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Women and Bourdain

KarenCf November 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm
So, I realize this sort of comment brings out all sort of blowback, but what amazes me is that there are virtually no women on his new show. For awhile I was obsessed with this and tracked the number of minutes a woman was on screen, even in crowd shots, and it never topped 5 minutes. And experts in whatever geographic area he is studying? 0 women ever. What surprises me, is that this not remarked upon….by anyone. In all the dissections I have read about this latest show of his, no one has mentioned this. Do a mental experiment- if the next show was 50% female- how would it change for you?

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  1. I haven't watched much of his CNN show.

    I do remember a lot of No Res where he had women fixers and guests. He seemed to speak very highly of women cooks and chefs. Same with Cooks Tour.

    1. Hadn't noticed, therefore haven't remarked.

      1. As a woman, I don't care to go through life assessing every tv show, movie, magazine top 10 list, event staff list, company employee list counting the number of females.

        I think Anthony Bourdain is great. I love all his shows (except the Taste) because of his raw, no bullshit attitude. I don't think he has any problems with women and I think he would thank you not to try and impose a minimum woman quota on his shows.

        Let's not look for problems where none exist.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chefhound

          I totally agree! Let's not diss people just for the sake of doing it.

          1. re: chefhound

            Add me to the list of those that agree with you. The obsession by some groups and individuals to quota everything has gotten out of hand.

          2. What an odd thing to notice. It sounds like you may have the problem not the show. When I watch a Tv show about cooking and food I notice the food and listen to what is being said... The color, gender, sexual prefrence, birthsign,religion or fashion choice is usallllllllly not my area of "study"

            3 Replies
            1. re: girloftheworld

              I would agree completely, but I have to admit that back in the early days, Bobby Flay's wardrobe was so horrible it blew me away.

              1. re: EWSflash

                well I have noticed Swamp people has not featured a representive number of metrosexual males or Jewish people.

                1. re: girloftheworld

                  I just spit up a Bloody Mary, thanks a lot! :-)

            2. I haven't watched much of his new show, but am planning on checking out a few recent episodes this coming week if time permits. My son indulges me and keeps me company while I do a Tony marathon while my husband is away and catch up on missed episodes. I'll pay attention.

              I certainly didn't feel that a lack of women was a problem on No Res., but if that's the case with CNN it should be brought to their attention.

              1. Haven't seen the show but I notice those things. That's why as a child I only watched cartoons. Cartoon characters were always multi-colored and featured and regular tv shows were... yeh.

                1. Maybe it's for the sake of domestic bliss. Just sayin'.

                  1. I don't have cable, so have only seen the two episodes that CNN streamed online. I'm disappointed to hear this, though, as I seem to remember him having numerous woman cooks and fixers on "No Reservations."

                    And I disagree with the posters who suggest this is not worth noticing. I think it is fair to say that, worldwide, most of the day-to-day cooking is done by women--not to mention half of the day-to-day living. Not including women in the discussion makes for a deficient conversation.

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: sub_english

                      I think so too. I also noticed it.

                      Leaving out half the population of the world for no reason, is worth noticing.

                      1. re: sedimental

                        are you assuming it is diliberate? perhaps that is just the way things have fallen naturally.... I would be more offended if they artifically pulled women into a story where they wouldnt be just to prove some point.

                        1. re: girloftheworld

                          I have no special knowledge on how deliberate it might be. In 16 plus full episodes, it is hard to believe that a woman wouldn't have least "stumbled" in front of a camera ;)

                          It could be that Bourdain and his producers/crew are just so enamoured with their own machismo antics and banter, that females don't fit with their world view. If that is the case, then that is a shame. Women do most of the cooking in the countries that he highlights, but one would never know that by watching his show.

                          1. re: sedimental

                            Sedimental, I agree that it's not deliberate exclusion of women, but rather no concerted attempt to seek them out. I haven't seen his CNN show, but I gave up on No Reservations/Layover when they deteriorated into "Let's watch Tony act like an overage frat boy" shows.

                            1. re: sedimental

                              I'm not sure where the original poster came to the idea that not a single woman has appeared on camera - that's ridiculous. I've only seen a few and I can think of examples off the top of my head.

                              For instance, the episode shot in South Africa, there was a young man just opening his restaurant and he talks about how he learns everything from the "aunties", the women who cook day in and day out. They visit one, she shows him how she's doing something - I don't remember what - and they talk about the local food culture. Later at a barbeque in the countryside there is a long conversation with a woman chef.

                              I don't get this complaint at all, and I'm only a luke-warm Bourdain fan.

                            2. re: girloftheworld

                              Exactly. I would be more offended if they deliberately put a bunch of women in front of the camera to meet some quota.

                              I would assume that the producers go ahead or send some staff ahead to the city and ask around. Who should we not miss when discussing this place? As well, they must do a fair amount of research before deciding who/what to feature.

                              There was a woman who ran a restaurant out of her home in the Detroit episode. She did not want to be on camera so that the officials wouldn't shut her down. So he did feature a woman even though she was not on screen.

                              I think it is more offensive to women, not to mention patronizing, to deliberately seek out women to put on screen, rather than featuring women who end up in the scene naturally, because they are part of the story he is telling.

                              Let's count the number of minorities. Are there enough Asians featured? Too many Latinos?

                              Are there enough gays and lesbians featured? How about priests and ministers?

                              I feel that the producers should include a gay female Asian chef/chorus girl in every episode. How do we start a petition?

                              1. re: chefhound

                                Well, if 50% of the population is not shown, I think it matters.

                                1. re: karenfinan

                                  I think if 50% of the population is deliberately not shown, it does matter. But only if it's deliberate. And I don't believe that it is.

                                  I haven't seen any evidence that he considers women to be less important, unequal or inferior. His wife is a Jujitsu fighter, hardly the sort of woman a misogynistic man would marry.

                                  As a woman, I am mortified to think that I would be included in a group or activity just to be a token female. If my skills/talents warrant my inclusion, that's great. If I'm to be included as a token female, minority or whatever, no thanks.

                                  Unless you can prove that Bourdain has a history of marginalizing women in his writing or on his shows, the lack of women in the forefront of his show can only be considered an unfortunate coincidence.

                                  1. re: chefhound

                                    It isn't like it would be a chore to find woman with knowledge and skill to highlight on these shows.

                                    1. re: youareabunny

                                      No, it wouldn't. They could definitely find a woman to feature on every show. But that's the point. It become token quota-meeting rather than an organic choice.

                                      If when researching and prepping for the episode, the staff and producers are directed toward a local female, then the choice is because of her merit. If they ask all the locals who they should talk to, and they recommend a woman, that's great. However, if they research all the blogs, talk to the locals etc. and they recommend a man, should they reject the recommendation? Should they say, although John knows the most about Detroit, can you suggest a woman instead?

                                      1. re: chefhound

                                        If they ask several people, check with resources and 9 times out of 10 the rec is a man, you don't find that strange? I suppose if the questions were who's the best arm wrestler or who in town can hold their breath the longest, sure. But with food I imagine women and men are equal and yet I think of a show like iron chef or Michelin rating and women are few and far between.

                                        1. re: chefhound

                                          Hmmm. I disagree. I know where you're coming from (and to be honest, I really don't give a toss about Bourdain nor do I watch these programmes, which are not on terrestrial TV here) but I disagree.

                                          The claim of casting women instead of men as quota building is a way of dismissing the effort that goes into challenging institutional invisibility. It suggests that the women are not skilled in and of themselves, but that mindful casting-- one that seeks to undo institutional sexism (or racism)-- is merely a gesture and not taking advantage of a larger talent group.

                                          There is a tendency to see sexism and racism as pernicious only when 'intentional', but it is crucial for us to examine all facets of our lives to see how people are rendered invisible as a matter of course. And when we become aware, it is our job to undo this structural absence.

                                          What we can't do, however, is presume that the invisibility is simply due to an absence of women, but perhaps the absence of women also comes out of the ways in which people are cued to recognised achievement. And perhaps culture (and television programmes) contribute to that way of thinking as much as they reflect it.

                                          1. re: Lizard

                                            I have seen discrimination described thusly:
                                            In a group doing work for which sexual characteristics are unimportant- a board of directors for a company, for instance-if the group is entirely composed of men, 50% of those men are there because of positive discrimination - because there are women who are better suited and aren't there because of negative discrimination. Why are we only saying that the women being put on a board are the "less talented and less deserving" ones? 50% of the board is already "less deserving" and are only there because institutionalised sexism has removed their more able competitors.

                                            In Bourdain's shows, then, the "problem" is that he could have a better show, because he's currently replacing half of the best people he could put on it with those who are less good. Whether it's done deliberately is beside the question.

                                            1. re: Palladium

                                              Thanks so much, this is exactly right, I did know how to express this!

                                              1. re: Palladium

                                                So in your all-male board of directors scenario, only half deserve to be there. So the other half of the positions should be filled by women to replace the less competent half of the men.

                                                What if three-quarters of the men deserve to be there? Should we replace that competent quarter with women anyway?

                                                In my office, my department is all female. In my division, there are approximately two-thirds to three-quarters women to men. This was not deliberate. The best qualified candidates available at the time were chosen.

                                                You've convinced me that this is unfair to the men. I am going to have to fire half my department and look for men to replace them. And I'm going to have to talk to my boss (also a woman), and make her aware of the inequality in our office. But wait - some of the men we're going to keep are less competent than the women we're going to have to let go. What to do?

                                        2. re: chefhound

                                          The fact that it's not deliberate is actually a sign of how deeply sexism is ingrained in the culture. Women are fifty percent of the world -- you don't have to have a quota, but the odds are against it being pure chance that women are significantly and repeatedly underrepresented. When they are it demonstrates the fact that some men are completely oblivious to them and just shows how unimportant they are to their world view. I don't think Bourdain is a bad guy or hates women, I think they just don't fit in with the macho schtick of his shows and he doesn't even realize he's glossing over them.

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            i think this is a massive presumption unsupported by any evidence.
                                            i don't find bourdain "macho" at all, nor do i find his shows are "glossing" over women.

                                            could you give some examples that prove the assertion women "don't fit in" with bourdain?
                                            i haven't read a post here that provides any evidence women are "significantly and repeatedly underrepresented."

                                            1. re: linus

                                              While trying to think of what a different host would do with a travel food show, the following contrast comes to mind:

                                              Tony chowing with Eric Ripert on ceviche in Peru


                                              Marja chowing with Heather Graham on kimchi in Korea

                                              Tony did have a Korean woman guide on his Korean episode, but the interaction was different, generational, gender, and boss/employee. My memory is that Korean women were more visible as cooks and restaurant owners in the Kimchi Chronicles. But there were also more episodes.

                                              To get away from the cultural issues of showing women in professional roles in countries like Libya, consider instead how Tony's company is focusing on two chefs in this year's Mind of a Chef, Sean Brock and April Bloomfield. Last year they focused on one, David Chang, though one episode featured Christina Tosi.

                                              1. re: linus

                                                I'm just commenting on the phenomenon people have described here. And hell yes Tony is macho. He's toned it down somewhat in his more recent shows, but the foul-mouth, the all-night drinking binges, the "Heart of Darkness" style jungle trips, the "I'll eat anything" schtick is certainly macho. In fact, back in his earlier incarnations I described him as "hypermacho" (and said that uncharacteristically for me I found it attractive, so I'm not "bashing" him).

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                  bash him all you want. i don't find drinking and swearing all that macho. i don't find bourdain drinks and swears all that much compared to a lot of women i know.
                                                  and describing it as "schtick" implies a personal knowledge of bourdain.

                                                  1. re: linus

                                                    I know a schtick when I see one. And I've read enough by and about Bourdain to know that what's on his shows is a persona *based* on some aspects of his personality and exaggerated. He's built his whole tv career on the "bad boy" chef image he created in "Kitchen Confidential." Again, that's not a bad thing. It's entertaining and obviously works for him. Good for him.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      I've met him and he seems kind of like if Hemmingway and Eliot Gould had a child and he grew up bitter having never been allowed to play football...but I only base my opinon sitting 20 minutes on the roof of Wholefoods so who knows.

                                                      1. re: girloftheworld

                                                        I have a man-crush on Bourdain, cool dude. And I have toasted to Hemingway at El Floridita, La Bodeguita del Medio, and at his grave in Ketchum. Daiquiris and mojitos.

                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        this implies i don't know a schtick when i see one.
                                                        that kinda hurts my feelings.

                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      I haven't heard anyone described as macho since 1978 when the Village People hit the Billboard charts.

                                    2. From IMDB here's the list of producers for Parts Unknown. Try counting the number of women. Are the under represented among the show's decision makers?

                                      Anthony Bourdain ... executive producer (7 episodes, 2013)
                                      Christopher Collins ... executive producer (7 episodes, 2013)
                                      Lydia Tenaglia ... executive producer (7 episodes, 2013)
                                      Jane M. Wagner ... associate producer (7 episodes, 2013)
                                      Sandra Zweig ... executive producer (7 episodes, 2013)
                                      Josh Ferrell ... segment producer (3 episodes, 2013)
                                      Sally Freeman ... producer (2 episodes, 2013)
                                      Erik Osterholm ... segment producer (2 episodes, 2013)
                                      Diane Schutz ... producer (2 episodes, 2013)
                                      Michael Steed ... producer (2 episodes, 2013)
                                      Tom Vitale ... producer (2 episodes, 2013)
                                      Jared Andrukanis ... producer (1 episode, 2013)
                                      Nick Brigden ... producer (1 episode, 2013)
                                      Jesse R. Fisher ... co-producer (1 episode, 2013)
                                      Eric Lasby ... co-producer (1 episode, 2013)
                                      Chris Martinez ... co-producer (1 episode, 2013)

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Maybe 5 out of 16? Is that unusual?

                                        Do you think that the number of female producers make a difference on how many women are seen in front of a camera?

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          But if you add up the actual shows they produced, women were responsible for 23 shows and men 27, or perhaps less, since a few are co-producers. Sounds pretty even to me.

                                        2. re: paulj

                                          5 women. 10 men. I didn't count Jesse, although I assume he's a man.

                                          I think this is a lot of women, actually, when you compare to usual stats re female representation in management positions

                                          1. re: youareabunny

                                            I didn't watch this episode, so can't comment on it. But watch the trailer for it. To me, it is hard not to notice. The women (who are preparing and serving the food) are almost kicked out of the way. Only the men answer questions about food. Bourdain only looks at them or talks to them, even when the woman in the glasses has the answer to a question....the man answers for her. Interesting. Makes you wonder why that happens.

                                            It is Sicily.....I am sure women have nothing to contribute to food culture there, lol.


                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              That is strange. Not sure if it's deliberate but yes, I see two women serving and 3-4 men talking.

                                              I'll have to watch it again to see that detail about the woman with the glasses... the man is playing COD and is taking most of the connection.

                                              1. re: youareabunny

                                                Yeah, the man doesn't remember what the name of the cheese is. The woman shouts it out and he acts as if he said it instead.

                                                Kinda funny in a pathetic way :/

                                              2. re: sedimental

                                                Yea, Tony should have told the men - 'shut up and let the women speak'. That would be showing real cultural sensitivity!

                                                Are we criticizing Tony (and his production team), or the people and cultures he visits?

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Oh, come on now. Perhaps Tony could have made eye contact (or camera contact) with the one woman that was obviously intimately involved in the meal selection and preparation. So much more involved, that she knew the name of the cheese and the men did not. she is still ignored by the camera and Bourdain. It had nothing to do with the men she was with, it was obvious that they were told (or lead to believe by the cameras) that they were the sole focus of Bourdains attention.

                                                  As I said, maybe they did talk to a woman about Italian food on that episode. I haven't watched it yet, i just saw the trailer.I hope they did.

                                                  I don't know about you, but I am criticizing Bourdain and his team. The several other parts unknown episodes I have seen, were noticeably absent of females (other than servers). Any show about food culture that ignores women entirely except for servers, is not something I want to watch much of. That is why I have only seen a few ( maybe 4 or 5 of them).

                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                    If that scene was shot with one take, it is likely that we are seeing things that Tony wasn't even aware of at the time.

                                                    What if the women at that gathering were not comfortable talking on camera? or didn't speak English? Often the women that Tony (or Andrew) interact most are younger, having learned English in school, maybe even working as some sort of tour guide.

                                                    If it's a scene where Tony, or Tony with friend or guide, is walking down the street explaining something to us, I expect the words and camera angles to be well chosen, with retakes and bloopers. But when taping a family gathering, I would expect more off the cuff remarks and less obtrusive camera work. Tape as much as possible without getting into peoples' way, and select the best bits later.

                                                    Some of Tony's comments about episodes of this series:

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      Well, too bad that wasn't the case in the example I pointed out.

                                                      The woman spoke English just fine. She shouted out the answer into the camera...and was ignored. She appeared to be paying attention to the camera, but it was ignoring her.

                                                      Watch the segment. It is right there to see.

                                                      The point is not the segment I pointed out though. It is just an interesting tiny example.

                                                      The point of this thread is why, CLEARLY, Tony is not including women in his new show about the culture of food all over the world. That is remarkably strange...apparently to many here. Including me. I find it weird and noticeable.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          Rewatched it. It seemed like it was the one gentleman he was speaking with that led the show. Even when he didn't know what things were.

                                                          I think it's a bro thing.

                                                          1. re: youareabunny

                                                            The men were standing around eating and talking. The women were busy preparing the food. When this nosy foreigner asks 'what do we have here', who is going to answer?

                                            2. In similar vein


                                              Just scrolled through iron chef America episode list and counted around ten challenges involving females. Quick guess 1:3-1:4 female to men.

                                              And with as much original iron chef I watched, I don't recall ever seeing a woman competitor.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: youareabunny

                                                What's the ratio among Chopped competitors?

                                                FN's current list of 'chefs' is about equally divided, 15:16.

                                              2. I don't care about the issue too much, but AB himself has made a twitter-flap about that Time piece being sorely lacking in women, so it is certainly fair to turn the lens on a guy who is arguably the most popular food celeb and in a position to address the problem he bloviates about.


                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: sal_acid

                                                  Where does the NR Saudi Arabia episode fit? In a country where women aren't even allowed to drive, his host was a woman.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    We are discussing the new parts unknown shows. Not the old NR shows.

                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      But why separate them? Same host, probably a lot of the same production team.

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        Why separate them? Because we are talking about the new show. Which is remarkably different than the old show. The new show doesn't include any women.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          If we are going to compare the bad new show with the good old, shouldn't we be comparing episodes from the same, or similar, countries or cities.

                                                          How, for example, does the new Detroit episode, compare with the NR Rust Belt episode? or the NR Cleveland one?

                                                          Burma with Thailand or Vietnam.

                                                          Libya with Lebanon or Syria.

                                                          Peru with NR Peru or Ecuador.

                                                          Columbia with NR Columbia.

                                                          New Mexico with the NR drive from LA to Ted Nugent's Texas.

                                                          While my memory of those past episodes is sketchy, I can't picture many segments that feature women.

                                                          In many those countries, the only time he (or Andrew) features a woman cook is when the crew gets invited to their guide's home. In fact CNN has a clip of such a case for the Sicilian episode ('Granny wanted'). Filming such visits must be complicated if the local custom requires that the men and women eat separately.

                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                      paulj - I too was recalling the Saudi episode, it neither proves nor disproves the OP's idea, but is interesting as it was in a very repressive country, she wore the headcovering and still figured out how to go spear-fishing! and in dialogue they side-barred into some of the intricate rules of the veil.

                                                  2. On his show featuring Tahiti, he did a long section on the ladyboys in Papeete.

                                                    Odd for a cooking show, but perhaps not for Mr. Bourdain.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                      Where was it ever implied that it is a cooking show? Sure it involves food,,,,,but?

                                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                                        Par example in the Brazil episode, it is shown how repeatedly food dishes are both prepared, cooked, and enjoyed.

                                                        Perhaps " food oriented " is acceptable for you ? Or as you state " involves food. " ?

                                                        By the way his rather long evening conversation with the ladyboys did not " involve food. "

                                                    2. There were lots of women in the Tokyo underground episode. Lots.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Yeah, I was going to suggest to the poster above who was planning a marathon-watch with her son...maybe skip that one!

                                                        1. re: onthelam

                                                          I was actually thinking they should start with that one.

                                                          1. re: onthelam

                                                            Thanks for the warning, onthelam. He's an adult so we should be okay!

                                                            1. re: bear

                                                              Well, sadly I can't really weigh in on the discussion. I hadn't really thought about difficulties of finding the show online now that it's CNN. I was used to my son being able to find just about all the NR shows and we didn't bother to record earlier episodes. We only got to watch Detroit and Japan, which is really too small a sample to speak to. Can't say I loved the focus on s&m on the Japan show, but whatever.

                                                              The dvd is set to record the reruns so I'll catch up later.

                                                        2. In the Detroit episode, he talked to the waitress at Dully's, the BBQ lady who wouldnt give up her greens recipie, and the el salvadoran lady who wouldnt appear on camera.

                                                          1. Bourdain's book "kitchen Confidential" was part of a reading list on autobiographies in a writing program at UCSD. One of the issues that kept coming up was the representation of women in the the industry. Was it accurate? Was he being particularly frat boyish? Did it reflect or create stereotypes, etc? How was it different from other chef narratives? He was at least interesting enough to keep an eye on his career. His support of restaurant workers, especially after 9/11, was great. But, it was his history of "Typhoid" Mary that really Made me a fan. One of the reasons I love NR is because he featured so many different women and, for a travel show, is culturally sensitive. & this is why I agree with you that the CNN show is different. It doesn't follow the pattern he set for himself. I don't think you are wrong to ask what the show would look like with the rest of the population because it is the standard I expect from him.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Kalivs

                                                              'Yawn'. Anyway things do balance out in the end. Whose the person who makes sure the modern day culinary genius and food cultural icon GF stays on the air? A woman! That's right 'The Buck Stops' at 'Susie's deck over at FN.
                                                              I doubt dear old Tony has ever had an 'issue' being around the female form.
                                                              'Parts Unknown'? I doubt there's any of those. LOLOL!

                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                Bourdain's current show is on CNN. His previous show was on the Travel Network. I don't think he cares much about what happens on the Food Network, nor should he.

                                                                Having a show on CNN is a big deal. It is sad if his production crew, having moved to the big leagues, is not featuring women as much as they used to.

                                                            2. If the next show was 50% female- how would it change for me?

                                                              If wouldn't change a thing and I'm female myself.

                                                              1. This is, indeed, news.

                                                                1. Here is a quick search that shows there are quite a few women in the cast and crew in both big jobs and small.


                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                    And that is supposed to be an indicator that the show isn't sexist? To me it's an indicator of business as usual: women slogging away behind the scenes, doing most of the work and getting little of the credit, while the men bask in the spotlight.

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      people behind the scenes of television programs rarely get the credit of the people in front of the camera, regardless of the sex of either.

                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                        No, of course not. I'm just saying that the fact that there are women in these anonymous jobs has no relationship to the role of women on screen.

                                                                  2. Folks, we've removed a bunch of replies here that got pretty personal and unfriendly in attempting to attribute motives to people on both sides of the issue. Please remember to focus on the issue being discussed and not on the people in the discussion.


                                                                    1. You should also take into account that he visits parts of the world where woman aren't allowed the same rights as men. Sometimes when we do see them, it requires an introduction through a male guest host. Most of the time she will be doing the cooking.

                                                                      1. You should try out the new Swedish rating system on his show. I'm sure it would fail. But who cares? He is what he is, and unapologetically so. How many men are on an average Martha Stewart show? I don't know, nor care and I won't be screaming "sexism" if it's less than 50%.

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hal2010

                                                                          Yes, I would guess that Martha has many more men on her show than Bourdain has women on his show, but her show is considered a "woman's" show. Bourdain's show is for everyone. If suddenly it was 50% women on his show I bet people would consider it "all women". There were some references to women on this show and the amount of screen time for them was in seconds, or at most less than two minutes. I am talking about the show on CNN, not No Reservations

                                                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                                                            Maybe Bourdain's show isn't for everyone.

                                                                            Are you making that assumption or has it been advertised as a politically correct family-oriented program with equal representation from both sexes? Perhaps he just wants to talk about food and drink and hang out with guys on this show.

                                                                            I'm sure CNN has programming aimed at women too.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    CK - I'm usually pointless. parse THAT sucka!

                                                                            1. re: karenfinan

                                                                              Who says his show is "for everyone" and Martha's is a "woman's show?"

                                                                              If his show is about his "macho shtick" as claimed by your sole supporter, then perhaps it's targeted at men the way you claim Martha's is for women. If so, please explain the problem.

                                                                              Either that or please explain why Martha's show is not for everyone. I find your logic confusing.

                                                                          2. I just watched the Israel episode (via OnDemand). There wasn't any difference in style or content from a NR episode. Women, that I recall, included the race car drivers, the co owner of a restaurant, the guide in Gaza, and one of the home cooks in Gaza. Maybe 1/4-1/3 of the time?

                                                                            But focusing on the representation of women in the episode glosses over the more central issue in this region, the coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians. Overall Bourdain does a good job of all sides in conflicts like this speak, while still promoting a hope for eventual resolution and justice.

                                                                            1. In the New Mexico episode of "Parts Unknown" that ran a couple of months ago (and which created a local kerfuffle re: Frito Pies), there were a couple of women they talked to.

                                                                              But generally speaking, I agree with you. I don't go looking for trouble or try to create problems, but now that you mention it, there aren't many women on his shows. He seems to pretty much live in a man's world.

                                                                              Regarding the impact of having more women on the show--I don't know. Maybe he should try it.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                Ever watch a football game on TV? It's mostly men...and it sells.

                                                                                1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                  Where are the threads titled?

                                                                                  Men and Paula Dean
                                                                                  Men and Samantha Brown
                                                                                  Women and Zimmern

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    I don't watch any of those shows, but I know from years past, Paula Deen is surrounded by men: her husband and her two boys.

                                                                                    I don't see Sam Brown anymore and don't like Zimmern so can't address those.

                                                                                    Instead of turning this into a battle, let's just be observant and agree that indeed Bordain doesn't have many women on his shows. I don't really care.

                                                                                    1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                      nor does he have an obligation to create or alter or represent an agenda demographic to avoid hurt feelings.

                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                      <Men and Paula Dean>

                                                                                      You sure that is the question, and not "Blacks and Paula Dean"?