Burgers are from Mars, Cupcakes are from Venus?

The other day I went to the Burgers and Cupcakes site to check up on their new Chelsea location and in the description of the Mitchell London-owned restaurant found this:

Burgers are chubby and juicy, ground from well-herded beef that arrives fresh every day—get them on a basket of crispy fries…

Cupcakes (which she’ll love, and which you’ll pretend to be reluctant to eat) are smallish, simple and moist, and come in more cake varieties than usual—vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, and carrot cake.

Now, my first interaction with them was taking my definitely girlie fellow bloggers and our mixed readers with the boys from A Hamburger Today to their restaurant. Almost everyone (male and female) ate burgers, and cupcakes. Yet, it cannot be denied that the vast majority of our readers are female, pink and black are the colors of choice for almost every cupcake bakery’s t-shirts (save for the pastels of Billy’s Bakery), and most of the other bloggers and cupcake enthusiasts we know are women, with the exception of the occasional male/female team, and CakeLove’s Warren Brown and James Grey of Pittsburgh’s Dozen Cupcakes.

This blog is mostly apolitical, though we have posted about Cupcakes Against Domestic Violence (which I hope nobody, anywhere, is “for”), however, the notion of whether cupcakes are gendered is a curious one. As a feminist, I find it off-putting that a restaurant would assume that burgers are for men, cupcakes are for women, right off the bat. Perhaps it’s the very nature of cupcakes⎯that they are generally small, and sweet, and often pretty⎯that makes them not so much the dessert of choice for straight men. But if you ask me, that’s all appearances. I’ve been at parties and seen plenty of straight guys (and I differentiate because gay men seem to adore cupcakes, if I may be so bold as to stereotype for a moment). I think that by stating it like that, B&C sets up a dynamic whereby it’s not “cool” for a guy to like cupcakes openly.

So what do you think? Are cupcakes “gendered?” Should they be? Is there an age at which it’s no longer cool for guys to like cupcakes? I’m not saying I know the answer one way or the other, because I will also admit there’s something feminine about the culture of cupcakes that we’re part of (after all, I am wearing a cupcake necklace from Fred Flare around my neck as I type).

I’ve posed this question to some of our interviewees and I think everyone can agree that men and women consume cupcakes, but do they think, talk about, bake, plan for, and lust after them in the same way? As much as part of me bristles to see burgers and cupcakes so easily segregated into male and female, I do think that most of the over-the-top cupcake enthusiasm we promote, celebrate and engage in on this blog is coming from women. So what say you? Are your cupcake preferences affected by your genitals? Or is a cupcake sometimes just a cupcake?


lucette said…
As a cupcake lover, I'd be shocked to think they were gendered. I've never noticed it, but now I'll have to take note the next time I make some for a party.
Karen said…
News to me. Whenever I bring cupcakes into work, the men are usually as excited, if not more, than the woman. In fact, I have yet to meet a man reluctant to eat a cupcake.
Fauchon Junkie said…
If the conclusion is that they are gendered, and said gender is female, will someone please tell my fiance who ate all the cupcakes that my friends sent me the other day.

And the ones my officemates got me for my birthday.
Anonymous said…
I don't think there is any doubt whether or not cupcakes are more female-oriented or not. They're definitely feminin. But when it comes to eating them, all of that is lost. Men like eating cupcakes just as much if not more so than women. I had the Vegan Cupcake book on the floor next to my bed, and when a guy friend of mine saw it, he squealed and promptly started looking through it, salivating all the while. There is no shame in devouring one of the tastiest treats of all mankind and I don't think men have any qualms about the apparent femininity of it.
Marie said…
I'm not down with food being divvied up by gender, so I disagree with the assessment. But there is a much bigger problem with B+C--they claim they serve breakfast, but they don't open until lunchtime! F+B does the same thing. Do they think no one in Chelsea gets up until 11:30?