This article examines the Women's Restaurant (Restaurante Feminino), a women-only restaurant for white-collar workers in 1920s São Paulo, Brazil. When the League of Catholic Women, an elite philanthropic organization, established the restaurant in 1926, they imagined that it would protect working women from the dangers of the streets by providing an appropriate place to dine. Catering to shopgirls, as well as to secretaries and teachers, the restaurant upheld gendered respectability at a time of shifting gender roles and class identities. The League singled out white-collar women as worthy of respectable dining because of their occupations and their potential to become future mothers. Drawing from the League's private archive of annual reports, meeting minutes, photographs, and press clippings, this article evaluates the role of food and public dining in the construction of class and gender in early twentieth-century Brazil.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 592-620
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.