche, while a male companion and I were given another.

Ours: a crispy chicken wing. Theirs: chilled cucumber soup with trout."

Now that would have seriously pissed me off. This is because my love of crispy chicken wings knows no bounds. This could have led to a chicken-wing stealing situation, folks. Do you want that kind of ugliness on the premises of your quality establishment?

Or perhaps this:

"Stephen Starr, who owns Buddakan and Morimoto, said that women more often hesitate if the name or look of a dish is too blunt a reminder that they’re biting into an animal.

“If it’s something that says chorizo with some sort of egg, they’ll eat it,” Mr. Starr said. “If it’s a suckling pig, they’re not going near it.”

Count me out from the lady's department here. I find food is infinitely better if I am afforded the raw carnivorous thrill of eating something eminently identifiable as having once been a critter with thoughts and feelings and hopes. Now resting in my digestive system. It's a cruel world.

I also harbor a deep love of clubby, wood paneled restaurants with large wine lists and a vintage lived in sort of feeling. Spare me the contempo bullshit.. Does this make me a trannie?

I imagine this will come up more once I actually begin making enough money to pay the tab at nice restaurants by myself - and once I'm actually old enough, to, you know, actually order the wine.

This too, of course, may never actually happen.

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