Old Roles in New Books

Cooking for Your Man, Cooking for Mr. Right, and Saucepans & the Single Girl sound like titles you might find at a used book table of a flea market. Yet these old-fashioned books were all published in 2006.

Food Is LoveKatherine Parkin, author of Food is Love, is galled but not surprised. In a September 28th article in the Philadelphia Inquirer Food section, Parkin points out the old-fashioned food advertising behind the man-pleasing trend in new cookbooks.

"Food advertisers have long wanted women to cook for men," says Parkin, because women are easier to sell to.  Advertisers, she says, "promise it will help win a man’s love. And they make women feel guilty if they don’t cook."

Advertisers haven’t changed their tune, even in the face of evidence that more men do, indeed, share the work of food shopping and cooking, Parkin says.