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SEXISM

His and hers ‘sexist sausages’ cause a storm

Another entry for the "Only in Germany" department: Edeka supermarkets are selling men's and women's sausages. The gents' meaty treats are described as "hearty, strongly-spiced," while the ladies' sausages are "lean."

His and hers 'sexist sausages' cause a storm
Photo: Susanne Enz

In a marketing move ignored by the German press – but described in a blog post from feminist journalist and political scientist Antje Schrupp – the women’s sausages were made half the size of their masculine counterparts, and are significantly more expensive.

To further catch the eye of male and female sausage-lovers respectively, the packaging is also gender- if not particularly sausage- appropriate.

The male sausage features an alluringly-clad woman – in front of a flaming background – while lady shoppers are being drawn to part with their hard-earned cash by a topless gentleman with excellent muscle tone in front of a serene, cloudy background.

In her blog post, Schrupp quoted a long letter of complaint sent to the Edeka Group by journalist Susanne Enz, outraged by what she called “dull sexism.”

The sausages’ marketing, she said, implied that “men eat a lot and heartily, while women mainly want to be thin… Women are there to please, while men are allowed to enjoy.”

“Of course it’s not the end of the world, it’s just a sausage,” her letter continued.

“Of course you can react to it as if it’s just a joke, and presumably most sausage-buyers will do that. But your choice of name and accompanying advertising is still the expression and promotion of a – in the best case – thoughtless normative sexism, which gives each gender a ‘right’ role to play, with a built-in hierarchy.”

“And that affects the perceptions of people, even in small, seemingly trivial, playful contexts, and stands stubbornly in the way of gender equality.”

“I found the whole thing really quite unbearable, and I showed it to my partner, and she got really angry,” Enz told The Local in an email.

“So I said to myself, if these sausage-sexists make my partner so angry, I can’t just let it go! I wanted to at least tell them my opinion.”

“I think it’s important to talk about everyday sexism and its consequences in as level-headed a way as possible if you want to raise sensibilities to it in broader society,” she added.

“Otherwise the criticism isn’t taken seriously.”

“It’s a general problem,” Schrupp told The Local. “I’ve seen women’s and men’s mustard as well. Often for children, of course.”

Two different Edeka representatives responded to Enz’s letter, but refused to address her central point: one would only “what he understood of her letter,” – the question of why the ladies sausages were more expensive, (because they contain “particularly lean meat, high-quality vegetables” all packed in an “especially delicate skin”).

The other said the matter had been referred to “the responsible regional official.”

The Local/bk

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ASPARAGUS

Only in Germany: McDonald’s begins offering ‘Spargel Burger’

Amid Germany's famous 'Asparagus Season', the fast food chain has begun offering an unusual twist on typical ingredients.

Only in Germany: McDonald's begins offering 'Spargel Burger'
A basket of Spargel in Kutzleben, Thuringia marked the start of this year's season on April 14th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Martin Schutt

How do you know that you’re definitely in Germany? One sure fire way: when you check the menu of a McDonald’s in the springtime and see a ‘Spargel Burger’. 

Germans are so enamored by the ‘white gold’ –  special light-coloured asparagus which is much thicker than its North American green counterpart – that it’s now a featured fast food at McDonald’s Germany, and with classic Hollandaise sauce and bacon to boot. 

On Thursday, the popular American fast-food chain restaurant – which counts nearly 1,500 outlets in Germany – published a photo of the “Big Spargel Hollandaise” saying that it would be available at select restaurants. They assured customers: “Yes, it’s really there.”

But its release was met with mixed reactions. “We absolutely have to go to McDonald’s sometime,” wrote one. Yet another called the unconventional creation “perverse.”

Another commenter showed skepticism: “Hollandaise sauce on a burger? Does that even taste good?”

Others weighed in on social media to point out that the product is a sign of Germany’s fascination with the vegetable. 

The burger is the latest to join the asparagus craze, with a phallic-shaped Spargel monument in Torgau, Saxony capturing the public attention – or bewilderment – earlier in the week.

An annual tradition

Every year, Germany typically celebrates ‘Spargelzeit’ (asparagus season) from the middle of April until June 24th, which many dub ‘Spargelsilvester’ (Asparagus-New Year’s Eve). 

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Spargelzeit

The beloved vegetable, harvested heavily around the country, usually has its own special menu devoted to it at restaurants, and is sold in supermarkets – or road-side stands – next to jars of the classic Hollandaise sauce. 

The top states which grow the crop are Lower Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, but Beeliz, Brandenburg is also synonymous with Spargel in Germany. 

In normal years the tiny town hosts a sprawling festival to mark the start of the season, anointing a Spargel king and queen.

READ ALSO: Here’s why Germans go so completely crazy for asparagus

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