4

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Female voice in the paleosphere

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Whenever folks find out I am into the 'caveman diet', I often get that "oh so you're one of THOSE people" look. And I wonder if folks think I am a meathead. How the heck am I a meathead for thinking soymilk is bull?

I don't know too much about vegans, and the only time I hear of vegan figureheads are when people (always girls, ALWAYS girls) tell me I should go read China study to see how bad meat is. I am sick of all these scrawny vegan men telling everyone what to do when most people can sock em in one punch, who do they think they are anyway?

Anyway, I want to dispel the myth that paleo is only for meatheads. In my experience, it seems the paleo gender ratios seem more even, both leaders and followers. I want to make sure that this is true and not just my bias. A lot of outsiders portray the paleo dieters as a bunch of machismo assholes who think it's badass to eat meat and not care about heart attacks, but am I the only one who saw that the paleosphere and the weston-price circles have more prominent female voices, authors, and figureheads compared to the vegan circle or other subculture circles? And surprise, even MEN follow and comment on paleo blogs run by women while I haven't observed that for vegan blogs. Other "diets" seem to be like 99% female followers with disproportionately men as leaders. I haven't seen that with paleo, yet paleo gets the brunt end of being accused as stepping on women.

So, in your experience, does the general paleo culture respect female voice and authority?

I am sure we have our fair share of grok-touting tards (who came up with grok anyway?) but it seems pretty tame compared to other subcultures trying to make up for their perceived lack of manliness.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Salish men looked pretty similar to their wives, though not quite as stooped.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:45 PM

thanks! never heard of them but I will have to look at their stuff.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:27 PM

@Anon I'm curious about what you think characterises a 'typical man', and how these things would relate to genetics?

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Yeah I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, wouldn't women fantasize about living in a world full of manly, chiseled hunters coming home with slabs of wild meat hung... over their shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right? I am terrible.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Yeah I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, wouldn't women would fantasize about living in a world full of manly, chiseled hunters coming home with slabs of wild meat hung... over their shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right? I am terrible.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:10 PM

I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, I can see how women would fantasize about nicely chiseled Mr. Testosterone with a slab of meat hung... over his shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right?

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:12 PM

How funny. All paleo/primal eaters I met were guys.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Men are louder and more popular in general, but there seems to be as many legit women with PhDs and books too. What distinguishes someone from being "just food blogger"? I never met a male vegan or vegetarian. I've met plenty of guys into paleo.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:05 PM

I thought the whole point of paleo is to avoid going downhill as fast as others.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:05 PM

Who said it's wrong to be a man and have muscles and do man things? People ask because they see that I am not dead and I look pretty good despite eating butter and eggs and all the bad-for-yous.

721c5da8e761f101e04037e85f6e1236

(396)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:03 PM

Oh, and Dr. Georgia Ede

721c5da8e761f101e04037e85f6e1236

(396)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:55 PM

Dr. Mary Dan Eades, Emily Deans, Dr. Anastasia Boulais, Dr. Judy Tsafrir, and Dr. Cate Shanahan.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:23 PM

Yeah call me when I'm 80. I like the young guys gungho attitude though.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:18 PM

For me it's all the veg/vegans. Drama queens.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:13 PM

Like the breadeatingbeezlebub we all drift after a while. The rigid nerdiness of blog/book paleo falls apart when you spend time reading about how our ancestors survived. Even more so as you try to live it out. It wasn't about optimality. More persistence, adaptability, locality and brute manual labor.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:04 PM

Here's the gorilla. http://trademarks.justia.com/790/48/grok-79048343.html Justia lists 40 companies using grok. Sisson is not one of them. He's always seemed a little sketchy...he definitely does not own grok...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 12:54 PM

And here Grok is owned by LEDS C4: http://trademarks.justia.com/790/48/grok-79048343.html A brand of lightbulb.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 12:46 PM

Grok was a brand of luggage with a gorilla logo. And I think the rockemsockem vegan men control the drones.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 18, 2013
at 12:31 PM

^This. Personally, I wouldn't bother worrying about what the mainstream person thinks about the gender ratio in Paleo, because that's not going to be the tipping point that makes them say "this is bull." Like Anon said, just focus on setting an example by your diet and you'll get acceptance from the people who matter; the people who don't matter will be a lot easier to spot too ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:23 AM

Oh noes, do not wake Melissa McEwen! She'll call us all misogynists!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:20 AM

Nora Gedgaudas perhaps?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:47 AM

"Grok" is Mark Sisson's branded character to represent the stereotypical prehistoric human in his whole "Primal" branded paleo-ish line of books, talks, supplements, etc.

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7 Answers

3
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:28 PM

I like Emily Deans. She seems to be respected. But she's harvard trained and quite rigorous in her thinking, unlike say, Stefani Ruper (no offense to her, I just don't find her posts to be of a sufficient quality to say she's a leader). Also Shou-Ching Jaminet, though Paul posts the results of his discussions with her. The fact is, there are a lot more male bloggers and not a lot of females, so the stereotype is true, based on what I've read or is popular. Some ugly language does get thrown around with respect to women. I like Melissa, because she brought the necessary anthropological perspective.

So we've got: nutrition science: Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet Some science/commercial: Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf anthropology: melissa mcewens Some biology: Evelyn of Carb-sane (just based on her MS in biology...I actually can't read her site without going to sleep) Some history of nutrition with food, a neurological perspective: Stephan Guyenet Psychiatry: Emily Deans Chinese medicine/acupuncture/naturopathy: Chris Kresser People with some credentials but I view most as motivators/advertising/in business of Paleo (i.e. selling things): Richard Nikoley, Stefani Ruper, Richard Nikoley, Peggy Emch, Allison Golden, Primal Toad, Neely Quinn, Diane Sanfilippo, Whole 30 team, Paleo Parents, Make It paleo people, balanced bites team, Melissa Joulwain (Clothes make the girl), Balanced Bites and I'm sure MANY MANY MORE

The fact is, there are a ton of women but make sure you understand what you're doing, why, and can argue all the sides and try to bring something new to the table.

The fact is, I think all these people want to help in their own way.... But without real science to back up your position, it's possible paleo could do some harm to some people.

And the fact is, if you looked hard, you could find meathead blogs.There is some misogyny, that I won't go over and people acting cray-cray. Just, don't stress too hard about it, and try to help people when you can, but I would send them to chris kresser, emily deans, or perfect health diet above many of the other sites I listed.

2
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:04 AM

I think that paleo seems to be a bit more male dominated NOT because it's cavemen eating meat, but because it's so nerdy. Guys tend to be a bit more obsessed with numbers and analytics (a gross stereotype, but enough so to give a slight bias), so it seems more male dominated area.

I think one of the interesting side effects of going paleo and learning about my genetics and hormones is that I'm becoming OK with being a typical man. It's ok to have some muscles and to do some "macho" things every once in a while. That doesn't mean I don't respect women any less, it's just that I realize that we are different and react differently sometimes.

As far as the China study or any other study that says how bad meat is or anything like that, I usually respond with "oh, I don't read sponsored studies. I just read biology books to see what's actually happening in my body." It's also good to throw out some scientific terms to help them realize that they really don't know anything about what those studies are saying. You could say "Interesting! Does that China study take into consideration the insulinogenic effects of refined carbs and processed foods, or the estrogenic effects of soybean oils on hormonal lipogenesis?" (ok, that probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but it might give them the idea that their understanding isn't complete).

Most of the time, I find that if I don't really talk about the way I eat and live, I never have any conflicts. If I hear someone say something ridiculous, I just smile and say something like "Yeah, I've heard that before," or "that's what they say." I can't change someone's mind, all I can do is set an example.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 18, 2013
at 12:31 PM

^This. Personally, I wouldn't bother worrying about what the mainstream person thinks about the gender ratio in Paleo, because that's not going to be the tipping point that makes them say "this is bull." Like Anon said, just focus on setting an example by your diet and you'll get acceptance from the people who matter; the people who don't matter will be a lot easier to spot too ;)

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:05 PM

Who said it's wrong to be a man and have muscles and do man things? People ask because they see that I am not dead and I look pretty good despite eating butter and eggs and all the bad-for-yous.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:27 PM

@Anon I'm curious about what you think characterises a 'typical man', and how these things would relate to genetics?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:13 PM

Like the breadeatingbeezlebub we all drift after a while. The rigid nerdiness of blog/book paleo falls apart when you spend time reading about how our ancestors survived. Even more so as you try to live it out. It wasn't about optimality. More persistence, adaptability, locality and brute manual labor.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:10 AM

Paleo has always seemed pretty male dominated to me--and young men who started out fairly physically fit to begin with. Not just the "gurus" but also the people who claim to be on a paleo diet and post to various forums and blogs. As a result, a lot of the advice and statements seem to be geared to these macho young men who never had a real weight problem and haven't aged sufficiently to be fighting their own metabolisms.

I absolutely do NOT fit the demographic, being 3F--Fat, Female, and over Fifty. I know there are people here who HATE that I identify myself as paleo, because they don't want anything to do with a 3F. They are positive they have everything dialed in. They certainly will never be female, but as to the rest . . . time will tell (smirk!).

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:05 PM

I thought the whole point of paleo is to avoid going downhill as fast as others.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:23 PM

Yeah call me when I'm 80. I like the young guys gungho attitude though.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:38 PM

I just don't think the hunter-gatherer concept appeals to women like it does to men. Looking at photos of Salish basket makers, exposure and hard labor does not make delicate complexions. The romantic notions of Nanook or a buffalo hunter are more appealing to men than the notions of packing clams and tearing roots with teeth are to women.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Yeah I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, wouldn't women would fantasize about living in a world full of manly, chiseled hunters coming home with slabs of wild meat hung... over their shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right? I am terrible.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Yeah I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, wouldn't women fantasize about living in a world full of manly, chiseled hunters coming home with slabs of wild meat hung... over their shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right? I am terrible.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Salish men looked pretty similar to their wives, though not quite as stooped.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:10 PM

I doubt women daydream of diggin for clams n roots either. However, I can see how women would fantasize about nicely chiseled Mr. Testosterone with a slab of meat hung... over his shoulders. That's what women like, right? Right?

0
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on July 18, 2013
at 12:19 PM

Someone mentioned in another post, I can't remember who it was, apologies!

If you Google Paleo Diet and images, most of the results are women's pictures, and then it gradually tapers off to both men and women...

Maybe it's a stigma thing? Women just need a T-shirt that says - Bacon eater and damn proud of it OR…MY girl can eat more bacon than you. A play on http://www.roguefitness.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/230x230/4c971525e32ff444db0f0150e765d17f/m/_/m_tee_mygirl_char-382_front_hirez-th.jpg

I for one only care about the info, I don't care if the source is male or female.

Truth.

0
79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

on July 18, 2013
at 01:10 AM

all the paleo/primal eaters I know are female!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:18 PM

For me it's all the veg/vegans. Drama queens.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:12 PM

How funny. All paleo/primal eaters I met were guys.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:01 AM

I found the opposite to be true. more male paleo "leaders" and more female vegan "leaders."

like for paleo- loren cordain, jack kruse, chriss kisser, robb wolf, mark sisson. I can't even name one female paleo authority who isn't just a food blogger.

regardless, I think both can be respected. both genders have the capacity to be researchers and leaders.

I mean, I have met zero paleo followers in person that have actually stuck with the diet for more than a few weeks. I don't think one gender gravitates towards veganism versus paleo. I only tried paleo because I was a super sick vegan! it's kind of like- whatever diet failed me first, i'd try the other one after.

8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

(1453)

on July 18, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Men are louder and more popular in general, but there seems to be as many legit women with PhDs and books too. What distinguishes someone from being "just food blogger"? I never met a male vegan or vegetarian. I've met plenty of guys into paleo.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:20 AM

Nora Gedgaudas perhaps?

721c5da8e761f101e04037e85f6e1236

(396)

on July 18, 2013
at 02:03 PM

Oh, and Dr. Georgia Ede

721c5da8e761f101e04037e85f6e1236

(396)

on July 18, 2013
at 01:55 PM

Dr. Mary Dan Eades, Emily Deans, Dr. Anastasia Boulais, Dr. Judy Tsafrir, and Dr. Cate Shanahan.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 18, 2013
at 05:45 PM

thanks! never heard of them but I will have to look at their stuff.

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