STFU, Conservatives (Is junk food really cheaper?)

–click on image to visit STFU, Conservatives on Tumblr.

Please see our “About,” “Why Radfem?” and “The Gears” pages for additional information about this project.

Common themes represented here:

Reversal.  This graphic actually shows the opposite of what it claims to show, namely, that “poor people” can’t do math (when they obviously can, because according to this graphic, they are doing it correctly) and that “poor people” can afford to eat better (but only if they have the money up-front to buy 5 gallons of olive oil so they can use it in half-cup increments at 55-cents each…a caveat which completely negates the original claim).  In reality, this graphic shows how important, but undervalued, women’s unpaid domestic labor really is, and (of course, as this is the liberal point) how it’s relatively easy to save money if you already have some.  It would be really great if the liberals actually made the “poverty” argument specifically relating to women’s poverty — and how women come to be so poor, and with so many mouths to feed — but alas, that would tend to make men as a sexual class look bad, and would necessarily involve PIV-criticism, so they never will.

Woman as “useful object”.  In the top picture, the cost of preparing the food is taken into account and is part of the pricing structure at McDonald’s; you are paying the people who prepare your food when you pay for your meal (granted, at minimum wage, those people aren’t being paid very much).  In the bottom two pictures, the cost of preparing the food is completely omitted.  That means that in order for the bottom two to represent “saved money” the person preparing the food has had to do this, for free.  For free!

If instead of “zero” the cook had been paid $14.11 in the middle scenario (for what, two hours work, including shopping and cleanup?) and $18.63 in the bottom scenario, the cost would be exactly the same as the allegedly “cheaper” McDonald’s meal.  For those without a calculator, that’s $7.05/hr and $9.31/hr, respectively.  Which isn’t a lot to ask (and since federal minimum wage has been $7.25 for 3 years now, paying someone less than that would be illegal.  Unless that person does it without being paid at all.).  In reality, there would be even less money than that left over for “payroll” after factoring in the costs of utensils, cooking fuel and other overhead costs which are also factored into the pricing structure at restaurants, but never, apparently, when the food is prepared at home, and almost always by women.

Isn’t it fun to completely disregard women’s unpaid labor, and the problems that poses to women and children, to make a political point?  It’s even better when the point appears to be that women need to be cooking more for their families, and if they aren’t, there’s something wrong with them.  See also Mansplaining/women’s perspective is wrong.  In the original Times article, the writer (a man) says that the problem is that cooking is considered “work” or a “burden” when it’s really not.  Stupid wimmins, how dare you consider your work to be work (and then graciously agree to do it for free anyway, as often as you do?)  See also Male entitlement.  Men are entitled to use and/or disregard women and women’s issues as needed, for their own male-centric politicking.  They are also entitled to home-cooked meals, from cradle to grave, at women’s expense.  Because fat.

See here to see the conservative politicking around this issue — which completely disregards the problem (to women) of women’s unpaid labor.

See here to see the liberal politicking around this issue — which completely disregards the problem (to women) of women’s unpaid labor, too.

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5 responses to “STFU, Conservatives (Is junk food really cheaper?)”

  1. radicalwoman says :

    Thank you. Pinto beans are an incredibly labor intensive food to cook.
    They forget, too, for those of us without cars, the added stress and time of going to a neighborhood with a supermarket. Our neighborhood has none – we live in a “food desert”. Most of our food we bring back on foot from a local discount store. This keeps our costs down but most of it isn’t what liberals would consider healthy – canned vegetables and tuna, white bread and white pasta, frozen meals. Carbs! Processed foods! Sodium! They wring their hands in faux concern over my health.
    It takes about an hour, each way, to get to the grocery store on the bus.

    Cooking isn’t work? It’s not a burden? Fine. Let the men do it.

  2. FCM says :

    yes, the “food desert” problem — and others — were addressed in the comments on the liberal site. they are all valid complaints, and debunk the conservative theory completely. BUT the liberals (from what i saw) never factored in the cost of (womens) domestic labor. i have *never* seen that addressed in this context. everyone has to pay for cooking fuel, utensils etc but the domestic labor and the fact that its almost exclusively female labor is routinely ignored. the irony is that the liberals could take a shot at the conservatives for missing that, but the liberals are so misogynistic and exploitative themselves that they will never call attention to the fact that they do the same damn thing, when it comes to valuing women and what women do to help boys and men succeed. fuck them all.

  3. Wei Xin says :

    Dolores Hayden’s book “The Grand Domestic Revolution” traces the stories of numerous groups of Women in the 1800’s who banded together to develop work gangs, of sorts, to tackle traditional women’s work; childcare, food preparation, laundry, together, employing economies of scale, as they were being employed in other areas of work.

    Personally, I’d like to see the private kitchen removed from future dwelling designs. Without home kitchens, demand for healthy and affordable meals would sky rocket, and restaurants would no longer be a luxury.

    We could also have housing cooperatives with shared industrial kitchens, where the community could take turns cooking for the hundreds.

  4. Natasha Alterici says :

    I was dumbfounded when I saw this image posted by a friend on facebook. I asked her how she expected to buy all the ingredients to cook any of those meals when you’re working two part-time minimum wage jobs, which after all the bills are paid leave you with about $20 to feed your family? Yeah, you go to McDonald’s because you can get a whole cheeseburger for ONE dollar. You can’t get the ingredients to make one cheeseburger for ONE dollar. And where the hell are you buying 4 single slices of bread? This picture is absurd and it doesn’t take any advanced mathematical know-how to figure that out.

  5. sam berg says :

    Excellent analysis of the erasure of women’s work. As low on the work totem pole as people put fast food employees, their existence is at least acknowledged and their paychecks are as real as anyone else’s.