We asked four people in the industry to weigh in.
I applied for my first job when I was 15, and my mother intervened and told me I could work anywhere except in the food industry. Later I learned that my mother worked as a waitress at this chain Mexican restaurant Chi-Chi’s after migrating to the U.S. from Haiti. When I took random catering gigs in undergrad, I was often (and still can be) stereotyped as "one of the boys" because of my presentation. Instead of not saying the misogynistic things, the guys I worked with would make offensive jokes and expect me to laugh along. Since then, I've been pretty committed to not working at places where I experience consistent judgment or stereotyping. It's sounds like a privilege, but it's been a form of self care as a queer, gender-nonconforming person.
None of the stories that have come out as a result of the #metoo movement about chefs and the food world surprise me. I wouldn't expect an industry that already overworks highly underpaid laborers to be exempt from the issues that other white, male-dominated industries also face. Back of house life that can be intense, demoralizing, and literally kept quiet in the back. We can't assume that everyone took gender studies or queer studies, or that re-conceptualizing the way folks have been socialized is simple. There has to be a commitment to professional development and creating accountability systems for those who are bent on making the workplace an unsafe space for others. An orientation or training isn't enough.
Monkeymantoday: Sharly Attkissen The unexpected resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder follows a series of court rulings against his Department of Justice over its failure to produce documents related to the government’s “Fast and Furious” firearms operation. Holder also has come under increasing congressional criticism for a tepid investigation of evidence that IRS officials deliberately targeted tea party and other conservative groups for greater scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. Calling the government’s arguments for “even more time … unconvincing,” a federal judge this week refused to grant Holder’s Justice Department the additional time it requested to turn over a list of Operation Fast and Furious documents withheld under executive privilege exerted by President Obama. The list is referred to as a “Vaughn index” and requires the Justice Department to justify document-by-document the reasons it hasn’t released the materials. This exercise alone often prompts the release of documents. The Justice Department sought to delay the Vaughn index until one day before the Nov. 4 midterm elections. But the court ordered the index produced by Oct. 22 instead. The order comes in a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch. “[S]eventy-five days—plus another twenty-one, based in part on Judiciary Watch’s consent—is enough time for the government to prepare the index that this court has ordered, given that this matter has been pending for over two years,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge John Bates. “The court will therefore extend the Department’s Vaughn index submission deadline to Oct. 22, 2014—and no further.” He is also the first attorney general to be held in criminal contempt of Congress