I’ve been in California for two weeks now, and this week due to mild reentry shock I’m noticing American cultural tidbits.
In the United States, the concept of “manhood” is linked to meat eating.
A Google image search of the words “man food” will quickly turn up an eyeful of photos that illustrate the cultural belief about manliness and meat eating in an unmistakable way.
Cooking, traditionally considered a woman’s duty, becomes a masculine task when meat is involved and the cooking is performed outside on a grill. Barbecues are generally marketed and sold to men in America, and their use is typically the dominion of men.
A study conducted by researchers at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky found that men associate meat eating with “manhood, power, and virility.”
American men who opt for a meal of vegetables instead of meat are viewed as less masculine, according to both males and females surveyed in the research.
In the United States meat eating to declare one’s masculinity can be augmented with giant “man size” portions of meat. Huge servings of food seem to also be uniquely American.
It’s a cultural phenomena that doesn’t seem to exist in Taiwan. Taiwanese men eat vegetables without the antagonizing jeers of other men calling them wimps or cream puffs. The relationship between food and masculinity is absent.
So if meat doesn’t make you a man in Taiwan, what does? What sort of things define Taiwanese masculinity? I really don’t know, but I’m interested in investigating this question. I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this topic. Please share in the comments below.
- Should Humans Eat Meat? [Excerpt] (scientificamerican.com)
- On Father’s Day, Meat is King (thepawreport.wordpress.com)
- Sausage Fest: Breakfast Meats and American Manhood (feministsatlarge.wordpress.com)