Real Men Don't Eat Quiche

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Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, by American Bruce Feirstein, is a bestselling tongue-in-cheek book satirizing stereotypes of masculinity, published in 1982 (ISBN 0-671-44831-5).

It popularized the term quiche-eater, referring to a man who is a dilettante, a trend-chaser, an over-anxious conformist to fashionable forms of 'lifestyle', and socially correct behaviors and opinions, one who eschews (or merely lacks) the traditional masculine virtue of tough self-assurance. A 'traditional' male might enjoy the ironically not so exotic egg-and-bacon pie if his wife served it to him; a quiche-eater, or Sensitive New Age Guy is alleged to make the dish himself, call it by its French name quiche, and serve it to his female life partner to demonstrate his empathy with the Women's Movement. Presumably, he would also wash up afterwards. These are also implied examples of 'women's work', and an attempt to taint the male character by association with such knowledge and activities.

The book's humor derives from the fears and confusion of contemporary 1980s middle-class men about how they ought to behave, after a decade of various forms of feminist critique on traditional male roles and beliefs.

The book was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 55 weeks, and sold over 1.6 million copies. An Australian adaptation by Alex Buzo was published later that year.

Sequels[edit]

The book was followed in 1982 by a cookbook, Real Men Don't Cook Quiche; a companion book by Joyce Jillson, Real Women Don't Pump Gas; and a 1983 book by illustrator Lee Lorenz titled Real Dogs Don't Eat Leftovers. For 1984, matching Real Men Don't Eat Quiche and Real Women Don't Pump Gas calendars were released. There were also many imitations from other publishers, most notably Real Kids Don't Say Please, Real Women Never Pump Iron and Real Women Send Flowers. In 1992, a sequel, Real Men Don't Bond, was released.

Cultural impact[edit]

  • Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal: (usenet) is similar to Feirstein's book but concerns computer programming. It alleges that real programmers use the early Fortran programming language for everything that can't be toggled directly into the computer through binary switches on the front panel. The newer, innovative Unix was considered a little "quichey" by some in 1983, and Pascal especially so.
  • In game theory the Beer-Quiche game of Cho and Kreps[1] draws on the stereotype of quiche eaters being less masculine. In this game, an individual B is considering whether to duel with another individual A. B knows that A is either a wimp or is surly but not which. B would prefer a duel if A is a wimp but not if A is surly. Player A, regardless of type, wants to avoid a duel. Before making the decision B has the opportunity to see whether A chooses to have beer or quiche for breakfast. Both players know that wimps prefer quiche while surlies prefer beer. The point of the game is to analyze the choice of breakfast by each kind of A. This has become a standard example of a signaling game.
  • In 2012, LongHorn Steakhouse had a commercial featuring NASCAR racers that had the quote: “LongHorn Steakhouse knows after the checkered flag, these guys didn’t go eat quiche.”

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cho, In-Koo; Kreps, David M. (May 1987). "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria". The Quarterly Journal of Economics 102: 179–222. doi:10.2307/1885060. JSTOR 1885060.