If a man cook, it’s a delight. But, if a woman does not cook, it’s a problem. We frown upon women who won’t or can’t get into cooking.
We expect them to do a little bit of cooking at least. Even if she may not be interested in making three course meals or in baking, she ‘should’ at least know the everyday stuff. Isn’t it so? With this mindset, it’s not surprising that women put up with cooking even when they may not want to.
Society has some very rigid gender roles for women and men. Stepping outside of these boundaries is fraught with tension and the possibility of being outcaste. From childhood onwards, girls are expected to play ghar-ghar and revel at the sight of toy kitchen sets. As the child grows, the boy ends up spending more time outside, while the girl spends time with her mother in the kitchen. Perhaps, cooking becomes a habit, a task to be borne. Doubtless to say, this is heavily portrayed in mainstream media too.
Mothers and Cooking
Young girls are taught to emulate their mothers. They are expected to follow their footsteps. Most children love their parents and try to imitate them anyway. Same gender imitation is more likely simply out of similarity. Therefore, young girls grow up wanting to be like their mothers. They privately curse themselves if they cannot be as good cooks as their mothers. Some mothers may themselves be pressurizing their daughters to fit into the assigned role. Women who have working mothers are expected to love the juggle of cooking and work. Not liking the household chores or the cooking is not an option.
Friends and comparison
Within many social situations, especially those involving friends and family, many comments are made on the girl’s cooking skills. It is considered as if not liking cooking or not being good at cooking is a character defect that will have irreparably damaging effects. The girl may like other things but it’s weird if she can’t cook. Therefore, with this in mind, we judge and taunt our girls.
Partners and in-laws
The elements in the life before just seem to be a preparation in married life. In-laws expect to have a gourmet chef in the house along with a daughter in law and may frown if she does not spend considerable time in the kitchen. The husband may not even know how to brew his tea but the wife needs to know how to make a three course meal. Further, she is supposed to learn all her mother in law’s recipes and methods in a span of two days. How dare she cook how she knows? She must cook as we like.
All these factors together come to make women put up with cooking. They think of it is a chore, as something to be done. Yes, some love it. But not everyone. The next time you make this generalization, ask yourself. Do women really love cooking? Or is it just my short-sightedness?
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