Thursday, November 21, 2013

Women in the kitchen

I don't really have an intro to lead into this topic, however, Samantha tweeted this a few days ago and I thought I'd share my opinions on women in the kitchen.


I want to begin by saying, if ANYONE is raised correctly, they SHOULD know how to cook. I'm sorry, but I do believe a child should not leave the parent's home without basic knowledge of some kitchen skills. Whether they enjoy or are good at cooking, well that's a whole other story. But I do agree, if you leave home not knowing how to boil water, then you really weren't raised right.

Now, on to the actual topic of the day. Women in the kitchen. Do we really belong there? Is it really a woman's job to cook for her husband?

I was raised in a family where everyone cooked. My mom, my dad, and myself. My dad probably cooked more than my mom. We owned and operated our own restaurant for 6 years. You could say we all like to be in the kitchen. Derek's family is on the opposite end of the spectrum, where the only person who did any cooking was his mom. Neither he nor his dad cooked any family meals, and if his mom was out of town, they either ate out or made sandwiches.

Are either of these lifestyles wrong? No. I think a family should decide how it wants to function by seeing what works best for them, whether it being the wife or husband doing all the cooking, or sharing the responsibility. 

One of the biggest arguments Derek and I have ever gotten into was when he told me it was a woman's job to cook. And he was serious. Because of the way he was raised, he believes that the wife should be responsible for feeding the husband. I don't remember what exactly was said, but it was along the lines of the husband shouldn't have to cook because it was the wife's job to serve him. Cooking wasn't manly.

I argued. How is cooking not manly? I watched my dad prepare over half of my meals growing up and operate a successful restaurant, a restaurant that people loved. A restaurant where a man did the cooking. His thinking upset me. Was he saying he was better than cooking, and therefore better than me?

Since then I've wondered why the argument made me so upset. After all, I've eaten Derek's cooking.. and there isn't much to it, bless his heart. And after all, I love being in the kitchen. One of the best feelings in the world is putting your heart into a meal and serving it to friends and family, watching the enjoyment as they eat. So why did it bother me so much that he wanted me to do what I already loved?

It bothered me because he thought cooking was beneath him. It bothered me because he was telling me I had to do it. It bothered me because he didn't find enjoyment in something I loved so much.

Since that argument, I've presented my feelings to Derek. He's seen my family, and I've seen his family. We both now understand the other's side and feelings. I understand that the whole reason he felt that way is because it is what he was taught. He understands that I was so appalled at his could shoulder to cooking because I was raised in a family that loves it.


So, do women belong in the kitchen? My answer to that is: if that is what works for you. In my opinion, it is the wife's "job" to serve her husband (read your Bible ladies and gents, it's right there) however, I think it is the job of the husband and wife TOGETHER to decide exactly how they will serve one another. Not everyone is gifted with the ability to cook, and if you are the type of person to burn water, then you probably shouldn't be in the kitchen. Do what works for you.

Do you think women "belong" in the kitchen?

35 comments:

Samantha said...

Definitely, definitely don't think women "belong" in the kitchen. I find in interesting that this logic is still out there, but when you look into the kitchens of most restaurants these days - who do you see? Usually it's a guy. Not saying women aren't chefs, but they are definitely minority in the food industry.

I still don't believe that cooking determines how you were raised, but I get your point and respect your opinion! Great post!

Breenah A said...

"if ANYONE is raised correctly, they SHOULD know how to cook" EXACTLY.

Even though I kind of fit the SAHM/cooking stereotype, the "jokes" DRIVE ME BONKERS. I just tell those that joke to remember where the large knives are kept.

The Running Nurse said...

My mom did all the cooking and serving in my house. I vowed to never be like that and now that I have my own family - we both cook!

Kylie @ Faux Hawks and Follies said...

I agree with you 100%.

It should be the job of whoever wants it and enjoys it. If neither one of you want to or enjoy it, then you work together to feed yourselves.

I, too, love to cook and enjoy feeding my friends and family. It makes me happy that they get to enjoy one of my talents, and I love sharing it with them. However, I love it when I'm cooked for, too.

I also think if you are "raised correctly," you should be able to take care of yourself. That includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. No one should go off to college without the knowledge of how to function on their own. Part of a parent's duty to their child is teaching them how to be an adult, these things included.

Autumn @ The Unreal Life said...

I don't think women belong in the kitchen. There is nothing inherent in our DNA that makes us better cooks than men, and like you said if you're going to burn water...

I always get very stressed over this subject. My dad will go literal days sometimes without eating if my mom isn't home--or even if she just isn't home by what he deems "in time." Which is like 6. God forbid she have an errand to run. I just think it's bullshit. You have two hands and a full kitchen. No one should be going hungry.

Brittany said...

My husband works at a church, and his mother stayed home and raised children and did all the cooking. In the Christian culture I have noticed it seems like women are expected to do the cooking as a duty of being a wife. But that doesn't work for our family, every day. I do the majority of the cooking, but if Ronnie beats me home from work, or if I am just exhausted, or have plans with someone other than my husband, then he can just as easily cook! He helps me with dinner a lot , and he makes more breakfasts than I do. I don't want to work 5 days a week and come home and slave over the stove! Luckily, he adjusted his expectations and now helps with a happy heart. If I stayed home and didnt work full time, I'd be happy to cook every day but since thats not our life situation, he gets to help me cook! :-p

Ashten @ alwaysashten said...

If women belong in the kitchen I'm totally screwed because I can barely cook. Women's role in society is always changing and morphing: one minute we are taking care of kids, the next we are running companies. As a career woman (and a very independent one at that) I find it funny to see men react to me: they are either confused and turned-off or find it attractive that I'm not "in the kitchen". Do I think women belong there? NO. Do I think it helps if we can cook/take care of a house? Yes. This post is so good, Kalyn. I love that you finally wrote it.

Alexa said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I'm the "official cook" in our house now and I always will be, but not because Glenn feels it's beneath him to cook or I should serve him (he grew up with both of his parents cooking equal amounts, which I love!), but because cooking is something I truly enjoy and I'd even go so far as to say it's a love language of mine. However, the second Glenn complains "dinner is taking too long" or something like that, I might blow up, because it's easy to feel lowered to a servant position and that is absolutely not OK.

But anyway, I'm getting off topic. I agree that anyone should know how to do some sort of home-cooking for themselves, whether it's boiling a pot of pasta water or roasting a pan of vegetables. Eating meals out three+ times a day does not a healthy body make!

Thanks for writing such a great , thought-provoking post! :)

Margaret said...

I grew up in a family where my dad did like 75% of the cooking. It's his passion and what he loves to do. But my mom, brother and myself all love it as well.

So no, I don't feel like a woman BELONGS in the kitchen. If cooking is what makes her happy (which for me it does), than great!! Thankfully Doug understands that and enjoys the meals I make for him...and helps out where he can, which includes cleaning up after dinner.

Courtney B said...

I totally agree that we should all have a basic knowledge of cooking (like being able to boil water) but that doesn't mean we have to be GOOD at it!
But the same situation happened to Eric and me. (our families are the same way as your families) When we were engaged Eric asked me if I was going to get up and make him breakfast before work each morning. Umm... H E Double Hockey Sticks NO! I told him I'd get a bowl and spoon out each night for his cereal if he wanted? But his mom cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner even when she was sick. Crazy woman! But she loved doing that! I doooooon't. And Eric actually likes to cook. And he LOVES baking where I pretty much despise it. So we have a deal. If I cook, he cleans up. And visa versa. So obviously I don't believe it's the woman's job to take charge of the kitchen!

Cece said...

If I "belonged" in the kitchen based on my sex I'd have lost my woman card long ago and my husband would have never married me! I have never liked cooking. I try now and then to be fair to my husband but it's really his thing and not mine. That mentality is so backwards and even if I was a chef and wanted to be in the kitchen it would upset me too if someone thought I should be just because I was a woman. Glad the two of you came to an understanding about that.

Helene in Between said...

great post. michael and i share the cooking. in fact, hes probably a better cook than me. but im fine with that. i agree with you- everyone should know how to cook!

Elizabeth at Southern Finesse said...

I grew up in a family where everyone cooked as well. My dad learned how to cook from a maid when he was little and often helped my mom cook even if it wasn't his night. They both taught me how to cook as I grew up. I don't always enjoy cooking and I think in a future family I'd appreciate the guy helping out with the cooking. But it's definitely not the woman's place in the kitchen. I know the history behind why that stigma started but hopefully it's going away in this century.

brooke lyn said...

i think it is interesting that people always say a woman should be in the kitchen, but the restaurant industry is totally male dominated.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I don't ever want to feel like I have to do anything. I love to cook and bake but if I don't feel like it or have a bad day, the guy should step up and cook. In the end I think it should be what works for the couple. If cooking is not your think let the other person do it and you handle table prep and dishes.

Rachel said...

I don't think women should HAVE to cook, WANT to cook or even be GOOD at it. Everyone is different. Some women are great cooks, while some men are. My bf and I alternate cooking on nights when the other is busy/gets home late. I do laugh at the "women in the kitchen" jokes sometimes though because they're silly

Kallie @ But First, Coffee said...

I find it strange that men in the domestic kitchen is frowned upon but when it comes to executive chefs people prefer men...? I totally agree with you that children should learn to cook before leaving their home it's a basic life skill too many people neglect!

the florkens said...

Adam is the cooker in our family for sure! He plans a lot of the meals and occasionally I throw one in there. But I'm the baker... I bake the cakes, the brownies, the cinnamon rolls! Yum! We've discussed how our family will work when kids come into the picture and agree it should be a shared role. If I had to do it all the time, I would massively fail because my job keeps me so busy. He, on the other hand, enjoys to cook but would occasionally like a night off. To each their own, but I certainly won't be teaching my little girls that it's their "job" to cook or that their "place" is in the kitchen!

Great post friend! I really enjoyed!

-Kate
www.theflorkens.com

Cotton and Boots said...

This is such an awesome point to make. I'm usually the one cooking but Nick will cook occasionally, especially when grilling (since he enjoys it more). We both grew up in a family where the mothers cooked, but I think we're both open to cooking and not one person "belongs" in the kitchen. We'll both be in there if we want.

Stereotypes like that drive me mad. It's what holds back the person their talking about. People are so frustrating with their closed minds sometimes.

But, awesome point and amazing post girl!

Yammering Yankee said...

Loved this post! My husband and I both cook but I cook more often then him because I don't really enjoy his cooking as ramen is not my idea of a balanced meal lol. I think it so ironic that women are expected to be good cooks when the top chefs in the world are mostly men. What a strange disconnect. Can't wait to meet ya in a week!

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