Vegetarianism Versus Feminism

| Working | September 27, 2013

(I have taken my two young children to a popular family restaurant chain. My eight-year-old daughter is vegetarian. She orders a kids’ meal that comes with either bacon or sausage, and she plans to give the meat to her five-year-old brother, so she asks him what he would prefer.)

Sister: “Hey [brother’s name], bacon or sausage with my [kids’ meal]?”

Brother: “Bacon.”

Server: “Honey, you don’t have to let him order you around and tell you what you should eat just because he is a boy. What do you want to eat?”

Sister: “I am a vegetarian, so I am going to give the bacon to my brother.”

Server: “That’s just awful. You don’t have to give him anything just because he is a boy. You can eat all your meal if you want.”

Me: *losing patience* “Please bring my daughter’s [kid’s meal] with bacon. We’ll figure it out from there.”

Server: *to me* “I can’t believe that in this day and age a mother can be so sexist! How can you allow your son to boss around his older sister? That is just awful.”

Me: “My daughter is a vegetarian. She does not eat meat. She can choose to do whatever she wants with the part of the meal she doesn’t want to eat. Now please go and place our order, and I would like to talk to your manager.”

Server: “Fine.”

(She walks away mumbling.)

Server: “Shameless. Making a girl give up the best part of her food. Just shameless.”

(The manager never shows up, and while we like the restaurant chain, we are not going to that particular location again.)

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