Recuperating “masculinity” with meat eating.

Since The Sexual Politics of Meat was published, I have noticed that many popular culture appeals to men (especially white, heterosexual men), seem to be rebuilding what feminism and veganism have threatened. In terms of the sexual politics of meat, we see several recuperative responses that seek to reinstate manhood, meat eating, and both interactively. Some advertisements show men “patrolling” other men for “effeminate behavior” (Kentucky Fried Chicken and Slim Jim among others have shown men ostracizing other men if they appear to be failing to conform to established heterosexual male norms.)

Everywhere I turn, I find new examples of the sexual politics of meat. 

Heterosexual politics are embedded in other ways, too. Meat ads often articulate the assumption that a woman is available as an orifice for men. Recent examples have exploited homophobia in their formulation: that refusing meat raises questions about one’s masculinity and sexuality. Or, that refusing meat answers the question about one’s sexuality: you’re gay. From a German ad campaign that was proposed (but not pursued) that “tofu is gay meat” to “Gayboy” a vegetarian sandwich on a menu at a Brooklyn deli.

Everyone is affected by the sexual politics of meat. We may dine at a restaurant in Chicago and encounter this menu item: “Double D Cup Breast of Turkey. This sandwich is so BIG.” Through the sexual politics of meat, consuming images such as this provide a way for our culture to talk openly about and joke about the objectification of women without having to acknowledge that this is what they are doing.