This is the blog for Professor Fernald's undergraduate Woolf elective, spring 2013.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
If One Does Not Dine Well, Blame the Poor Choice in Artwork
For my last entry, I went to Etsy to see if I could find a cutesy trinket to suggest as a gift for Woolf fans, but I came across something a little more unsettling. This is going to be a rant on misquoting people. To the left is the item of intrest which actually is being sold in different forms by three different Etsy shops, one of which calls it "Kitchen Print". One would assume this is meant to go in a kitchen as a cute little sign that mom puts up to encourage people to eat well in her kitchen. If you know anything about Virginia Woolf, however, I don't know that you would want this in your kitchen. This is a quote that was extracted from A Room of One's Own and is a reference to the differences in food options colleges offered for men and women. Women's schools provided meager nourishment while men's schools championed the importance of eating well. This has effectively been passed down through the generations with the idea of a growing boy needing a lot more food and the stigma against girls who eat a lot in public. Girls eat yogurt. Boys eat steak and eggs. It's a sad stereotype. This is not a message I would want in my kitchen, and let us not forget that Woolf herself was a very disordered eater, so, out of context, this quote with her name under it is a very bleak outlook on her own life suggesting that she could not think, love, or sleep like someone who was well nourished. The moral of the story here is to choose your home decor wisely because popular quotes from popular icons cannot usually be taken at face value.