I'm doing some (academic) research on why there are so few women open source developers and what can be done about it, which made me reflect on cooking and gender. Seems to me the 'traditional' gendering of food in the West, with men dominating resto kitchens and women household ones, is breaking down. And I can't help but notice that perhaps one reason (other than the general societal changes over the last 30 years--which apparently many floss developers are immune to) has to do with the mixing of resto techniques with home cooking ones. Not just the pretentious cheffy things overambitious home cooks who've just discovered a ring do, but the increasing sophistication about technique. I find it quite easy to strike up conversations with men about food, and about actually cooking it, which wouldn't happen if cooking were still dominated by one gender or the other. Is this happening because both men and women are learning to talk about taste and then trying to do it themselves?
One major difference I've spotted is that while the occasional flame happens on chowhound I don't think I've ever seen it happen on gendered terms (this happens on floss lists). Is it because there's a healthy respect for grandma's cooking alongside Gordon's?
Yes, I do recognise that there are plenty of ways people still assert gender through food. But there is alot more intermixing that I think would be interesting to learn from: especially from people who have been around serious (and semi-serious) food for longer than I have and who would have witnessed the changes.
Any thoughts are welcome.