On Tuesday, the New York Post ran a real article barftastically titled "I’m 124 Sandwiches Away From an Engagement Ring."
As a feminist, I feel compelled to comment. And I’m not alone; many other ladybloggers have already skewered this sh*t sandwich with their fancy, olive-festooned toothpicks. There’s even already a hashtag because OF COURSE there’s already a hashtag (#300feministsandwiches).
I had to add my voice to the choir because, you guys, SANDWICHES. The author of this article is LITERALLY LIVING that age-old anti-feminist takedown: "get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich."
Here’s the deal: Stephanie Smith is a Page Six reporter for the Post as well as the author of a cutesy culinary blog 300sandwiches.com, which is described by her workplace, the Post, as "a beautifully photographed blog that documents her quest to woo her boyfriend with bread-and-meat creations." Hearts, stomachs, etc. It’s a gender-role tale as old as time!
ANYWAY. She wrote a column about her blog and it was hard to read. Let’s review!
This is how it starts (which is badly):
My boyfriend, Eric, is the gourmet cook in our relationship, but he’d always want me to make him a sandwich.
Each morning, he would ask, "Honey, how long you have been awake?"
"About 15 minutes," I’d reply.
"You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?"
To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex. "Sandwiches are love," he says. "Especially when you make them. You can’t get a sandwich with love from the deli."
What in the actual f---? Am I being pranked right now? Is Smith a master of satire as well as a semi-pro sandwich artist? Or is Eric the biggest douchecanoe (h/t Mikki Kendall for that gem) to ever live?
"Oh, he’s probably joking," says the chorus of Eric apologists that have already proliferated on the Internet. OH SO HE’S NOT FUNNY, TOO? Moving on.
As he finished that last bite, he made an unexpected declaration of how much he loved me and that sandwich: ‘Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!’
Well, that’s gross. And, in response to that grossness, the author did what any sort-of-desperate, 30-something woman in a similar situation would do: she started a blog chronicling her quest to "prove she’s wife material" by making 300 sandwiches of varying levels of difficulty. You see, it’s like Julie & Julia, but horrible.
This, however, is the paragraph that KILLED me.
Even after covering movie premieres or concerts for Page Six, I found myself stumbling into the kitchen to make Eric a sandwich while I still had on my high heels and party dress.
If that’s what Having It All looks like, I don’t want it.
Also, exqueeze-me? You just worked a long-ass day and you’re making HIM a sandwich? (B-T-Dubbs: if I’m rummaging around the fridge wearing a party dress and heels, it’s because I’m drunk and looking for that six-month old container of frosting.)
I’ve read all of the following in response to us grumbling feminists, which I’ll helpfully aggregate into one annoying comment: "But some women WANT to make sandwiches for their men! They WANT to make their men happy! Relationships are about compromise, you guys! She did say HE cooked all their meals. Also: some women WANT an engagement ring and that’s fine. IT’S HER CHOICE."
Yeah, K. But no matter how loudly the Charlottes of the world scream "I CHOOSE MY CHOICE!" those choices aren’t suddenly stripped of their societal context. All together now: My choices do not exist in a vacuum.
And when someone trots out their choices as some sort of Pinterest-approved, How to Keep a Man With 300 Easy to Mid-Level Sandwiches! guidebook, I have a problem with it. Because it’s not 1957, and columns advocating women making sandwiches in the kitchen wearing heels as a means to EARN AN ENGAGEMENT RING are kind of bullshit, no matter how adorable they think they are. Especially when those columns are masked as essays about relationships and compromise. Because from where I’m sitting, the only person compromising is, yet again, the woman.
You know what would be awesome? If her boyfriend realized he lives with an attractive, goal-oriented career woman who has made him 176 creative sandwiches AND has sex with him and he TOOK A F---ING KNEE because that’s what would make her happy.
Final words from Eric, Sandwich Aficionado and Playful Chauvinist.
"You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy," he says. "We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.
Yeah, dum-dums. All you need for happily ever after is some fancy mustard, $15 cheese and a sprinkle of love. THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE, ERIC.
SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS looks at pop culture through a feminist lens. We scream about things that piss us off. In all caps. You know, because women are shrill. See: screaminginallcaps.com