"It's good to know who hates you, and it is good to be hated by the right people."
Being in food media is sometimes like being in high school.
There are cliques. Those with power tear it up with their own kind. Chef's Table-style.
Hierarchy's a choice.
I don't know what you do for therapy. I've had to get creative. Keep costs down.
The image is a title slide from a video. Made to scratch an itch. For personal entertainment purposes.
The cast: a fancy writer and a small group of white fourth-wave feminists on both sides of the border.
My recovery from alcoholism was fodder. I got used. Misled.
The experience messed with my mental health. I stopped putting words together.
The best lessons work that way. Kick the stuffing right out of you first.
For a time, I bought the fourth-wave feminists' theory on me.
I'd done nothing to change anything.
My career was a vast wasteland. Nothing to see here.
Three decades of languishing with zero talent.
Their snide label for me: enabler.
Like I'd invented chef culture. Personally onboarded all the bros in every restaurant.
A second wave feminist that left them with the mess to single-handedly clean up. How fucking exasperating.
Women blame and shame other women in sly ways.
Then we tug on Angela Davis t-shirts and go for drinks.
One of the fourth wavers called me "shrill." That's the word before bitch.
She got it wrong.
I'm a cunt. From way back.
The title of my memoir.
Pointy women words hurled at me. Like I hadn't heard them before. With thirty-plus years in hospitality.
The year I began gutting my house. To the frame.
The imperative—a new freedom and a new happiness.
Lessons in Journalism is creative. Honours my talents. It's an artful demonstration of self-respect.
There's a record of my responsibilities.
No exaggeration. I am not the fall girl.
Self-reckoning is a stop on the way to self-esteem.
There's humility in it. Grace too.
Someone watched over me while I made it.
Held up a light. So I could see.
What I learned:
It's never too late to go back and collect my power.
When the video was done, I set to work. Righting the wrong.
Calling my dignity back.
There was justice.
Working in kitchens prepared me.
For the ugly ways women behave:
Punch sideways—lateral aggression
Grasp—like there's not enough
Use people to do dirty work
Act like a prima donna
Step on you with Jimmy Choo shoes
Take things without permission
Pass harsh judgement
Act on professional envy
Form exclusive mean-girl clubs
Don't promote/hire women—in their kitchens
Have stories killed
Impose impossible standards
Bury beautiful work
I've done them.
So have you. I know. First-hand.
All distractions. Time wasters.
If I participate a dark cloak falls over my precious brightness.
The harsh reality. It all comes back. Messes with my potential.
Keeps me small. Which in Canada is something.
Protecting my creative life is everything.
I've got boundaries.
I don't know my future after this weekend
And I don't want to