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Is your kitchen closet a racist room? Per a professor: Possibly.
Loyola University Chicago marketing instructor Jenna Drenten has penned a piece for The Conversation on pernicious pantries. “‘Pantry Porn’ on TikTok and Instagram,” the title tells us, “Makes Obsessively Organized Kitchens a New Status Symbol.”
According to the academic, those uncluttered areas represent radical ills.
Jenna points to the prized appearance of countered culinary chaos:
Neatly aligned glass spice jars tagged with printed white labels. Wicker baskets filled with packages… Rows of flavored seltzer water stacked in double-decker plastic bins.
In today’s consumer culture, “a place for everything and everything in its place” isn’t just a mantra; it’s big business. Nowhere is this more evident than the kitchen pantry.
Indeed — she’s “noticed an uptick in glamorized, stylized and fully-stocked pantries on TikTok and Instagram, giving rise to…’pantry porn.'”
Among the online influencers prompting our pretty-pantry craze: the Kardashians. Another named offender: Real Housewives star Yolanda Hadid, who enjoys “social media fan pages dedicated to her fridge.”
The web is hot with hoity-toity hashtags:
But bottom line, the enterprise is evil — at least in origin…
Storing spices in coordinated glass jars and color coordinating dozens of sprinkles containers may seem trivial. But tidiness is tangled up with status, and messiness is loaded with assumptions about personal responsibility and respectability.
Cleanliness has historically been used as a cultural gatekeeping mechanism to reinforce status distinctions based on a vague understanding of “niceness”: Nice people, with nice yards, in nice houses, make for nice neighborhoods.
What lies beneath the surface of this anti-messiness, pro-niceness stance is a history of classist, racist and sexist social structures.
Some things are alright; others are all-white:
In my research, influencers who produce pantry porn are predominantly white women who demonstrate what it looks like to maintain a “nice” home by creating a new status symbol: the perfectly organized, fully-stocked pantry.
Caucasian complication isn’t exclusively a kitchen item. Aryan issues have recently been uprooted all over:
State University to Nonwhite Students: Report Professors for the Racism of Not Calling on You
Experts Warn of the Racism of 3-Month-Olds, Recommend Antiracist Training
Astrophysicist Warns Against ‘Exceptionalism’ — It’s White Supremacy
Math Professor Says Math Education Is Racist — and Sexist and Homophobic
In Order to Attack ‘Systemic Racism,’ a School Eliminates Failure and Time Constraints
Arizona State University Dean Pens 350+ Page Book on How Grading Writing Is White Supremacy
Science Journal Decries Racism in Geology, Says Black People Are Too Scared to Hold Hammers
Back to Jenna and sinister symbolism near your stove, she notes that increased organization takes weight off of women. And also, it’s a recipe for oppression:
Pantry porn, as a status symbol, relies on the promise of making daily domestic work easier. But if women are largely responsible for the work required to maintain the perfectly organized pantry, it’s critical to ask: Easier for whom?
We’re living in tricky times — watch your step, or you’ll find your foot in insidious -isms. Male chauvinism maliciously lurks; maybe trash your kitchen to prove you love ladies.
As for pale-people-produced prejudice, does an organized area adjacent to the oven encourage free-range white supremacy? It would seem not — after all, a pantry is where you contain crackers.
See more content from me:
Wokeness for the Win: Colleges Celebrate ‘Womxn’s History Month’
Professor: Cancer Researchers Should Show Their Faces to Prove They Aren’t White
Vagina Museum Puts out a PSA: Some Men Should Get Their Ovaries Checked
Find all my RedState work here.
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