When Renee Gross first contacted me, she was requesting to interview me about coffee shops as queer spaces for her new podcast, The Feminist Fork. Almost immediately, however, we both realized that Render and FF were on a similar mission: to bring a feminist analysis to bear on food and food culture. Using the parallel powers of radio and print, combined with the magic forces of the Interwebz, we seek not to so much to politicize food as to point out the ways in which food is, already, deeply political, deeply personal.
Renee and I quickly agreed that Render and The Feminist Fork would pair well, much like French fries and champagne. We've decided to team up each month as Render brings you the latest episode of the podcast!!
I asked Renee to give our readers a sense of what she is up to with show:
“Although food is such a large part of our lives, it can be difficult to notice the meanings surrounding it. Like gender, food can seem insignificant. But feminists figured out a long time ago that looking at the world through the lens of gender could give us insight into our lives, our communities, and our systems of power. Of course when we talk about gender, we inevitably draw upon all social constructions of identity, such as race, class, ability, and sexuality.
So, what can the stereotypical association of African Americans with fried chicken tell us about dominant constructions of race? Or the stereotypes of white bread with white trash tell us about how we construct social class? What does paying for dinner dates tell us about the scripts we use when expressing our sexualities?
Feminisms are founded on conversations about voice. How can we raise our voice? Whose voices are being silenced? Who is voicing what story?
While my main goal of the podcast is to explore food and feminism, my underlying goal is to explore the concept of 'voice.' I hope my podcast can become a platform for people to share their views. I’m committed to constantly being aware of voices while I produce this podcast but I also hope I can rely on the feminist community to call me out, challenge me, and continue the dialogue on the diversity of voices. That’s what feminism is for, right?
So, in waves, in stories, or in art, why do we revisit the same subjects over and over again? What do we hope to gain? Will we ever answer the questions that food and feminism invoke? Will our hunger for justice be satisfied? Perhaps, the most fulfilling moment is not the end of the meal but the moment of tasting when we find a morsel of meaning into a world structured by both gender and food.
Welcome to the Feminist Fork. Bon Appétit.”
Without further ado, the first episode: “Does it Really Matter who Pays for Dinner?”