2006/03/12

No Hum reading this.....

We love eating See Hum (cockles)!!! here's my theory regarding eating em'!


See Hum and the construction of ‘self’ and ‘others’

The dualism existing in the perceived traits of men and women gives food its gendered dimension. For example, eating beef is often associated with men (Williams and Germov, 2004) while craving for sweet food (Parasecoli, 2005) are characteristics of women. Similarly, through the interviews, eating habits can be seen as either masculine or feminine.

“Men eat faster, while women eat slower”
- Margaret Lin, 22

Men open their mouth wider when eating, while women open their mouth smaller”
-Evelyn Hu, 24


Seen in this way, the meanings inscribed to eating See Hum become one which also reinforces such binary thinking. For example, when the respondents were asked if eating See Hum is seen as a masculine thing, both men and women exhibits such dichotomous thinking.

“Eating See Hum is quite a men thing, I don’t know how to explain. But it’s like women don’t like to eat things that get their hands dirty, they think it’s very uncouth”
-Jia Jie, 24
“Though I also eat See Hum, I think eating See Hum is more of a men thing because they don’t care about their image when eating, we women are more particular about our image.”
- Evelyn Hu, 25

“I like women who eat See Hum, because it shows that they are not self conscious, they do what men do”
-Chia Weekee, 29


This dichotomy is clearly seen especially in the latter statement; by establishing the traits which are perceived of as masculine ‘not self conscious’, women becomes the opposite as they ‘care about their image’. Furthermore, not only is the dish perceived as a masculine dish, the eating practices involved in the eating of See Hum reinforced this masculine identity.

“Men don’t mind their hands getting all bloody and smelly, for us women, there’re always our nails to be aware of”
-Lee Shuping, 23
“It’s like when we eat See Hum, everything becomes less formal, instead of a plate for everyone, we all share one plate, there’s like a brotherhood, everybody getting our hands dirty and all….”
-Jia Jie, 24


Noticeably, the second respondent by relating eating practices such as ‘less formal’, ‘getting our hands dirty’ and ‘sharing one plate’ to the experience of ‘a brotherhood’, is attributing the eating of See Hum as an inherent masculine activity. What can be derived from all these experiences further reinforces the initial argument that See Hum is inscribed by social meaning and these social meanings are fraught with gendered ideals based on the perceived dichotomous traits between men and women.

2 comments:

@~ EmiLy De.RaNgEd ~@ said...

I beg to differ.. I love see hum... I love prying open and slurping see hum..

raw n bloody - i thk it's quite.. *raise eyebrow think very hard* pure feminity..

ha ha..

FROM a very extra-ordinarily womenly see hum crazed lass..

astroboy said...

that is an interesting view of it...and infact that "prying open to to get to the inside" *raise eyebrow don't need to think to hard" ahem can be quite a man thing

 
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