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Place in the kitchen: Why cooking isn’t “women’s” business.

Man preparing dough for bread

What they teach us.

Cooking is still positioned as a women’s mandatory activity, not a hobby for everyone. The problem is not even the language taste of the editors who publish articles with the titles “Mendelssohn’s Stuff: Recipes for a Romantic Dinner”, it is deeper and more serious in scale. Personal happiness in this way is equal to marriage and having children, and the authors do not even hint at another picture of the world for many readers (assuming that they may not even know it exists).

Man cooking food

Advertising for food and kitchen equipment is almost always aimed at women only.

Advertising always helps to understand the mentality of society. As an example: Most often marketers share with women economic advice, such as hiding culinary errors mayonnaise or feed the whole family broth.

When it is necessary to sell not food, but equipment, a popular in our culture trail goes: the husband gives his wife a cool gadget, and the wife is happy, because now it can be even better to cook food – mainly the husband. It would be funny if it was not so sad: from such commercials it follows that, buying kitchen appliances, any man buys and housewife services that his wife provides him for free, and ideally – and with a happy smile. On the contrary, men’s magazines do not have a separate section with recipes for the whole family. Information about food in them is limited to restaurant news, laconic seashells about how to make chips and fry steaks (men’s food!), and materials such as “how to pick up wine for a girl”, comments on which are superfluous.

Where it all started.

The stereotype that a woman’s place in the kitchen was formed, as you can guess, a long time ago. “Since ancient times, the sexual division of labour assumed that men acted outside the family (hunting) and women acted inside it (preparing prey).

In America in the middle of the 21st century, they tried to explain how destructive kitchen sexism can be. “For illustration, the famous work of American artist Martha Rossler, which is called “Semiotics of cuisine” in 1975. – In the video, the author alphabetically names and shows items of kitchen utensils, while making gestures that are characteristic of working with these tools. However, her gestures are exaggerated, she uses a fork, a stick knife and even a hamburger press as a desperate housewife.

Women and the profession of cook

Man in white top standing beside plates

Today on the professional chef stage most of the parties are performed by men. They walk through forests, eat bugs, cross molecules, set trends and get Michelin stars. There are shining examples in the world of what a woman can achieve on this field: American favourite Julia Child, Anne-Sophie Peak, female chef with three Michelin stars, feminist, journalist and chef Nigela Lawson, Nadia Santini, the best female chef in the world.

But there are still incomparably more successful male chefs. “So if we look at the problem of cooking not as an element of “domestic slavery” of women, but as a profession, no advantage for women over men will be noticed. Equal opportunities, competition, and the understanding that any work can become a sexless profession.

For professional recognition, women chefs have to work and over the stove, and sexism.

Is it difficult for women who choose to be cooks? Yes. Exceptions only confirm the rule. “Kitchen is a serious, big process, it’s your world, your terms, jokes, jokes. In order to fit into it, you have to be flexible, but do not lose your personality and understand why you’re in the kitchen. I can’t say that I’ve faced discrimination or distrust in the kitchen, I know what I want from the guys and they respect me for it.

Cooking can bring people together, not become another frontier in the gender fight…

Person wearing red apron stands

However, times are changing, and now the explanation of the difference in social roles by biological features seems as adequate as the explanation of any human behavior by an appeal to instincts. The strength of the traditional way of doing things is explained simply: in a world where the ability to be “different” and the intention to defend one’s choice look like a breach of order, hiding behind stereotypes is the easiest way not to be “punished. More than one generation of scientists insists that belonging to the animal world does not determine human behavior. Moreover, in society people are able to define themselves, their identity not in biological terms, but in social terms, which can be corrected.

Woman and cooking is a complex and ambiguous issue. On the one hand, a big crazy world calls for a life of the whole reel: to build a career, relationships, endless learning and travel. And who said that in this rhythm of life there is no place for borschtas and cutlets – but they must fit into your schedule voluntarily, not necessarily. On the other hand, cooking is a skill that is good for everyone, regardless of gender. Problems begin when her husband is surprised that her husband returned from work ten minutes ago did not set the table, and her mother-in-law is outraged that you do not have in the house for mash. Cooking is an activity that should bring people, men and women together, not become another frontier in the gender struggle.

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