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The Genderization of Moroccan Cuisine Research Assignment (Article Sample)



The Genderization of Moroccan Cuisine
Over the years, the term man has been used to refer to both the female and male genders, the term mankind has been used to refer to humanity and gender neutrality has been an issue most nations have been struggling to gain. In meetings, if the chairperson is a lady, we have often heard the people say chairman when they actually meant chair lady. This raises eyebrows especially to the female gender who want to be heard, felt and recognized in this society. We have to accept that the trend is not an exception in Morocco where even there is genderization of what male eat and what females eat.
What sparked my interest in this topic:
I recently went to a grocery store in Morocco and asked the store owner the type of chocolate I should have. I pointed at one type where he bluntly told me that that was meant for men and even if I bought it, it wasn’t for women. I decided to buy three of them one for me and the remaining two for my girlfriends who had accompanied me to that store; we ate them in his presence. This action could have been so rude and culturally insensitive, but I think it should raise the question of whether foods in this country are classified for men, while others are classified for women. This clearly shows how there is much gender insensitivity in Morocco. A Moroccan friend of mine once laughed at me so loudly because I asked whether the desert called a halwa was for men or women; he then said that it is served with tea in the morning or after lunch meals. His exact words were "There is no food for men or woman Hahaha you cracked me up! No it's served with tea, maybe in the morning or after lunch."
There is a vast degree of seriousness that food taboos has impacted on some regions and societies around the world. This has caused division among men and women since some societies have a stereotype that only certain men are supposed to eat certain foods and certain women are supposed to eat certain food; example being that a pregnant woman should not eat certain vegetables because it would affect their health and that of the baby even though that’s just a misconception. Foods have divided people based on economic status; where families that constantly eat chicken and meat are deemed to be so wealthy while those that eat vegetables frequently are deemed poor. Having meals together as a nuclear or extended family or as a community enhanced intimacy among the people sharing these meals. If it happened that one or more people are excluded from such gatherings, it either showed that there is a kind of social status ranking or someone is regarded as a distant relation or that someone is viewed as an enemy. “Food in itself is believed to be the cement that binds all relationships, be it between humanity and god or even amongst humanity themselves (Appadurai 1988).”
There is no doubt that, in Morocco, there is still some more defined and clear separation of roles among the genders. There is always a mentality that women are supposed to always be in the kitchen and that their work is to serve the men, especially the ones who are married already. On the other hand, the work of the man is protection and provision.
Women are not allowed to smoke and drink in Morocco, not by law, but by the communities’ perception and societal stereotypes. Everyone who does that is viewed to be a prostitute because only prostitutes are able to do such acts. This mentality, in the recent past, is slowly fading away and even the women who culturally are supposed to be putting on veils are not doing so these days. There are women who these days drink in sophisticated bars, people see them and take them normally. To men, this is a normal situation and they can drink all they want and also go to the café’s that are reserved exclusively for the men.
Men and women in Morocco are not so much limited to what each of them can eat since most of the Moroccans have the tendency to always eat together, the afternoon meals are always shared as a family first before everybody else go to back to work. They start their meals with salad or vegetables that are commonly known as tapas, then this is immediately accompanied by tajine which is soup. Some common foods in a Moroccan Lunch are bread, chicken, boiled eggs, and meat; either red or white meat such as chicken. This answers the question of whether the men and women both have to eat at the same table; they do because all meals are shared with the whole family that comprises of daughters, sons, wife and husband and sometimes, an extended family.
Moroccans believe so much in sharing of food, they believe in Al Baraka which according to them reborn a spiritual energy in the family whenever they eat together. This encourages most families to eat collectively and share food from a single bowl.
Since most people believe that the woman’ place is in the kitchen, not only in Morocco but also in other cultures too, there is a tendency for the Moroccan women to prepare food. Whether single or married, because of how they have been brought up. No man is to be spotted in the Kitchen. For women, however, it is not a must for all of them to be in the kitchen the rich ones normally hire maids to take care of the family delicacies while some rich ones normally prefer to just be in the kitchen with the maid to help them out in cooking what they want in the best way possible.
After the preparation of these meals, it’s the ...
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