Thanksgiving is here, and like any good Feminist/hedonist/recovering Catholic, I am fraught with contradictions.
Of course, I am troubled by the concept of an imperialist holiday which essentially commemorates the systematic wiping out of indigenous people. I also believe in practicing radical gratitude, and can totally get into the idea of setting aside a day of giving thanks.
I think Americans are gluttonous and it might be a loving gesture of gratitude for our many riches to participate in a thanksgiving fast to raise awareness acknowledge the poverty in the world. But I also fucking love food and pleasure and the ritual of blessing a bountiful harvest. Finally, I am a vegan and an animal activist, and while I surely could, I won’t spend my time expressing the horror of the millions of slaughtered turkeys. If you’ve spent any time at all on lesbian blogs and message boards, I’m sure you’ve gotten you’re fill of that. Instead, I’d like to take a different direction on this family-oriented holiday of food and thanks and talk about porn.
Certainly it only seems logical to link food with sex with gratitude, and surely we’ve all at one time or another dabbled in chocolate sauce or whipped cream or flavored lubes or have at least read Dorothy Allison’s “A Lesbian Appetite.” But I’m not about to advocate stealing the cranberry sauce or gravy from your family’s spread and going wild with your girlfriend in the guest bedroom. But I would like to pause and question why no one has censored Rachel Ray from stuffing her turkey on daytime network television.
Food need not be explicitly incorporated in human sexual activity for it to be pornographic. To take a step back into vegan-feminist land again, Carol J. Adams, in her book "The Pornography of Meat" thinks about the way the media, through marketing and advertising strategies, objectifies both meat and the female body in frighteningly similar and violent ways, with the common motive of rendering these “objects” consumable. Now, I am a pro-sex feminist, but I guarantee the pig was not a consensual participant in the sausage stuffing. I realize that this is a little bit of a stretch for the omnivores out there, and one potentially problematic aspect of Adams’ argument is that even if she doesn’t mean to, she is making pornography synonymous with rape and violence.
Just last week, my DailyCandy email alerted me to a new publication, Swallow Magazine, which through artful photography pretty explicitly links food and sex. Check out these rather phallic pigs’ feet!
FoodPornDaily provides titillating images of cuisine — money shot after money shot, if you will.
And next time you find yourself watching a cooking show, even Rachel Ray, take a good look at the way the food is presented and the way the cook talks about and interacts with the food.