I intended to link to this post a long time ago. I kept putting it off until I decided it was too late to link to. But, something happened this afternoon that made me blog it (rant?) with a vengeance. I was at Alliance francaise. That’s not unusual. But, someone I knew a long time ago came up to me and said hi. I was not exactly thrilled to see this person, but I said hello nevertheless. I was trying to fight tiredness and sleep, and get home soon, when she started talking.
“So, what did you do in France?”, she asked.
I explained that I did my Masters in International Affairs. She rants for some time about being away for long, touring the world with her sailor-husband, and then asks me how I managed being a vegetarian.
“I cooked”, I said.
She looked at me with stunned disbelief.
“Well, yes…I did.”
“You still do?”
“Of course I do.”
Then she launches into this tirade about how women are forced to cook for their gluttunous husbands and how they normally hate the job. She then looks at me, and in a rather patronising voice states,
“I think you should refuse to do such nonsense. You are a post-graduate after all.”
Eh? Pardon me if I am being ignorant, but just what does being a post-graduate have to do with cooking. What irked me even more was that she cloaked her general inability/unwillingness to cook in the garb of feminism and free will. I have said it before and will say it again. I am not a feminist if this is what feminism means. I believe in equality of the sexes but that’s it. And yes, surprising as it may seem, I actually like cooking. Just as I like teaching, listening to music or reading. It’s a hobby, a passionate interst and an essential survival tool.
Nita talks about the devaluation of cooking, and I see it happening everywhere. Today’s incident reminded me that cooking is not just devalued but actively scorned and criticised as useless and as a waste of time. I disagree. Cooking can be therapeutic for someone who likes to do it. There is nothing more satisfying that a well-cooked meal. To me, it is a labour of love. I don’t cook for every passer-by. I only cook for those I love. And if I have cooked for any of you at any point in life, it probably means we share a lasting friendship, at the least. Lastly, I cook. But that does not mean I am incapable of doing other things. Conversely, the fact that I am capable of doing other things does not render my ability to cook meaningless. I love to cook. Period.