‘MasterChef’ and Internalized Misogyny

Contestants from Season 5 of 'MasterChef USA' make shocked faces.

Being a feminist can be hard, like when it interferes with my god-given right to irrationally hate reality TV contestants. The “love-to-hate” feeling is basically the entire point of watching reality television. There is no room for guilty consciences. And yet, this past season of ‘MasterChef USA’ forced me and my partner to wrestle with why we were hating on our least favorite contestants, because the obvious answer was that we’re sexist jerks.

Gender and Food Week: ‘Bridesmaids’: Brunch, Brazilian Food, Baking, and Best Friends

Bridesmaids   Guest post written by Laura A. Shamas. The rituals of contemporary female friendship are punctuated with food and drink as signifiers in the 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids, directed by Paul Feig. Many of the key emotional moments of the film involve food and drink. Intimate aspects of female friendship are revealed while eating; […]

Gender and Food Week: Eclairried Away: Is it Love or Sugar Shock in ‘Simply Irresistible’?

Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in Simply Irresistible Guest post written by Carleen Tibbetts.  The 1999 romantic comedy Simply Irresistible begins with the female lead, Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar), milling around a New York City farmer’s market (decked out in Todd Oldham! So 90’s!) searching for ingredients for […]

Gender and Food Week: The Fork Fatale: Food as Transformation in the Contemporary Chick Flick

Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert in Eat Pray Love   Guest post written by Jessica Habalou, excerpts from her unpublished Master’s thesis. Reprinted with permission. “Every word in Italian is like a truffle:” Eat Pray Love and Food for Pleasure  Based on the extremely popular memoir of the same name, Eat Pray Love is the […]

Gender and Food Week: ‘The Princess and the Frog’

The Princess and the Frog (2009) This guest post written by Janyce Denise Glasper originally appeared at Bitch Flicks as part of our series on Animated Children’s Films and as part of our series on Women and Gender in Musicals. The Princess and the Frog is a Disney milestone for two reasons: it is the […]

Gender and Food Week: ‘Cake Boss’: A Sweet Confection with Dark Filling

Guest post written by Lauren Kouffman, originally published at her blog Ex Ovum Omnia. Cross-posted with permission. Fan favorite and global hit, Cake Boss, first aired on the TLC Channel on April 19, 2009, and has returned for five consecutive seasons, building to some of the highest ratings the network had ever seen. Syndicated episodes […]

Gender & Food Week: ‘Simply Irresistible’

Guest post written by Janyce Denise Glasper. Simply Irresistible was one forgotten film of the late 90’s. It’s bewitching story failed to spark box office or critical praise thanks to a weak script dropping many unexplained plot points — who the heck was Gene O’ Reily, why did Amanda buy expensive crabs from him, and […]

Gender & Food Week: A Woman’s Place in the Kitchen: The Cinematic Tradition of Cooking to Catch a Man

Meryl Streep and Steve Martin in It’s Complicated This guest post is written by Jessica Freeman-Slade. Early in the 1954 film Sabrina — the original, starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart — the titular ingenue finds herself at a cooking school in Paris. Sent over as a gift from her father’s employer, the wealthy Larabee […]