Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Side Dishes

Side Dishes: Latina American Women, Sex, and Cultural Production

Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 220
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Side Dishes
    Book Description:

    Moving beyond the "main dishes" of traditional literary works,Side Dishesoffers a provocative and delicious new understanding of Latin American women's authorship and activism. The book illuminates a wealth of creative and intellectual work by Latin American women-editors, directors, cartoonists, academics, performance artists, and comedians-and explores them in light of their treatment of women's sexuality.

    Side Dishesconsiders feminist pornography and literary representations of masturbation, bisexuality, lesbianism, and sexual fantasies; the treatment of lust in stand-up comedy and science fiction; critical issues in leading feminist journals; and portrayals of sexuality in four contemporary Latin American films. Melissa A. Fitch concludes with a look at the rise of women's and gender studies programs in Latin America.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4853-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction Appetizer
    (pp. 1-3)

    I admit it. I was hungry. After sitting at the dinner table, staring at the familiar meal set before me, a steady diet of canonical texts by Latin American and Latina women, I craved something different. I needed something beyond the same female novelists, playwrights, poets, and testimonial voices routinely found in courses on Women’s Writing in Latin/o America. But what are the dietary restrictions of the discipline that keep us from conceptualizing other possibilities for understanding women’s cultural production and consumption in the region, for bringing other voices, as it were, to the table?

    InSide Dishes, I argue...

  5. 1 Lust
    (pp. 4-29)

    The year 2007 was a watershed for semen. It marked the publication in academia of three tomes to systematically treat the topic: Lisa Jean Moore’sSperm Counts: Overcome by Man’s Most Precious Fluid, Murat Aydemir’sImages of Bliss: Ejaculation, Masculinity, Meaning,and Angus McLaren’sImpotence: A Cultural History. Moore’s unusual first line, cited above, was an eye-opener, not only because of the unusually imaginative terms, but also because ten of the twenty-eight terms are food-related. Curious, I immediately searched for slang terms related to women’s orgasmic fluid. I was unable to find any at all.

    The three texts mentioned above...

  6. 2 Pop
    (pp. 30-66)

    One momentous evening in Detroit, food, pop culture, and sex all converged, when Gael Greene, who, a decade later, would become the food critic for theNew Yorkermagazine, had sex with Elvis. The sex was forgettable, but not the fact that afterwards, he asked her to call room service and order him a fried egg sandwich. Her destiny was marked in that moment. This chapter traces that same greasy combination of pop culture, food, and sex, through stand up comedy, cartoons, and science fiction, all created by Latina or Latin American women. Pop culture may be seen as the...

  7. 3 Issues
    (pp. 67-102)

    She should have known. Or rather, she should have realized it the moment he said “Eu te vou comer” [I’m going to eat you]. Only, he never actually used those words. He said “Voce é um prato cheio” [You are a full plate] and she understood by this that he wanted to eat her. He did. He devoured her. Not sexually, though it was a seduction. Meeting the approval of the therapist she saw twice a week became her obsession. In each session he let her know that she didn’t measure up to his standards for being a “real” woman....

  8. 4 Flicks
    (pp. 103-133)

    The conjugation of food with sex in films over the last 25 years has led to some memorable scenes, including the above quote fromWhen Harry Met Sally(1989, dir. Rob Reiner, written by Nora Ephron). Lust and food were also central themes in the UK/USA filmChocolate(2000, dir. Lasse Hallstrom), based on the book by Joanne Harris, about a woman who opens a chocolate store in a French village. From Latin America,Like Water for Chocolate(1992, dir. Alfonso Arau), based on the book by Laura Esquivel, set the food-equals-sex standard, while it was also paramount in the...

  9. 5 Class
    (pp. 134-152)

    The cocktail of sexuality, gender, and academia over the last 30 years in Latin America and in the United States has been volatile and potent. More Molotov than Martini. That said, it has not been without humor.

    In 1995, the Chilean parliament banned the use of the word “gender” in that governmental body (24). According to Kemy Oyarzún, the politicians were afraid that the concept of gender would act as a front to “smuggle” into Chile “aberrations such as the recognition of homosexual couples as families and the legalization of abortion” (24). One of the politicians at the forefront of...

  10. Epilogue Leftovers
    (pp. 153-158)

    There is a revolution brewing. It turns out that many restaurant patrons are now opting out of ordering entrees altogether.¹ Marketing executives have found that often they prefer to fill their plates with side dishes and appetizers and nothing more. They graze, until they have their fill. As Julie Hayes, marketing manager of Basic Vegetable Products in Suisin, California, has said:

    The popularity of side dishes is definitely increasing. As Americans become more health conscious, they are moving away from typical “meat” entrees toward a focus on vegetables and protein substitutes. Vegetables and side dishes are increasingly taking over the...

    (pp. 159-166)
  12. NOTES
    (pp. 167-172)
    (pp. 173-200)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 201-206)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 207-208)