chapter  22
17 Pages

Food and Gender

ByMEGAN J.  ELIAS

The primary organizing theme in historical representations of food in the United States has been gender-segregation by task. Historians have also broadly designated mass production of food as belonging to labor and industrial history while home production was understood to be part of social or, more recently, cultural and specifically women’s history. These dichotomies have obscured the extent to which the history of food in America has crossed and blurred conceptual boundaries between male and female and domestic and industrial experiences. By taking a second look at the gendered history of food in the United States, we can see how useful food is as a lens to challenge longstanding interpretations of the social past.