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Food, Feminisms, and Rhetorics

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Two contending narratives about the drinking culture of women in the twenty-first century are represented by these opening quotations. On one hand, many feminists have distanced themselves from temperance rhetorics, opting instead to disrupt a traditional gender role associated with abstinence. On the other hand, the myriad of choices afforded by feminism and the increase in alcohol consumption among women have suggested that drinking practices are a reflection of the complexities of women’s roles in the new millennium. Some other critics go as far as blaming feminism for the increase in drinking. Regardless, drinking practices function rhetorically, pointing to “questions about who drinks, when and where drinking occurs, what beverages are consumed,” and how drinkers create and negotiate their identities in relation to their motives and relationships with others within social and ideological contexts (Rotskoff 11). Furthermore, drinking practices are inflected by gender ideologies that shape representations in popular culture.


This material was excerpted from the book Food, Feminisms, and Rhetorics edited by Melissa Goldthwaite and published by Southern Illinois University Press. Copyright © 2017 by the Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University. Archived with permission. All rights reserved.