Having a crush on another woman wasn’t blinked at—it was expected and considered part of women’s college culture. A group of New England women took this concept one step further by “getting married.” Though they didn’t commit to one another legally, they combined households, lived together and supported one another for the long term. These independent women pushed the boundaries of what society deemed acceptable for women by attending college, finding careers and living outside their parents’ home. But since they did so with other women, their activities were deemed socially acceptable.
Women in positions of power in the kitchen are often questioned for their choices. “There’s an element of guilt associated with women in kitchen positions in a way that there isn’t with men,” Berg explained. “She needs to explain and rationalize how she has chosen this career, which is arguably physically demanding, [with] really long hours, unconventional hours.” Queer women setting foot in the culinary world often find themselves in “no man’s land,” Berg explained. They’re often excluded from pastry work, but still discriminated against for being female in the realm of executive chefs.