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Is Tesco the ultimate feminist invention?

tesco_9I was talking to a historical economist at Cambridge University the other day. Yeah sure as you do. And she told me that supermarkets have set women free. That if we’re to talk about feminism and women’s rights then the invention of the supermarket is as important as suffrage. I was taken aback, really Tesco? That place? Could mass consumerism really have had a positive impact on women’s rights? She simply told me that it set us free from the constraints of the kitchen. Going to a butchers, bakers and markets separately is as time consuming as the preparation of meals for a whole family. There was no way a woman could go out to work when she had all this work to do at home.

This idea blew my mind, it wasn’t something I ever thought about before. I’m living in a generation where I’ve never had any responsibility to cook for a partner or family. I cook for pleasure and generally just heat something up when I don’t have time. Me and the BF share the responsibility to get food and we often don’t spend much time cooking unless we’re doing it for friends and then it’s always a treat. Now I’m not saying all the food in the supermarket is perfect, of course it isn’t healthy to eat ready meals every night, but there is healthy fresh food too. The microwave and modern ovens twinned with supermarkets mean our lives have transformed.

You only have to turn on the television and you’ll find a plethora of cookery programmes there waiting to be consumed for entertainment. We love food. There are just so many options at our finger tips and those who love it can make careers making it and writing about it, taking pictures of it. And those who don’t, get to eat it. It is literally at our finger tips. Obviously parents still have the responsibility to feed their children and there is time spent there but not to the same extent. Supermarkets offers us choices that were just unheard of before.

So next time I’m having a Sunday baking session, I’ll think of the women before me who spent hours cooking for their families. It’s something I was aware of but never really thought about with any clarity. We demonise the ready meal as a lazy option, but as a career woman I thank it for the choice.

One thought on “Is Tesco the ultimate feminist invention?

  1. It’s not just supermarkets that have given women more freedoms and choices. It’s technology as a whole. Imagine life without electricity, cars, indoor plumbing, central heating, washing machines, modern detergents, modern fabrics, fridges, freezers, telephones, plastics etc. This was life only a century ago.

    And it gets worse!

    The further back in time you go the less PAID jobs were available that didn’t involve manual labour. Go back a century ago and the majority of paid work available in most communities was farm labouring, mining, ship building, fishing, construction or some sort of trade. There were no comfortable electrically lit, centrally heated, air conditioned offices, and no service industry jobs that involved typing at a typewriter or computer or speaking on the phone (which is the kind of work most women today choose to do).

    A woman living an ‘independent’ life a century or more ago would have had to work some sort of manual labour job alongside men, and then come home from work exhausted and dirty, and split wood for the fire, light the fire, boil water to wash herself and her clothes, and then go out to the allotment and pick vegetables, milk the goat, skin a rabbit, cook up a stew on the stove, boil more water for a cup of tea and to do the washing up (without proper detergents)….. by the time she got to bed it would already be 5am and time to get up for work again.

    This is why women chose to marry men, and to take on the traditional feminine role of housewife and home keeper… while demanding men do all the manual labour!

    To reinforce their chosen role, women chose to wear skirts, petticoats and shawls and to emphasise their femininity as much as possible (basically emphasise their physical weakness and frailty), because this provoked men into ‘manning up’ and going off to work down the mines or out in the fields each day to provide her with all the resources and protection she needed.

    Women waited until AFTER new technologies came along and provided safe, comfortable, pleasant and appealing working environments and job opportunities (in modern electrically lit offices and mechanised factories) before ditching the skirts and rolling up their sleeves and finally (after thousands of years!) demanding the right to work alongside men.

    For the thousands of years preceding this, women chose the traditional female role of housewife, because it was (under the circumstances) preferable to do so.

    The so called ‘patriarchy’ was (and still is) a system designed to ensure women were protected and provided for by men, even at the cost of men’s own safety, health, and lives. Women were protected and prioritised to ensure a successful pregnancy, birth and nurturing and the survival of the next generation…. and thus the species.

    Today this drive to protect and provide for women is no longer called ‘patriarchy’ (women and children first) it is called ‘feminism’ (he for she).

    Sadly, modern feminist have hijacked the natural concern we ALL have for the wellbeing of mothers and their babies, and they have used it to advance their own material greed and political self interests ……. dumping their poor children in ‘day abandonment’ centres during the day, and then feeding them highly processed microwave ready meals in the evening which make them fat and diabetic…. convenient for the mothers, but not for the children who have their health ruined.

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