The straight man is a chiaroscuro of excess and repression—in the negative space of their seemingly insatiable sexual entitlement are abscesses of pitch dark denial; straight men can’t even wash their asses in peace without fear of interruption by the giant talking head of toxic masculinity. You can’t dye your hair, you can’t know the names of different hues of green, and you can’t, for all your cajoling of women on the street to suck your dick, actually have a woman suck your dick.
Straight masculinity is fundamentalist in that it assumes everyone is inherently a sinner, and your moral standing is dependent on performative denouncing of the right sins at the right time, slowly retreating to what few creature comforts your sect finds permissible at the time.
There are no great revelations to glean in one of the guys from that TV show about racists talking cars as if anyone can actually afford one anymore saying he won’t eat ice cream because he’s straight. Heterosexuality and its many proponents regularly engage with this sort of epicurean fundamentalism. Partitioning people by what food they’re advised (or allowed) to eat is one of the more oppressive (and thus, effective) means of maintaining hierarchical power dynamics in a society.
Like information, fundamentalist conviction yearns to be free—in time, all food will be on somebody’s list of food that deprives you of your masculinity, even if those same advocates of traditional gender roles are in conflict with one another. A coherent platform is secondary to a canonical target.
My predictions are based on the understanding that eventually all food will fit someone’s definition of “gay”, and their inclusion in my list is based on my understanding of the context of our fight for gender and sexual equality, and not on the merits of any sort of innate gayness. Mocking people’s bigotry is good for the soul, but not when said mockery contains the implication that someone is the thing they fear. That’s low effort praxis. There’s nothing gay about eating an animal’s genitals; to suggest so even parodically is to be a real clueless asshole about the violence and sacrifices, in terms of spent lives and human labor, involved in meat production. Don’t be that person. That person spends their lives learning about loved ones’ milestones secondhand from social media and never understands why nobody shares intimate life things with them.
But you can share these foods with me, because they taste good and our doing so might distract Mike Cernovich and Alex Jones from doing more direct actions. I mean, it works with leftists and anime.
You make ice cream by using salt to lower the freezing temperature of water to make fat cold enough to physically alter it. Whatever it’s reputation as a dainty indulgence of decadence, ice cream is a testament of our capacity as a species to understand and translate scientific knowledge into tangible benefit. It took us millennia of wandering harsh climates and worshiping failed gods to come to this intimate understanding of the world. Compared to our ancestors, we are wizard warrior-priests.
Like ice cream, marshmallows are pretty metal. Made of the collagen of leftover animal carcasses, set aflame in the wilderness (not because it necessarily improves the flavor but because we just accept that eating scorched sugar on a fucking stick is just what you do when you’re a human in the woods), and often used to flavor cups of insecticide and herbicide that we’ve harvested because we like it (this is not a rant on GMOs, that is literally the evolutionary purpose of the caffeine found in chocolate and coffee); if you had to pick a food to showcase why an extraterrestrial civilization should not come to Earth, marshmallows would be on my shortlist.
But it’s white and creamy and goopy and straight dudes always equate this with semen, even though semen isn’t actually white—if your semen is as white as ice cream, you’ve probably been hooked up to an I.V. of fucking paint and are probably going to die in two minutes anyway—and in a political climate where a marginalized person’s safety is the greatest threat to the white man’s cultural legacy, any and all affects of comfort and coziness, no matter how metal, will become anathema.
2. Mini Hot Sauce Bottles
Unless you’re that sort of libertarian that needs a citation anytime a woman shares her experiences of men’s behavior, we can acknowledge that some men use spiciness as a way to demonstrate their toughness (as they do with boring alcohol choices and black coffee). It would be absurd to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s professed affinity for hot sauce would trigger a decline in this way of life. But Hillary pulling a bottle of hot sauce from her purse gives it a purpose beyond flavoring her food; the hot sauce is then an accessory, and if there’s one thing straight men of all walks of life can agree on, it’s that accessories are bad.
And so: carrying these mini bottles of hot sauce around will be akin to wearing scarves—a practicality nonetheless detested at belabored decibels. Remember how what is now the small fry at McDonald’s was the only size, and they added larger sizes to save people the embarrassment of ordering more than one? Hot sauce bottles will start to become bigger and more obtuse to ward off fears that the men buying them are purchasing food and not a concealable fashion statement. If a man is caught coming to or leaving a potluck wherein he brought his own hot sauce, he will be compelled to lie of its origin, and he’ll be all “ah! it’s my girlfriend’s! you know how those dames are, not ever having enough room in their purposes for all their medium to hot chipotle sauces” but it will be too late for him, because in his clandestine deviation from gender norms, he will have missed that you are not allowed to say “girlfriend” anymore, because real men are not “friends” with women and therefore she is either your woman, your womb, or your waifu.
Someone will step forward and say “I’m gonna punch you in the face, you beta!” and then someone else will say “wait, isn’t t0uching another man’s face kinda gay?” and in the ensuing confusion, this inadvertent gender rebel will slip into the night and attend a feminist book club and eventually interrupt the conversation to ask “why can’t men wear skirts, amirite? fabric is genderless!” and everyone will humor him and hopefully do so with the necessary enthusiasm to prevent him from going full “your rudeness has cost you an invaluable ally”.
3. Halal Meat
Food writing is political, even if your politics are to ignore the machinations that enabled you to make a spam and Worcestershire sauce gluten-free cupcake when 1 in 7 people in America struggle with hunger and just focus on how it tastes.
In the United States, a lot of our food, whether it’s sit-down or drive-thru, is made by immigrants and refugees. By electing a president with an explicit aim to deport and criminalize the existence of those people (and who condones harassment of food critics), we may very likely witness the implosion of an entire industry. This will have grave impacts on the availability of food in our neighborhoods. I’m not even talking about the ensuing difficulty in finding pad krapow moo saap that fits your standard for “authentic”—conservative America was so sure of America’s greatness because you had the choice to get a cheeseburger any time of the day, but never bothered to think of who made that food. The restaurant industry in America, and all the industries that prop it up (like slaughterhouses and farming, which also desperately rely on immigrant labor) could succumb to a recession. Whenever I bring this up in job interviews, whether it’s with food writers or people involved in food production and distribution, it creates a jagged, awkward silence. It’s terrifying to think about.
But white men in America aren’t nearly as worried about that as they will be about eating Halal food, just as they are in England and just as white supremacists loathe the idea of insufficiently labeled kosher food. The misinformation about Muslim ideology and practices will climb toward a fever pitch, and with it the violent disassociation of anything connected to Muslim culture. People will start taking to twitter to boycott every fast food joint that may not even serve Halal beef, but just can’t officially deny it because meat distribution is tricky and not all franchises get their meat from the same exact source. They will ascribe unpleasant feelings or experiences to having mistakenly eaten Halal meat, just as Alex Jones insists that just growing fucking old is a liberal conspiracy to cover up the copious phytoestrogens lurking in all our food and fruit juice. Remember when everyone was like “ugh, I thought I had to fart but I ended shitting my pants on the bus, mercury sure is in retrograde”? Yeah, it’ll be like that, but instead of a planet that none of us will ever step on in our lifetimes, it’ll be meat, maybe possibly made by people the government is constantly telling them is ruining their lives and should be menaced on sight.
Finish your fucking cupcake. We’ve got a direct action workshop we’re late for.
Author: Jetta Rae
Founder of Fry Havoc. Can be found on twitter at @jetta_rae