Women and Food: Things we need to normalize to break free from Moral Policing Women
Women and Food: Women have a strong relationship with food, not quite literally but from making to serving to eating food, women are deeply involved in the entire process in a patriarchal society. Gender roles have dominantly given food making and caregiving responsibility to women, but it is not supposed to be so. Here are some of the things in relation to women and food that we need to normalise.
Things we need to normalise in relation with women and food
Women are not obligated to make food
Well, it’s been a long since we have been debating about breaking free from this gender role. Yet, in most households, women are the ones who prepare meals. Household and making food is a job women are expected to do. And we need to normalise women not making food for gender-equal households.
Eating before the husband and the entire family
Women are always made to eat after their husbands and the family. The trend is most common in rural India. The women who eat before the family, especially husbands are seen as immoral.
Not Sacrificing food for the family
Women are often associated with caregiving titles. They are expected to always serve and sacrifice in the act of caregiving. Women often leave their portion of food for their children, for the family members and that act is seen as an act of love. This is nothing but toxic caregiving women are subject to. And yes, it needs to be normalised.
Normalising women not fasting
There are innumerable fasts that women are supposed to do in different cultures and religions. These fasts range from fasting for the long life of the husband to fasting for the children. And women do it, irrespective of the health implications of fasting. Many with poor health even, do it for the family, for the husband and so on.
Women having a larger appetite than men
Women are expected to have a smaller diet than men. And even if there’s no comparison, there is always a gaze in society for what a woman is eating. And if they eat more than the men, it’s not generally appreciated.
Normalise women not serving food
Well, another caregiving activity is most likely to be delivered by women. No matter who is eating, it is the woman, the mother, the wife, the sister who is expected to serve. Is serving a gendered occupation? No. then why is it supposed to be done by the women of the family. This is another thing that needs to be normalised to beat the gender roles.
Normalise Women not eating the leftover
As women are expected to eat last, they are subjected to eat the leftover. In rural India, some families even prefer for the women to eat on the used plates of their husbands and eat the leftover food. Well, it’s 2021 and women not eating the leftover should be normalised.
These are the things that need to be normalised for women in relation to food. Women have long been facing discrimination around food. Be it making food, serving food or around eating food. It’s time we break them free from moral policing around food. And yes, charity begins from home. So, if you are reading this, normalise these things for the women around you.