What some women will apparently do to land a man.

Published August 9, 2007 7:35PM (EDT)

Today's New York Times Styles piece on women who eat red meat on a first date as a "strategy" to lure men into their carnivorous maws (a conceit so odious that it makes me think of that exchange in "Grease" in which someone tells Rizzo to bite the weenie and she replies, "With relish!") quotes Martha Flach as saying that she eats steak and burgers on dates because red meat sends the message that she is, in her words, "unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic" and "that I'm not obsessed with my weight even though I'm thin, and I don't have any food issues."

OK. So for those of you following along: Selecting a food to eat on a date because you have calculated that ordering it (provided that you are thin) will give the impression that you do not have food issues? That's a food issue. A great indication that you do not have food issues (regardless of your weight) would be if you looked at a menu and said, "Mmm. That looks good. I'll have that."

Yeah. This whole story is about people who -- after years of eschewing "food" in an effort to appear "dainty" -- now worry that if they don't order red meat, their dates will think them "wimpy, insipid, childish ... vapid and uninteresting." So, writes Allen Salkin, they now order rib-eye to make "a declarative statement, something along the lines of 'I am woman, hear me chew.'"

How about "I am woman, watch me ralph all over this ludicrous piece that takes as its base the assumption that women spend their lives performing some market-tested version of femininity designed to land them a man on false pretenses."

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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