Do some dudes really just expect women to make them steaks? A study published last month in the journal Feminism & Psychology sought to explore whether there is a connection between positive attitudes toward meat eating, adherence to traditional gender roles, and sexist beliefs.
The survey, adminsitered to a total of 744 male and female undergraduates at a university in Texas, asked students to answer questions about their feelings toward meat-eating, as well as toward gender roles and sexism. Researchers found that “pro meat-eating justifications were positively related to sexist attitudes as well as traditional gender roles and negatively related to gender role transcendent attitudes.” Furthermore, they found that pro-animal-welfare beliefs were linked to more progressive attitudes toward gender norms and less correlated with sexist beliefs.
Any beef lovers care to weigh in? Writing in industry publication Beef Magazine’s Beef Daily blog, Amanda Radke says: “I, too, am wondering, now how in the world do we address this viewpoint? It’s very tied to the extremes of our nation’s politics right now, so if you’re a meat eater, you must also be an alt-right conservative, misogynist, patriarchal racist (or whatever other derogatory stereotypes you would want to throw in there).” Ultimately, she just kind of throws her hands up and refuses to touch this political tinderbox.
For their part, the authors of the study consider the results an indicator of “linked oppression,” which some animal-rights advocates and ecofeminists define as a tie between the oppression of women and the oppression of animals. Those who don’t consider the plight of animals destined for our dinner tables also don’t consider the disadvantages women collectively face in society, the thinking goes. I have argued for feminist principles with my mouth full of cheeseburger, so I’d clearly represent a statistical aberration.