When one asks about who is cooking in the home, most fingers would point to women. Being the weaker sex women are traditionally responsible for managing domestic labor while men are responsible for working outside to provide for the family’s needs. Even up to today in which men are getting involved in domestic labor, women are still naturally assigned to food preparation. Why?
In the recent years and with the increase number of women employed, the division of domestic labor in many households have been more equally undertaken by both genders. However, studies have shown that food preparation is the least favorable domestic activity men are willing to do. They prefer other chores such as taking care of the kids, cleaning, and even doing laundry than preparing food for the family.
Women may be in charge to cooking at home but it is different when it comes to professional kitchen. There are many male chefs, in fact, more than women chefs. Ask anyone in the streets to name celebrities or most successful chefs in the world and the majority would most likely answer Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay. They have hit cooking shows that make food preparation more interesting which encourages people to learn cooking skills.
The popularity of cooking shows and male celebrity chefs have shifted the men’s perspective of food preparation from a feminine duty to a masculine leisure activity. They inspire men to cook as men realize that cooking can be an enjoyable form of personal leisure and an engaging activity with friends and family. However, food preparation for most men have not develop into a domestic responsibility. Most of them enjoy cooking and they feel pleasure from learning new cooking skills, discovering new recipes, and serving their delicious creations to their families and friends during special occasions. Food preparation is not a daily routine or a household responsibility for men as it is for women.
One of the contributing factors on why men are not involved in food preparation is the upbringing of sons. Although parents, especially mothers, teach both sons and daughters minimal cooking skills when they were kids, the teaching is more focused on daughters when the children become young adults. It is natural for mothers to ask help in the kitchen to their daughters while letting their sons sit in the living room watching tv or playing video games.
Encouraging men to cook at home is a great development in the cooking equality when it comes to gender. Allocating more cooking chores to men is a good start. Parents can start by involving their sons in learn cooking skills as much as their daughters. As for husbands, they can start by helping their wives in the kitchen on a daily basis or enrolling themselves in culinary lessons.