Western Feminists Discover New Tool of the Patriarchy: Salad!

cropped view of woman eating salad in office. Copy space

Violence against women is spiking around the world. According to the BBC, last week, Taliban militants in the northwestern Badghis province of Afghanistan shot and killed a twenty-five-year-old woman who divorced her husband and then remarried. That same week, according to multiple news reports, a thirty-year-old woman was beheaded in a remote village in the Sar-e Pol Province in northern Afghanistan for shopping at a market without her husband present.

There’s more: According to the Washington Post, during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Bangalore, India, several women reported being groped and molested by what was described by another publication as “unruly men” and “hooligans in the garb of revelers.” Bolivia has also seen a spike in domestic abuse. In 2016, ninety-three women were murdered by their partners or spouses—thirty-two more than last year. Violence against women has also increased in Pakistan, which, according to news reports, “has led to a decrease in women’s participation in the labor market and involvement in the public sphere.”

And here in America, feminists are encouraging women to “throw off the sexist shackles of salad.” That’s right; according to Olivia Goldhill at Quartz, “salads are an unappetizing scam” and “bowls of leaves are really just the side helping to the constant diet of guilt our culture feeds women about their bodies.”

While many share Ms. Goldhill’s aversion to salads, considering the grim situation for women around the world, salads are not something Western feminists (or columnists) should spend much time thinking about. If this were a purely comedic column, one might give Ms. Goldhill a pass, but her passion for the subject, coupled with quotes from salad experts, betrays how serious a problem she believes this to be.

Let’s put this in perspective: Yes, I bore myself silly through the week because I eat essentially the same exact thing for breakfast and lunch every day: Eggs for breakfast and a salad for lunch. I put some protein on top of my salad but basically, my sad little bowl of leaves contains the same five ingredients that I always buy at the grocery store: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and radishes. I top it with lemon and olive oil, and sometimes I add in some protein or a few croutons. I eat my salad without thinking (I’m usually reading) or really tasting it. I don’t really enjoy it but it’s fuel, and it’s fiber, and I just want to get something in my belly quickly so that I can move on with other things—like writing articles about Western feminists’ inability to focus on things that matter and their fixation on first world problems, like salad.

I should give Ms. Goldhill some credit for making some valid points. She rightly points out that our culture puts way too much scrutiny on women’s bodies and eating habits, adding:

“The sad absurdity of stock photos featuring women laughing alone with salads has been a favorite meme for years now. But still, women keep eating those limp leaves. Look around any restaurant and you’ll see the vast majority of salads are sitting before women, too many of whom spend every meal worrying about how the food they eat will make them look.”

If Ms. Goldhill really wanted to attack the cultural obsession with women’s bodies though, she would focus not on the sexism of salads, but on some of those promoting body obsession—like reality star Kim Kardashian and the rest of her derriere-obsessed family, who fuel the myth that you can have a big butt and a small waist. Or maybe she could write about serial flasher Emily Ratajkowskior or any one of the many other young Hollywood stars that show too much skin while also complaining about being seen as sexual objects. Maybe she could take a swipe at those Hollywood mommies who appear to take off the baby weight in three days (and claim they don’t diet!).

On the food front, Ms. Goldhill misunderstands why women order salads. Many women simply don’t actually care to put much thought into lunch. This means that instead of being obsessed with food and fitness and the way food makes them look, many women have the quite healthy attitude that not every meal has to be an epic culinary experience. Food just sometimes means filling up so you can get through your day. Making healthy yet boring decisions is often the fastest way to accomplish that goal.

Ms. Goldhilll states that her New Year’s resolution is to “eat fewer salads and more carbs,” arguing, “truly eating well means we should enjoy food—not avoid it.” Good for her. And good luck to her. My New Year’s resolution is to stop making food so important—sort of what I think Ms. Goldhill’s meant to say in her convoluted article. I also plan to focus on real offenses to women around the world and expose where the sexist shackles are still firmly in place. Hint: it ain’t at the salad bar.

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  • emersonushc13

    Her next article will be on the rape culture symbolism of cucumbers.

    • Grumpy Cat

      Or the question of why there are no black cucumbers. Raysiss!

  • Jeff H ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ comic genius

    So, are we to believe that women’s issues with their bodies are completely the result of their inability to fight off The Patriarchy’s® pressure for them to conform?
    Snowflakes. I want–and have married–a woman far stronger than any societal pressure.

    • Chris Prestridge

      Ditto. My wife and daughters are stronger women than this femme..zi ever will be. Such 1st world problems these feminist have to deal with daily.

  • Room_237

    Occupy Lunch.

  • Miriam

    Got it and well said.

    As I explained to my young feminist friend:

    I’ll be a feminist when they start yelling about women being stoned for the crime of being raped, rather than crying about what kind of shirt a Nasa scientist wears.

    Till then, I’m a supporter of women’s rights. Which is another way of saying – human rights.

  • Paco_Wove

    Ms. Goldhilll states that her New Year’s resolution is to “eat fewer salads and more carbs,”

    I predict articles railing against fat-shaming in Ms. Goldhill’s future.

  • Leafy greens, with their low nutritional density, poor shelf life and unsanitary condition (uncooked) are about the worst value in the grocery store or restaurant. One of the best though is canned spinach. How much raw spinach would you have to cook to get one of those big cans? A titanic volume.

  • Clean Willie

    There are far too many “gender studies” grads out there trying to find some new idea that will make their name for them. It results in a lot of absurdity. I agree with the author. There are real issues out there and getting distracted by hare-brained theories is not helpful in the long run. (disclaimer: I am a man who eats more than his share of salads)

    • emersonushc13

      Why hire someone with a degree in complaining?

    • m a

      There has been an incredible amount of damage to education and our society by folks taking seriously products of a ‘publish or perish’ academic environment. Even the folks writing it don’t believe it, but they’ve gotta write something new and controversial to get published. Even if there’s no actual evidence for their theory.

  • Laka

    I understand that the author is trying to be conciliatory here but she has bought half the feminist tripe.

    Men really really really like the way women look. (Really!) This is our nature, we ought to feel no need to apologize for it, and it’s not likely to change. Women have noticed that men are hard wired this way, and owing to the way that they themselves are hard wired, they act in ways they believe will make themselves attractive to men. Again, this is something that is not likely to change and for which women have no need to apologize for.

    Men also do silly things to make themselves attractive to women, although salads are not generally among them. At my advanced age I study martial arts, lift weights and practice yoga. I do not expect to be able to fight off many young attackers but I persist in these vanities largely because women seem to like me for it. I do not feel victimized.

  • D-Note

    When you see a happy feminist, let me know.

    Their own victim-hood has taken on a life of its own. “Nothing is right, and all men have to suffer.”

    Here’s a clue. If you’re not happy, than what you’re doing is wrong!

  • m a

    The patriarchy in the US is dead and has been for a long time.

  • louiseparke

    If your job is to find sexism you will find it everywhere. Just like lawyers think the solution to every problem is either legislation or lawsuit, the EPA, new regulations will fix all problems etc. etc. Paying people to find the something means they will find it and try to enlarge their responsibilities for being successful.

  • Belial Issimo

    Wow, way to miss the whole point of the linked article.

    • Hitzbahly

      Anyone making legislation for them to eat salad to a certain amount or they will be punished? No? Then it has absolutely no point.

  • Estoy Listo

    Wait a minute…I like salad.

  • surellin

    She should be informed that the secret of success and happiness is bacon.

  • victor

    This article was pretty funny. 🙂

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