Women Don't Cook

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture
Women Don't Cook


rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

[url=http://www.thestar.com/living/article/302930]Women Don't Cook[/url]


"I don't cook. So I made my eat-in kitchen a fabulous walk-in closet," announces a young, attractive woman in the newest Citibank ad.

It's part of a $93 million (U.S.) campaign called "Tell your story" that's appearing in print, magazine, TV and online.

"My name is Grace and I live in a small apartment in a big city," the ad continues. "And since I enjoy a day of shopping far more than, say, cooking, I decided to do a bit of home remodelling. So with my Citi card in hand, I set out to get some closet organizers. I bought a shoe rack for the oven, sweater boxes for the lower cupboards and some 12-inch baskets for handbags up above. I saved room for plates, glasses and silverware. And one large drawer stuffed with takeout menus."

Citibank is so confident that women will identify with "Grace's" sentiment, they're even running the ad in February's issue of Gourmet magazine.

Their assumption, I guess, is that even a good number of Gourmet's readers (who are mostly women) don't actually cook; they're just sampling the food porn.


"I put food on the table for the kids every day or whatever, but my partner does the fancier cooking for guests," said another. "It's easier than getting him to help with anything else around the house. He knows he'll get lots of kudos for being the chef, but none for cleaning the toilet."

So, two things are happening. One is that some women aren't cooking at all because they see it as low status or unnecessary. And, sure, women have been unfairly stuck with the brunt of domestic labour in a culture that has deemed it lower status than, say, working in an office. Stepping away from the hearth is a form of rebellion and liberation and a way to gain more cultural status, which are motivations I can sympathize with (even though I think they're ultimately the opposite of liberated and healthy – more on that later).

And the other is that many women do the daily food prep but don't count that as "real" cooking. For this, I blame the rise of foodie culture. There are plenty of shows on the Food Network that feature quick and easy meals. Like from one of my favourite celeb cooks – Nigella Lawson – in which, in the promo, she claims doing her hair and putting on lipstick takes more time than making the entrйe.

I can't wait until my kids are gone because then I can cook how I want to. I have food allergies and my daughter is a very picky eater and they both are not into veggies very much.

Man this is stupid!


It is pro-conspicuous-consumption crap. Cooking is a skill all adult human beings of either sex or any sexual orientation or lifestyle should master, at least in basic form. If not, you are eating takeaway meals. Even higher-quality takeaway meals of the kind Carrie and her fashionista friends could afford are too high in salt and have other nutritional shortcomings, and such offerings are beyond the means of most ordinary workers and their families. For them, eating takeout means processed foods, bad fats, salt and sugar/hfcs in everything, frozen stuff and bad pizzas made from crappy flour.

I have some food allergies too, so I never had the choice but to learn to cook.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

My food allergy really put a spin on how I cook and what I eat.

So much healthier, now if the kids want pizza we either make it at home, or they pay for it, which means once in a blue moon.

So rarely do we do take that one morning my son (who had worked the afternoon shift) wanted to know what had gone wrong the day before - simply based on the take out boxes in the fridge.


I used to live with a woman who loved cooking and she was a knowledgeable and committed feminist. Cooking was one of the things we did together for fun and she was usually the chef and I was the assistant. She came up with some unusual recipes and they were always good. One thing she came up with was a black bean stew in a sauce that included cocoa and oranges. Another one was a pie with a crust made from sweet potatoes and a filling of cheese and vegetables.
I once went on a 'date' with someone I had never met before and she had a weird idea that women who cook are 'oppressed' and 'pathetic'. I told her in a defiant tone that I enjoy cooking and she laughed at me and insinuated that I was effeminate and unmanly. That was a long time ago.
I saw the show 'sex in city' once but I didn't like the characters and didn't find it amusing so I never watched it again.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I read the article, and this isn't exactly the direction I think you wanted to go in, rural-Fransesca, but I have to be a cranky-pants for a moment.

Since when did [i]Citibank commercials[/i] (or any commercials for that matter) and [i]Sex in the City[/i] (A show that's been off the air for a few years and is, oh yeah, FICTIONAL) become beacons of newsworthy social commentary?

The Toronto Star decided to reprint this article and concur that ads and bad USian teevee are valid places to find a new social trend on the current status of feminism? Slow news day or what? [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

And, um, "women" cook all the time. If the writer means that middle and upper-middle income women, who are white, urban, educated and career-oriented aren't cooking as much as other groups of women I would still have to ask, as a good sociologist: How do you know this?

Some may find this shocking, but there are women who are feminists who consider it liberating and feminist to stay at home, cook, and raise their own children, rather than do paid work raising other people's children.

(Okay that was more than a moment's worth of cranky-pantedness.)

remind remind's picture

hmmm, I cook and love to do so, so does my partner. And Marzo, there is absolutely nothing "effeminate and unmanly" about it, and anyone saying so severely lacks knowledge about what equality actually means.

Back in the 80's when the recession was happening and federal government jobs were being cut back, we decided my partner should stay home and be a house husband. He wanted to, but we felt that we also needed extended family support for him to do so. This was to avoid the wrongful conclusion that he was sponging off of my labour/work and any resulting family back lash or sabatoge over him being a "kept man". And of note, sexism was, and is, still present, amongst some family members, even though, in a fine example of double standards, it would've been quite acceptable for me to stay at home with him supporting me.

For 3 years, he did absolutely everything, right down to canning and perserving. In fact, I believe he did more than I would've had the situations been reversed, as I would've demanded more help from him, than he did of me.

Looking back, I realize that I exploited him, by utlizing his desire to "prove" himself as a househusband to overly benefit me. As I literally did nothing but bring in the money and go to school and do whatever else [b]I[/b] wanted to. I know that I would never have tolerated a reverse situation from him, no matter how hard he worked external to the family home.

Was not a pleasant realization either, but thankfully I did, and we both gained much insight from the experience, and it angers me that my family to this day, fail to recognize how he over compensated, and after 28 years still believe him to be lazy and worthless because he stayed out of the work force for 3 years. But I think this more of a unconscious racial bias at work.


Effeminate and unmanly? I like to cook and nobody tells me what colour apron to wear.