In 1974, Martha Rosler, a pioneer of feminist video art, made this parody of the cooking shows that were already popular at the time on TV and at household fairs. Standing in front of the stove and fridge, this “anti-Julia Child” puts on her apron and goes through an A to Z of kitchen utensils. She lards her alphabet with a pinch of humor, a dash of frustration, and a generous portion of anger—indispensable ingredients in any feminist kitchen.
Rosler’s body language adds a whole new layer of meaning to the objects she demonstrates. There are other things you can do with a kitchen knife besides chopping an onion, and with every scoop of the soup ladle, Rosler seems to spoon another helping of the patriarchy out the window. And how to use a nutcracker or a meat tenderizer? Here too, the film leaves little to the imagination.