Public Affairs · Strategic Communication

Whatever Happened to “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”?


A friend asked me this question today, on Facebook: “Whatever Happened to “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche“? ”

Cover of "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche"
Cover of Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche

A bit of background about me that most of you probably don’t know.  I’m considered by some to be a macho kind of a guy, I wrestled in high school, went into Special Forces in the Army, became a scuba diver, a skydiver, rappelled off cliffs, climbed mountains, studied martial arts, taught martial arts, became an extreme long-distance motorcyclist, this is my short list.  Most of these things were just a part of my job, and I thoroughly enjoyed pushing myself and my limits.  I did these things simply because I just enjoyed them.

The other day the daughter of a friend, who is a die-hard Baltimore Raven’s fan, “liked” Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Facebook.  I kidded her about that and she responded”he’s cute”!  I agreed with her, because I’m secure enough in my masculinity to admit when a man is attractive.  Well, in a long-haired football player kind of way, although I normally really hate long hair on football players!  When the NFL ruled that pulling that hair was legal, I had to snicker…

Then today I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, make something out of tofu. Yeah, that soybean product.  Oh, and yes, I like cooking and baking, I’m man enough to admit that!  I made an eggless spinach tofu quiche…  I posted this on my Facebook page and one of the first comments I got was “Whatever happened to “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”?  I realized that would be a great blog subject, so I began researching it.

I had to laugh when I discovered the phrase I knew was the title of a book published in 1982, a satirical book making fun of stereotypes for ‘maleness’ in the 1980s.  This is especially important now that there is a move afoot to get total acceptance of gays, gay marriage and anything to do with same-sex marriage.  The US military is the trend-setter for social culture in the US.

What struck me as especially funny were the names of the spin-off books from “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”.   According to Wikipedia

The book was followed in 1982 by a cookbook, Real Men Don’t Cook Quiche; a companion book by Joyce Jillson, Real Women Don’t Pump Gas; and a 1983 book by illustrator Lee Lorenz titled Real Dogs Don’t Eat Leftovers. For 1984, matching Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche and Real Women Don’t Pump Gas calendars were released. There were also many imitations from other publishers, most notably Real Kids Don’t Say Please, Real Women Never Pump Iron and Real Women Send Flowers. In 1992, a sequel, Real Men Don’t Bond, was released.

I realized that another book might be written today, in light of the recent George Little memo, who is the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Pentagon Press Secretary.  According to a USA Today article by Tom Vanden Brook, the term “Strategic Communication” was dropped.  Not true, says Rosa Brooks in her article in Foreign Policy.  She cites this as yet another shot in the war between the ASD(PA) and the rest of the Information Community.  Another famous incident to information professionals was the leaking of untrue stories by the same office to the press and the Office of Strategic Influence was accused of making up stories, flinging propaganda and other such nonsense, after a thorough investigation.   Many information professionals cited the undersecretary herself as the source.

Why, you ask? Public Affairs sees their mission as informing the public, but they vehemently deny influencing anyone.  If you’ve forgotten the name of this blog, it is “To Inform Is To Influence”.   I had a Flag Officer Public Affairs professional tell me to my face that ‘we do not influence’.  ‘All we do is provide truthful, factual information, it’s up to the public to decide what that means!’

I guess the name of the next in the series of “Real Men” books could be titled: “Real Information Professionals Don’t Do Public Affairs”.

2 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”?

  1. Hello,
    Thanks for “liking” my post “Getting Back to My Chores”
    on uribotanicalgardens.wordpress.com
    I am not familiar with many topics on your blog so there is a lot to learn here!
    Best,
    Gabrielle

  2. for roleplaying board games (like D&D) there’s “Real Men don’t use GURPS” and for computer programming there is “Real programmers don’t use Pascal”.

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