#feminismisdead: But why is cooking considered the antithesis of the feminist movement?
But why is cooking considered the antithesis of the feminist movement? Why do the phrases “go back to the kitchen” and “make me a sandwich” still feature as regular insults against women who convey feminist sentiments? And why do the Cuoco’s of the world seem to think that being a feminist involves the senseless burning of aprons?
It’s accurate to say that feminists have a long and conflicted relationship with all things domestic. Cooking, a task traditionally relegated to women through the role of the selfless nurturer, is perceived by feminists as an act that reflects women’s oppressed cultural status both inside and outside the home. In The Whole Woman, Australian feminist Germaine Greer argues that the role of feeding is essentialized to women through our ability to breastfeed, and as a result, generalized to our relationships in the kitchen. Specifically, she explains that while our bodies may have the capacity to feed and nurture others, that our relationships with food are marred by the social conditions that hold us principally responsible for its preparation, in some cases leading to resentment, boredom, and what Betty Friedan famously referred to as “the problem that has no name.”