gluten, cross stitch and lists
what I did yesterday

qotd, with rant

"Here in South Carolina, where the hangovers come quickly and often, the cures are mind-numbing and questionable. Every good booze glutton has probably tried the standbys: two gallons of water, enough Goody's Powder sleeves to construct a lifesize origami swan, Krystal hamburgers, hair of the dog, and a slew of over-the-counter, sure-fire remedies usually sold next to condoms, batteries, playing cards, and scratch tickets at the local convenience store."

-- George Singleton, "An Ode to Hangover Cures" in The Oxford American's Southern Food Issue.

I know I'm behind the curve on this, given that the issue came out in Spring 2005. I picked up a copy at the Southern Festival of Books in Memphis a month back and am just now getting through it.

Here's the rant:

As much as I love some of the individual pieces, like the Singleton essay quoted above, I'm having some big bad issues with the issue at hand. It appears, according to the OA and guest editor John T. Edge, that women aren't able to write about Southern food.

If I've done the math correctly, of the 48 bylined pieces listed on the TOC spread, 7 pieces are created by women. And two of those are photos essays by the same woman, Debbie Fleming Caffery.

So, what, women don't eat in the South? Or don't write? Or don't write about the cultural significer of Southern food (you know -- pigs, biscuits and pawpaws) in ways that appeal to John T. Edge? What am I missing here? Explain it to me in very small words how I shouldn't find it alarming that less than 20 percent of the issue's writers are female?

While I'm on the subject of puzzling periodical editorial choices, I also picked up an issue of Kiwi a couple of weeks back and won't pick up another. The line between editorial and advertising is a thin one in Kiwiland and I don't need to pay $4 to read stories that predominantly feature the magazine's advertisers. I'm funny like that.

In a bit of news that has nothing to do with magazines -- I'll be doing something tomorrow morning that I've long thought I wouldn't be able to do and that I'm just a little bit afraid of. Details if I make it.

And, no Dad, I will not be skydiving.


Sorry to hear that Kiwi seems to have gotten worse since the first initial issue. I noticed the same annoying tendency to focus on brands--especially with regard to recipes and a chart designed to help create healthy lunches--but hoped the mag would redeem itself.

I love the idea of a magazine with a focus on healthful foods and lifetsyle that is somewhere between the preaching of Mothering and the super mainstream stuff like Parents.

Good luck with your mysterious, daring event!

You would think that, if a person were going to be sexist about it, that food would be one thing that women WOULD be trusted to write about. Or are we just supposed to smilingly prepare it?

It's not called "The Oxford American's Barefoot-and-Pregnant-Where's-My-Dinner Issue," if it were, then it'd be full of female writers. Leave the complicated stuff like Southern Food to the guys, honey, and get back to that article on how to properly iron and fold your man's briefs.

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