“Heinz’s presentation of a ‘feminized’ workspace and workers contained both these meanings of purity. Since Victorian women were thought to be ‘naturally’ pure, and were considered the ‘natural’ preparers of food, their presence in the workplace assured consumers that the food products were just as natural as what was made at home. Yet these women were also scrupulously clean, white and scientifically germ-free. So both meanings of purity are promoted, without any apparent contradiction.” (1)

The above quote is from “Pickles and purity: discourses of food, empire and work in turn-of-the-century USA” by Mona Domosh about the Hienz company in the early 1900’s. We have all heard the term that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Heinz employed women for this reason. It was productive as well as a marketing strategy. They made sure that the women they employed were clean, white and pure. By doing this, they advertised that their food was also “clean” and “pure.” Women were the ones in households that did the jarring and canning of foods and that is exactly what Heinz sold. By employing women to do this job they were appealing to other women. They “feminized” the work space by creating comfortable working conditions and employing primarily women. They designed huge custom kitchens for women to work in as well as relaxing break areas. The areas they worked in were very clean and sterile. This environment would be much different from that of a construction site, which would be typically a man’s job.

 

(1) Secondary reading: Mona Domosh, “Pickles and purity: Discourses of food, empire and work in turn-of-the-century USA,” Social & Cultural Geography (2003):10

https://womansworkweb.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/heinzs-presentation-of-a-feminized-workspace-and-workers-contained-both-these-meanings-of-purity-since-victorian-women-were-thought-to-be-naturally-pure/

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