This week, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago claimed that organized pantries in people’s homes are rooted in “racism and sexism.”
Dr. Jenna Drenten, an associate professor of marketing at Loyola University, made the remarks in a piece for the Conversation, where she slammed the trend of people posting videos of their styled, organized pantries on the platform TikTok.
According to Drenton, maintaining a clean, organized home equates to “sexist” and “racist” behavior, because most people who post “pantry porn” are white women (via the Conversation):
Cleanliness has historically been used as a cultural gatekeeping mechanism to reinforce status distinctions based on a vague understanding of “niceness”: nice people, with nice yards, in nice houses, make for nice neighborhoods.
What lies beneath the surface of this anti-messiness, pro-niceness stance is a history of classist, racist and sexist social structures. In my research, influencers who produce pantry porn are predominantly white women who demonstrate what it looks like to maintain a “nice” home by creating a new status symbol: the perfectly organized, fully stocked pantry.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that pantry porn found its foothold during the COVID-19 pandemic, when shortages in the supply chain surged. Keeping stuff on hand became a symbol of resilience for those with the money and space to do so. This allure of strategic stockpiling is evident in other collector subcultures like doomsday preppers and extreme couponers.
And, Drenton pointed out that it reinforces sexist stereotypes that keeping the pantry organized is a “woman’s job:”
The work required to restock, refill, and reset the kitchen is a central element in producing everyday pantry porn.
In my research, I’ve found that this work often falls to women in the household. One TikTok mom goes on a “snack strike,” stating she will not restock the pantry until her children and husband eat what they already have.
Magazines like Good Housekeeping were once the brokers of idealized domestic work. Now online pantry porn sets the aspirational standard for becoming an ideal mom, ideal wife and ideal woman. This grew out of a shift toward an intensive mothering ideology that equates being a good mom with time-intensive, labor-intensive, financially expensive care work.
It appears that organized pantries are the latest target for leftists. Townhall previously covered how bird watching became the target of the woke mob since many birds are named after long-dead historical figures who had ties to slavery and “white supremacy.”