On November 11, 2019, NPR posted an article about a question posed to 100 female chefs and food writers by author Charlotte Druckman in her new book Women on Food. Druckman asked if there were any words or phrases that should no longer be used to describe women in the culinary field. While many words made the list, one word sparked a lot of discussion: “badass”.
As Druckman shared with NPR, “Badass is a detonated way to describe a kind of cultural male whiteness — an aggressive, swaggering one…and then it gets put onto women, as what feels like a tarnished ‘badge of honor,’ or backhanded compliment. Calling a woman — chef or otherwise — ‘badass’ is a way to signify that she’s cool or relevant because she’s acting like a man (specifically, an aggressive, swaggering one); that she is only of interest or worth consideration because she’s going against whatever ‘type’ it is she’d otherwise be categorized as because she’s a woman.”