Let’s study this magazine shelf at Barnes & Noble for a second, shall we?
Is this 1950? Who put this together: Rick Santorum?
As you can see it flows from Women’s Interest [which, if one studies the magazines, reveals that women care much about Oprah, dieting, and fashion but not much, apparently, about world politics, sports, camping, literature] into “Family/Children” [naturally, because once a woman finishes browsing “Women’s Interest” she should get down to her real duties as wife and mother] and concludes with “Food/Wine.” If one looks at the Food/Wine shelf you’ll see that the Food/Wine magazines are on the 2nd shelf, the top shelf is reserved for magazines like “Pregnany” and, my personal favorite, “I’m Pregnant.”
I have no doubt marketing experts would say this is most effective. That women like to browse their magazines all at once and that more women than men buy food magazines. Fine. But this system of shelving reinforces stereotypes and gender roles that should be archaic in the 21st century. Food is a necessity and we all eat it. It’s not gendered: men and women need food to survive much the same way. The only thing that’s gendered is our notion that women should prepare the food. And as you all know by reading this website, I’m as manly as it gets (I stage musicals with eggs) and I therefore resent any implications that food and wine are womanly arts. Does anyone else find this offensive? Am I crazy? End rage here.