Food News

Fox News Guest Insists That Gingerbread Cookies Are Always Men

Image Credit: Danielle Tsi

Yesterday on Tucker Carlson's Fox News talk show, his guest Tammy Bruce, a conservative political commentator, dropped by to play defense in the imaginary war on Christmas. The latest crime against this most revered of holidays? Gender-neutral gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread men should not be renamed "gingerbread people," for the sake of, I don't know, the children?

"Obviously, they're men," Bruce declared on the show.

In the clip, which surfaced on Twitter thanks to writer Madeline Peltz, Bruce argues that people who have been "bullied" into changing the way they talk by a force that Bruce does not specify, have finally reached their tipping point. In this case the tipping point is being forced to call a gingerbread man a "gingerbread person."

First of all, let's tone down the scare tactics. No one is going to show up at your door and demand that you address inanimate objects with gender-neutral pronouns. A violent mob of cookie name-enforcers does not exist in the reality in which I, Tammy Bruce, and all the people reading this, live. If you want to keep calling your gingerbread cookies men, then by all means do so. Who is going to stop you? Same goes for anyone who wants to call these cookies gingerbread people. Go right ahead. It hurts literally no one.

However, I am curious about how Bruce decided, with so much conviction, that gingerbread cookies are "obviously men." Cookies aren't alive, so it is physically impossible for them to be either male or female, from a purely biological standpoint. I assumed that would be obvious, but apparently it is not!

A little background for Bruce: The gender-specific name probably first appeared when Queen Elizabeth I presented gingerbread cookies to visiting dignitaries in their likeness, and likely gained even more traction around 1875, when the folktale about a wayward cookie called The Gingerbread Man was first published by Scribner & Company. But in the early 1900s the term "gingerbread woman," was common in popular culture, so there is no factual basis for the assertion that gingerbread cookies have always been known as men, or that to think otherwise would be to stomp all over American history. It's simply not true.

Also, as many, many people pointed out in the replies to Peltz's tweet, gingerbread cookies do not have male anatomy, or anatomy of any kind. They don't even really have a neck, let alone fingers and toes. There is not one single piece of evidence that these cookies are male — not even a strand of icing facial hair. Why? Because gingerbread men are not men. Gingerbread men are cookies. Cookies, Tammy. Please take a deep breath. No one cares about this. And even if this was a real issue, not something you invented to rile up Fox News viewers, people would still be allowed to call their cookies whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes. Happy holidays!

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