Oh my… we may have gone too far this time.
Our neighbors are none too pleased, and our other half has serious doubts about our sanity.
We thought it made sense.
When we heard the news that eating meat promotes toxic masculinity, we put on our coat and marched right into our pasture.
“You’re free!” we proclaimed as we opened the gate. “You’re free!”
The critters marched one by one. Each gave us an odd look as it passed… as if they knew we’d soon regret our move.
Perhaps they, too, had heard about the “research” just published by a Penn State doctoral candidate.
Perhaps they, too, were shocked to hear that, these days, even the food we eat has become political.
Without giving the half-cocked piece too much merit, we recently read an article Anne DeLessio-Parson published in the research rag Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography.
“I contend that in such a context, we cannot separate the ways people ‘do vegetarianism’ from how they ‘do gender,’” she wrote. “Doing vegetarianism in interactions drives social change, contributing to the de-linking of meat from gender hegemony and revealing the resisting and reworking of gender in food spaces.”
Her writing leaves much to be desired (perhaps that’s the trick), but we think we get what she’s saying.
We’d summarize it this way… “You are what you eat.”
And these days, if you eat meat… you’re aggressive, sexually deviant and selfish.
“[V]egetarians defy attempts to hold them accountable to gendered social expectations,” she wrote. “Women, for example, assert authority over their diets; men embody rejection of the meat-masculinity nexus by adopting a worldview that also rejects sexism and racism.”
Wow… and to think she’s probably taking on massive student debt to come up with that sort of brilliance.
As you know, this project of ours wants nothing to do with making men aggressive or dangerous. Just the opposite. Our goal is to lead men to richer, more fulfilled lives without the stereotypes (see the quote above) that come with being a man.
It was with that very idea that we marched behind the barn last night and led those critters right out of our pasture.
We want no part of the crimes Delessio-Parson has charged us with.
But wait, our dear wife reminded us, what about that new grill we just bought? What about the fact that a meal is not a meal unless it comes with a chunk of meat?
Oh my. We pondered how far our livestock could have wandered in 20 minutes.
We pondered whether our neighbors would report any unusual sightings.
But that’s when it hit us. It’s 2017… everything these days is fake.
Fake names… fake money… fake sex partners… Surely we could find some fake meat.
That’s when we remembered we recently read something fresh about self-proclaimed “meat scientist” Richard Hawkins.
He’s the man who blessed our kids with Lunchables. He somehow found a way to keep Slim Jims on store shelves even longer without spoiling (dare we ask?). And now he’s the guy behind the company that gives us Beef-Free Country-Fried Steak, BBQ Boneless Chicken-Free Wings and Pork-Free Cutlets.
It’s a modern-day miracle. We can eat a fake steak and watch fake news at the same time.
All it takes is a highly industrialized process that turns soy and water into oh-so-appetizing “meat-like fibers.”
The technology has advanced so far, we’re told, that the latest versions of fake beef even bleed just like the real thing.
Wow. It truly is better living through chemistry.
We’ll rest easy tonight. The death of “toxic masculinity” is finally in sight. We’ll fake our way out of it.
We just hope the phone calls from our neighbors don’t keep us up.
P.S. Obviously much of this essay was written with our tongue in our cheek – and perhaps our foot in our mouth. But this is a serious subject. Let us know your thoughts and experiences with an email here.