White men use their diet to bolster their masculinity by explaining their choice to become vegan in ways that evoke logics of rationality, science, and reason.
TONI AIRAKSINEN: A sociology instructor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) is warning in a new academic article that vegan men are guilty of perpetuating “white masculinity.”
“Meatless meals and masculinity” was written by Mari Mycek, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant in the NCSU sociology department, who argues that vegan and vegetarian men have reclaimed their “previously-stigmatized consumption identity” to wield power over women by framing their lifestyle as a rational, rather than emotional, choice.
Though some scholars claim that eating meat causes “toxic masculinity,” Mycek came to a different conclusion based on interviews with 20 vegan men, asserting that they actually tend to “uphold gendered binaries of emotion/rationality and current ideas of middle-class, white masculinity.”
Mycek argues that vegan men use their diet to bolster their masculinity “by explaining their choice to become [vegan] in ways that evoke logics of rationality, science, and reason, concepts that also traditionally get coded as masculine.”
Observing that “these performances of masculinity are aligned with white middle-class social norms and expectations,” she contends that middle-class men are uniquely poised to take advantage of this status-building strategy.
Mycek also frames veganism as a privilege for the elite, explaining that it symbolizes for men “a form of cultural capital and a symbolic resource, a way to align oneself with those who have the privilege of choice when it comes to food decisions”…
Mycek also argues that men who cite expert research on the benefits of veganism are enacting white middle-class masculinity, since “facts” conflict with more feminine sources of knowledge such as “value” or “opinion”. SOURCE…