Some say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith took that as gospel truth, and she set the Internet abuzz yesterday by revealing herself as the author behind 300sandwiches.com. The blog came about after Smith made her boyfriend a sandwich one morning. After finishing the meal, he told Smith that she was “300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.” Her blog chronicles her journey (and recipes) towards that proposal—today’s sandwich, the “Baked at Halftime” Fried Green Tomato BLT, is number 177.
I doubt that Smith intended her blog-filled with beautiful photographs of delicious looking sandwiches to become a feminist call to arms. Perhaps she thought it was a good gimmick for web traffic or would lead to a book deal, or maybe she saw it as a way to keep an organized archive of recipes.
However, her boyfriend's tone in the article rubs me the wrong way. Smith quotes him in her Post article as saying “You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy. We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.” This quote makes me feel the same way I do when someone tells a “joke” about women belonging in the kitchen; I think I’m supposed to laugh, but I don’t find it very funny.
Smith and Boyfriend
Smith says it’s not as if their relationship hinges on the completion of this project; in fact, she says it has become more about the sandwich making and less about the engagement ring. But in her Post article, she also says, “Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material." To which I ask: what is he doing to prove that he is husband material?
Friends of Smith were similarly baffled by her endeavor: “How ‘Stepford Wives’ of you!” said one single gal whose kitchen was used for shoe storage. Another, a hard-working C-suite banking executive, also objected. “It’s not 1950!” she exclaimed, “It’s chauvinistic! He’s saying, ‘Cook for me, woman, and maybe I’ll make you my wife.’"
Many readers took a similar position to Smith’s friends, and they took to Twitter to release their displeasure with the man who has since been dubbed “the Internet’s worst boyfriend.” This response spawned a new hashtag: #300feministsandwiches. Tweeters offered up sandwich names that sound both delicious and empowering.
It appears that feminists like their sandwiches with extra wit, but hold the patriarchy, please.