This annual celebration of women has become a fixture on the Eatdrink calendar. As I have noted before, there has not been a single issue of Eatdrink ever published that didn’t acknowledge important contributions from women. It just wouldn’t be possible to celebrate our local culinary culture without writing about women. So the question has been raised, “Do you really need to have a Women’s Issue?”
The short answer to this question is a simple yes. For those who require a more detailed response, and I don’t want to be dismissive, I will add that despite significant progress, the culinary world remains an unequal playing (and paying) field, and we want to acknowledge that and support and celebrate the changes for women.
This is the third time that we have published a Women’s Issue, and the calibre of candidates profiled here clearly demonstrates the challenge we have in drawing up a short list every year. All of these women would have been a natural fit back in 2018 or 2019. I know I will say something similar next year. For those who will protest the omission of a certain woman here, I can only assure them that there is next year, and thank them for their advocacy on behalf of a strong woman. We do appreciate feedback, and we welcome suggestions. We’ll keep publishing this special annual compilation for the foreseeable future, and be mindful of celebrating women’s achievements in every issue of the magazine.
Beyond our general roundup of distinguished women, we asked our regular contributors to turn their attention to this issue’s theme. I believe our readers will be pleased with the results. I especially like the conversation about women and beer in George Macke’s “Ladies’ Entrance” column for its balance in looking back at where the culture has been versus where we are now. Sexism is sometimes a subtle force, but with beer it has been blatant.
I’ve long been an admirer of Sue Sutherland Wood’s take on life, and she hits the mark again for Eatdrink with her “Lighter Side” contribution to close this issue. She too takes a look back at where women have been in our culture, contrasted with where we are now, and leaves me with plenty of food for thought. Progress can be a double-edged sword, and I appreciate Sue’s attention to this with her gentle but deft touch.
International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is the ostensible reason for the timing of the Eatdrink Women’s Issue, and we’re proud to support that. The roots of the day are in protest movements, both for women’s suffrage a hundred years ago — voting rights — and working women’s rights. Today’s #metoo movement stands clearly in that tradition, and while the battle for the vote has largely been won, we all know that women’s work continues to be a virtual and literal battleground. As a wise woman once told me, it’s just as important to celebrate the positive as it is to protest the negative. I hope we are doing that with this issue of Eatdrink.