Dude Network

I watched the first of the new season of Iron Chef America last night, and I’m kinda pissed off.

I used to love the original Iron Chef. But I made the mistake of watching a couple shows that featured female challengers. The condescension was unbearable. “Ho-ho! Does her husband mind her career?” Gah.

So when I heard there was going to be an Iron Chef America, I rejoiced. Not only would the food be a bit more accessible for me, but I wouldn’t have to put up with blatant sexism, right? Right?

Okay, Batali calling his female sous-chef “honey” and “baby” got on my nerves a little. But my love for Batali overcame. Mostly. And then–joy of joys!–they added Cat Cora to the list of Iron Chefs! Hurrah!

But wait, they added her near the end of last season. Then they had some time off. And now…where is she? Her portrait isn’t up there with the other chefs–she’s cut in during the intro. That’s right–they didn’t bother to re-work the stage. That, and Batali’s continued honeying, has me ready to turn away again.

Let’s review the messages:

1. It’s okay for a star chef to call a woman by a demeaning endearment. After all, she doesn’t seem to mind! And he doesn’t appear to treat her badly–well–except that he doesn’t respect her enough to use her name.

2. We’ve added a female chef, but she’s hardly as important as the men. We’ll just cut her in–we don’t want her mixing with the real chefs.

I’m hoping the staging is just some technical problem, soon to be corrected. Batali I’m sure won’t change, and each time I watch him it makes me cringe a little more. He slaps every woman in the audience when he treats Ann disrespectfully. So brilliant, so clueless.

Food Network usually does better than this. Come on, folks, work it out. Quit dissin’ the wimmin’.

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