Too Many Women in the Kitchen

by Liz Colville

Two-thirds of men will help out in the kitchen this holiday season, says new research, which is kind of high! But what are the other 33.33333333333(etc)% of men doing? Not even so much as “lifting a finger.” In a study, these wimps listed “lack of confidence, previous failures and complicated recipes” as reasons for not helping out. Also, they are under the impression that their significant others are “happy to take care of everything culinary.” The meat company that conducted the study (?) says women need to get everyone to help out, so, OK, once again we’re in charge…of getting other people to attempt being in charge.

The problem is, my own personal research shows that many women have a hard time relinquishing control because they want to cook for Their Man. They want to prove that they can Have Jobs as well as Be as Talented as Their Mothers in the Kitchen. The other thing that may motivate them to be in control of all things culinary, especially in places like New York: Small Kitchens.

To the first point, the study also found that women and men see cooking in profoundly different terms: most women see it as a “sensual” act — something that “gives pleasure,” whereas men see it as “a performance and an activity at which they can impress.” Sounds familiar. See: other activities, other rooms.

Here’s a part of the research that’s easy to believe: when men do cook, they “enjoy the fruits of their labor more than women do theirs.”

This is also known as the First Law of Men: “He who rarely cleans or cooks, when does, is utterly proud of himself, which does not mean he shall start to thenceforth clean or cook more often, sorry.”