The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

All Women Love Chocolate, Right? Especially On Their Naked Bodies

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 7, 2008

Remember that Age story about Melbourne’s young sommeliers, inexplicably illustrated with a photo in which the only female sommelier was topless? It was a tie-in (apparently) for a gig they were putting on at the Food & Wine Festival – and now another Melbourne food festival seems to think that objectifying women is the order of the day.

Here’s an excerpt from a feature on the Abbotsford Convent’s Chocolate Rush Chocolate Festival, from The Age (again) today:

[Festival co-organiser Simone] Gordon is especially excited about the hands-on classes, the championships and a special sealed section (held in a restricted area) for adult chocoholics. This, she promises, will incorporate chocolate body paint, “naughty” chocolates and chocolate wrestling. (Gordon is quick to point out that although this part of the program is a little risque, the festival remains a family event.)

Among those appearing in the sealed section is professional jelly wrestler Beth Sait, a woman both excited and nervous about stepping (or sliding) outside her comfort zone. “Wrestling in chocolate is very new for everyone.

We’re all a bit nervous,” she says. “Chocolate is quite a bit different to jelly. I don’t know if it’s going to be slippery or not. It’s going to be a lot messier, I reckon. I’m really pumped about it though. It will be a lot fun.”

And here’s the picture they are using to illustrate the piece:

While I have no problems with the Chocolate Festival itself, or even the fact that there is an “adults only” component, I do have an issue with the fact that, inevitably, such events end up as a circus of sexism. Why do we not get to see a hot dude painted with chocolate to illustrate the piece? How about some “naughty” chocolate dicks?

The piece doesn’t specify, but I think we can safely assume that the “chocolate wrestling” will feature semi-naked women rather than men. Jelly wrestling is traditionally a “sport” watched by men, featuring women in various stages of undress duking it out in the slop. There has been a hipster revivalist movement that sees dudes get in on the act, but jelly wrestling’s roots are in the strip clubs and bucks’ nights.

On top of all this is the fact that chocolate is always, always pitched as something women like, whether it’s Tim Tams or Dove Chocolate – all women love to “indulge”, don’t they? At least, that’s what advertising tells us. (Men aren’t safe from the chocolate industry’s sexism, either – witness “manly” chocolates like Viking and Mars Bar.)

Does the idea of “chocolate wrestling” make you want to attend the Chocolate Rush Chocolate Festival?

4 Responses to “All Women Love Chocolate, Right? Especially On Their Naked Bodies”

  1. tina_sparkle said

    like my friend Mr T orders, “get some nuts!”

  2. Vincent said

    Why yes, actually, it does. I enjoy seeing members of the opposite sex naked, and doubly so, because unlike (most) women, I am extremely visual.

    For that matter, most women do not enjoy the concept of standing in public watching naked men near so much as they favor an imaginative romance novel… so it’s not sexism, really. It’s ‘knowing thy audience’.

  3. caitlinate said

    Dear Vincent,

    Your generalisations are stupid. Possibly you are stupid. Either way your sexism is kind of… gross.

    Yours Sincerely.

  4. Bearded Lady said

    Well I’m convinced. Not only are men ‘extremely visual’ but apparently they’re far superior rheotoricians, too.

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