Apparently, Twitter went ballistic this week over a restaurant in Liverpool that serves lady steaks. Yes, that’s right, they have a steak for ladies on their menu. One that is smaller in size than the steaks for men. And that, according to Twitter is sexist and anti-women and, well, you name it. I absolutely do not understand why the lady steak is a problem. But more importantly: the reason why Twitter is so mad about this lady steak, is actually even more sexist (and so not from the 21st century), than putting a smaller steak on your menu “for the ladies!”
The most surprising about this row, in February 2020, is that the lady steak is on menus all over Europe since at least a decade
Let’s start with the most surprising part. From what I gather in the Guardian article that revealed this Twitter-rage to me, there are even restaurant critics who felt the need to publicly condemn the practice. I’m not a restaurant critic, but I do like to eat out (and review restaurants on TripAdvisor). The most surprising about this row, in February 2020, is that the lady steak is on menus all over Europe since at least a decade, and in the restaurant at the heart of this row it seems to have been on the menu for at least 5 years. So, why is this suddenly a problem now, and how is it that professional restaurant reviewers haven’t encountered a lady steak before? Are they really trying the food in restaurants, or do they just rehash what’s available for them on sites like TripAvisor, Foursquare and Google Maps?
It’s Worse: 20th Century Machismo Culture
Now that’s just the surprise. There’s more, and that is worse. First of all, let’s examine the steaks on the menu of said restaurant [viewed on 8 February 2020]. There are 6 steaks from the grill. The smallest one is the Ladies Fillet at 8 oz, or about 226 grams, and the largest is The Club at 20 oz, or 567 grams. Sure, that sounds condescending. The Ladies Fillet is less than half the size of The Club, because the poor girls cannot stomach so much meat, and real men eat a lot of meat. Right? Well, yes, that is the general opinion, that led to Tiwitter going mad over this sexist abomination. Here we have the actual problem. It’s not that the steak for ladies is smaller, but that we think that eating less meat is inferior, and that labeling the smaller version as being “for the ladies” is therefore derogatory and thus a sexist shame.
it’s better to not eat more than 500 grams meat per week
Let’s examine that. According to several governmental health institutions, like the Dutch Nutrition Center, but also the World Canxer Research Fund, it’s better to not eat more than 500 grams meat per week. Yes, that’s right: per week. Anything more increases your chance of becoming sick. With serious illnesses. Like cancer. So, eating a 567 gram steak, does that seem smart to you? Or is it maybe a bit too much? Of course, our 20th century machismo society tells us that real men eat that much meat. But is it really smart? I think by now we now it isn’t. That makes picking the smaller-sized steak the smarter choice.
Another Thing: Footprint
There’s a second issue: footprint. We all know by now that meat production is rather bad for our world. Putting it succintly to the extreme: eating more meat, means more global warming. Why is it that with that kind of knowledge, we still think it is cool to a huge steak? And that we think that eating less meat (smaller steaks) is somehow inferior? Looking at the health and environmental impact, isn’t it simply better to eat less meat? Making the choice for a smaller steak the one that should be lauded. And if that smaller steak is then called a Ladies Fillet, doesn’t that make ladies the smarter ones on the planet?
The whole problem with people losing their pants over this Ladies Fillet, is that they are barking up the wrong tree. We should be furious at the image our societies force on us, that eating big chunks of meat is a sign of coolness, masculinity and superiority. It really isn’t. It’s stupid.
So next time, dear fellow real men, make the smart choice. Man up, and order that Ladies Fillet.