No more false appreciation. Help men improve their cooking skills
Accept it. When men cook, we tend to appreciate them just for holding the wok in their hand. And when the women are cooking, we try to reproach them for even lacking a pinch of salt in the food. But how long are we going to let the mindset create unreasonable expectations for women?
We’re okay with the crap food the man cooks, but we’d criticize a woman for the same mistakes. This unequal reaction when men and women cook is deeply rooted in our patriarchal mindset. But how long are we going to let patriarchy envelop our decisions?
In our society, however, it is not common for men to enter the kitchen, let alone cook a meal. If they volunteer to make themselves a cup of tea, they are projected as sous chefs. And then, no matter how poorly the tea is brewed, the man is appreciated for just walking into the kitchen. Why do we have such different criteria for men and women?
It was time for men to improve their cooking skills
Let me ask you a question, do you like women if they do a man’s job – like going out and making money? No, you’d rather blame them for being defiant or not good enough at their job. Every mistake on their part is pointed out to discourage them from being “the man”. So why such different parameters for men and household chores?
First of all, let’s accept that household chores are not reserved for women. It is a life skill that every human being, regardless of gender, must know and master. Cooking and cleaning are important for a person’s survival. It is a necessary skill to be independent and strong.
Second, if we continue to misjudge men, how are they going to improve? How will men start working on their cooking skills? It is undeniable that men rarely learn to cook. And that’s the reason a lot of them aren’t good at it. But in today’s world where every human being learns to be alone, is it right not to help men improve their cooking?
Yes, the patriarchy has conditioned our upbringing. It is our duty to change this as much as possible. And in this case, it is our duty to ask and help men learn skills like cooking, cleaning and managing a house.
I’m not saying it’s not applauded for a man to overcome his patriarchal conditioning, but to call his crap food good just because he’s not used to cooking isn’t fair. We do them an injustice by enjoying their tasteless food because one day they will have to eat and survive on it. The pandemic has seen urban Indian men spending much more time in the kitchen. It’s been an eye opener for many in terms of how much to do while staying home. As women own the workspaces with momentum, it’s time for men to do the same at home.
We need to get rid of the stereotype that men can earn well but not cook while women can cook well but not earn. Winning and cooking are basic survival skills. And both men and women should be good at it or at least learn how to do it. It’s time for grandmothers, mothers, sisters and aunts to take matters into their own hands and change the status quo.
The opinions expressed are those of the author.