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Monday, November 8, 2010

Sub Standard Woman


Somehow apparently, A woman's ability to know or not know how to cook makes her a substandard woman. Apparently if she chooses not to know how to sweat and toil chopping, mincing and cutting for two hours in a kitchen she somehow becomes a bad wife and/or mother. She becomes a sub-standard woman.

Apparently working two jobs and birthing babies does not make up for not knowing how to boil and fry. Really?

"Most of the ladies from 1950's mostly had their perfect lives as perfect housewives. Chores were not dull yet the real challenge to show what they were capable of. Glasses polishing might be considered even more difficult than typewriting. On the other way round, if they went to higher education, they were eventually trained to be the best secretaries. Yes, just to assist their men."

Now we're in 2010 and this may surprise you but we can vote, and be mechanics.

Here's my take and I am going to make this short and simple. If I work the same hours as you, you and I will find a way to divide the cooking responsibilities equally. If this doesn't sit well with you, then we will hire a cook if we can afford it. If somehow my children think that my inability to cook or my desire not to, makes me a bad mother then I and my partner have not raised them right. If for some reason my partner decides I am not woman enough for him (assuming I end up with a man here) because I decide not to know how to master the delicate balance between Maggi and salt then I deserve way better.

If I am a housewife, then yes it is only fair that I cook and clean. After all I am doing basically nothing else. If you are unemployed dear husband you would be required to cook and clean. If we're both working, we will both share the cooking and cleaning responsibilities. If this somehow demeans you as a man then I am insulted that you think I am beneath you because if you say this is demeaning to you then I darling husband am above cooking and cleaning too. If you haven't realized that by now we would be equal partners in our marriage.

The possibility that I will bend under pressure and treasure my "womanly roles" someday in the future is possible. I would be lying if I said I would never change into that woman because I don't know. If I do become that woman who works two jobs, does most of the cleaning and cooking because it is too demeaning for my husband to do then please someone please I beg you to kill me.

This is not a power struggle. Notice how I said working hours not earning more. Even if I am earning more but working less then it is only fair I take more household responsibilities and vice versa. Now honey you want to come home to a hot meal already made no? And somehow you expect that if I get home on some days maybe an hour before you I will pull some kind of miracle and whip up dinner for a king? You somehow do not imagine that I must be tired from work and want to collapse in front of the t.v.?

Obviously if we have kids, the working schedule will have to change but it will change believe it or not 50/50 so please hubby if you're are going to be a simple-minded jackass, I require that you do not come close to me. I would rather stay single forever than force myself to be something I'm not because you have some ancient rule book

Now if you as a woman love to cook and think the smile on your kids face from making a perfect pot of soup is somehow just enough for you, then honey go for it. Just remember that you are not somehow superwoman because you managed to add one more unnecessary duty to your board. Do not look down on those that either don't know how or don't want to. They are not less of a woman than you.

Someone is definitely going to say this either as a comment or in their mind "You're only saying this because you can't cook" Well stupid bastard I do know how to cook and well, but do I enjoy it? 80% of the time hell fucking no. First chance we get we're hiring a cook.

"the truth remains .. as a mother its not a good thing you cant cook.. I wish u well." That was said. I want to reply with logic but at the same time all I can think of are curse words that will make most people blush.

"Sex they say begins in d kitchen! D kitchen is as important as d bedroom! A woman must cook!"  This was said by someone I respected. You want to know where that respect is right now? At the bottom of an ocean somewhere. What the fuck kinda quote is that? Sex begins in the kitchen? What logical sense does that make?

If you are going to argue with me please argue with sense and logic. Do not use outdated stances that your mother drilled into you because her mother drilled it into her. Women have been so badgered into what their roles are in life that now they don't need any outside badgering they'll badger their own damn self. You want to know what started this argument? "Ladies, if u don't know how to cook, its not cute. Seek help today!" a girl said this. If she thinks it is her divine honor to cook, cleaan, iron.. hell good for you come and do my laundry for me but when you belittle other women for not knowing or wanting to then we have a problem.

Another woman said this "All he wants is for you to be submissive. Be thankful he’s not assaulting, raping or murdering you, be thankful he’s not leering at you while yelling something distasteful about your assets"

Are you kidding me?! NO, No I will not be "thankful" that a guy is treating me with as much respect as I treat him. I will not be grateful that he chooses not to rape me, I will not look at him and think myself lucky that he has decided not to assault me today. Those things are a GIVEN, they are not things to be thankful for. Just as you wouldn't look at a female friend and feel grateful to her for not scratching your eyes out with her long red fingernails or stamping on your foot with her stiletto heel... I'm sorry, but to suggest we should be thankful for not being raped implies an expectation that it will happen, that the man in question is doing us a favor by not carrying out his rights as a Y-chromosome bearer. I should feel grateful for not being assaulted by someone just because he happens to be a Mike not Michelle.

I cant. I just can't.

I am to say the least mad.

Anyone who has never watched Mona lisa's smile, should. Apart from the star studded cast: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhal, the film gives a new perspective towards femininity and society.


The movie is about a girls' school in late 50's. Depicting how great the education for these young ladies, traditions, and the profound achievement of becoming great housewives when they graduate. When the new art teacher started her first class with her 50's-women-oriented students, the battle of ideas seemed to begin.

I really enjoyed the story line. Being slightly feminist made Katherine, the new teacher, the odd ball. Freedom of sex was even unacceptable, what could be worse than being dubbed as 'a whore' for being independent in sex? When Joan (played by Julia Stiles) refused to apply for Yale Law School against Katherine, her art history tutor (Julia Roberts) suggestion because she didn't want it. She even asserted that being a wife is what she always wanted. It was the most heartbreaking scene to me. I questioned why would women just want to be at home, tidy up, do laundry, and cook at the end of the day? Then I realized my hypocrisy. How could I be a feminist and not allow women make choices? This was my turning point. I realized that being feminist is all about having choices and being able to choose. Either becoming successful professionally or playing a Stepford wife, it is ok as long as your life is filled with happiness.

Feminism is about choice. Make your choice and I'll make mine.

Read this post:  http://livileah88.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/im-living-in-the-50s/I support her view almost 90% even though her goal is to be a housewife. She is making her choice. "I personally would not choose to become a housewife as i don’t think it would fulfill me, in the same you work would probably not fulfill you. As long as a person is not hurting anyone then how they live their life is their choice. I think if u wish to be a 50s housewife good for you, go for it and fuck what others think."






How to Be a Good Housewife


Taken from a 1950's American High School Home Economics textbook, the essay is entitled "How to be a Good Wife." It reads in part:
Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. Clear away the clutter -- run a dust cloth over the tables.
Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are God's creatures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimize all noise…eliminate the noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Some Don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.
Listen to him: You may have dozens of things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other pleasant entertainments.

21 comments:

Onose said...

some classmates of mine did a presentation on this, actually this was just like theirs.nice

Realist said...

Love this post. I have found myself in a the peculiar position for a Nigerian man in that i really do not care if my partner knows how to cook or not. It would be nice, very nice if she could but cooking is not a deal breaker.

I grew up in a household where my mom was the breadwinner so the "housewife" type really never appealed to me. But as i am learning to cook in old age, the "housewife" type is getting more and more attractive. Cooking just takes too much time

2cute4u said...

I'm so good at cooking but lord knows I hate frequenting that part of the house called the kitchen..
I am also not too comfortable with someone invading my kitchen space but I love when my man pitches in and I've always been lucky that way..

Someone told me he can't ever marry me and when I asked why he gave me a simple answer: 'You're not submissive'
When I asked for him to explain, he said he didn't want to be questioned about his activities and he needs his freedom of which he knew I'd want an explanation..
It was so funny, Yet annoying..
That's men for you(The myopic ones) I mean; but unfortunately, they are more than the relatively good ones..
Views deffer on the role of a woman and discussing it could go on for an infinity..

Naijalines said...

It's 'amazing', what some Naija women would do to keep a man. A former colleague of mine who worked the same hours her husband did - said he would get home, sit down and cross his legs in the living room, waiting for her to get back to serve him dinner. As if this was not bad enough, he demanded fresh stew every day and would not eat anything that's been in the frige/freezer. He also demanded that the food be served in special ceremonial dishes.

She was always exhausted and complaining at work - they had two young children and he never lifted a finger. Na force dem dey take marry husband or did someone wire her jaws shut so she could not talk to him?

I should be let loose on a man like that. We'd soon know who's the slave!

MsB said...

Very fair post
If all that I am is being your house-wife then yes I can easily manage those chores but getting home for 6pm, splitting the bills and putting dinner on the table for 7pm , waking up to make the breakfast before work and cooking all weekend for a man who does same hours and won't lift a finger is another story.
Anyway shout-out to those women who manage it well, when I grow I want to be like you

Vanity said...

@Onose I would love a copy of their presentation

@Realist As a man you realize cooking is stressful and time consuming idk why some other idiots think I would be honored to cook for them and do it joyfully

@2cute4u views shouldn't differ,t he only view that counts is the woman's own but I dare someone to ask me to be submissive

@naijalines your friend is apparently superwoman

MsB thank you.

Myne Whitman said...

I have always thought that feminism is all about choices. Let every woman make their own choice and quit trying to push some out-moded roles down all our throats. Give thanks for what!? Pschewww...

Vanity said...

@Myne it is about choices and I was astounded when she said be thankful for not being raped like wtf?

leggy said...

i know this is like such a serious post and all but my eyes wandered towards the list of countires and i saw kenya and i just bust out laughing.i dont know why.

anyway sha, i never had this problem at home cos my dad travelled a lot so whenever he came home my mum cooked cos the man was always jetlagged plus my mum works less than my dad so i guess it was convenient for her to do all the cooking, seeing that she was a teacher and had short hours while my dad ran his company/

it worked out i guess.
i think i would love a cook, whether im a housewife or not if we can afford it.just saying.

thankful that my husband doesnt abuse me?!DEAD.
girls kill me.
he should try that one now.

Azazel said...

Really Interesting post though..
And I agree with your sentiments..

El-Divine said...

lol nice post. its perfectly fine if my wife cant cook, i have absolutely no prob flingin my suit into the cushion and jumping in the kitchen. Im a damn good cook, and i enjoy it. its like an art to me, i show off my skillz. n on the occasion that i just dont have the energy, (cos truth b told it is exhaustin)iya basira will do just fine.
and, im not marrying no housewife. do ppl still do that? unless their shitty rich, i think not.e

Tisha said...

Hi
In my other life, i was feminist; before i got saved, i mean.

Sex does begin in the kitchen, with your man regaling you with tales and still masculine enough to not feel bad cos he is cooking for you.

I will make my own rules when i am married.
All that is in the bible is that the woman should submit to her husband, it does not say love, but me i am adding love sha!

I am a virtuous woman already, we will work things out.

ShadeNonconformist said...

I'm so digging this post. You read my mind. Are you a witch or seer:)

Haha @ please kill me. That was priceless. Yeah the crap that some people spew is just so arrrghhh. I literally feel like slapping some sense into them. Don't "preach" foolish ideologies. It's not like me not knowing how to cook or whatever will prevent Jesus's return. Smcheew. My husband has hands too. All i ask for is use logic and reason. I'm still yet to watch Mona Lisa Smile in its entirety. Be thankful for a guy not raping me? Kai, some people are just loco. Yup one of the beauties of feminism is that it's about choice. The 1950s textbook = shoot me right now...

The nitty-gritty tales of a housewife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The nitty-gritty tales of a housewife said...

WHO THE HELL WROTE 'HOW TO BE A GOOD HOUSEWIFE?....IS HE/SHE FUCKING SERIOUS?....DAMN! ...am a housewife & run my home the way i like & want, which works WELL for me!

As for the cooking.....i find the easiest way out by preparing simple dishes, which made my hubby to call me an average cook.... I DON'T CARE!....as long as it's EATABLE!... LOL...i usually give kudos to women who spend half of the day in kitchen cooking & experimenting with dishes....told hubby if he wants anything Continental he knows which restaurant to visit!

Point of correction; HOUSE-WIVING IS A VERY STRESSFUL & TIME CONSUMING WORK WHICH GOES UNAPPRECIATED & UNREWARDED!

StandTall-The Activist said...

Feminism might be a choice, meaning it is your choice to advocate for others but when you speak of women's human rights and what feminism is trying to do, then it becomes a duty. Take for instance I can not say it is a choice to for a woman that married an abuser to stay in that marriage cuzs it is a choice. I can not say it is a choice for some parents to deny their girl child an education or to marry her out at 13. When you face trying to make women's rights respected and recognised, it is more of a duty.

My hubby cooks more than I do and it is because he does not hold on to the societal cabbage of what a woman's role is and all. Many women are labouring their lives away all because their partners have refused to be understanding and share roles.

@ 2cute4u: that is the type of men to run from. If he goes out drinking, you cannot say where have you being or if is doing what he likes, you can not ask him. Where did he get that definition of 'submissiveness' from.

@ Naijalines: many women are in that categories, and most time the educated ones even. You will hear their husbands constantly telling them it is their role and the society encouraging them to multi-task. WTF!

StandTall-The Activist said...

And I love this post!

Vanity said...

@Stand tall activist I don't think I agree. If a woman who's getting beaten stays in a relationship, most times I feel no pity unless she's Islamic or in a third world country. If you live in America, then no, i feel no pity for you but thank you

@Sasha you were a feminist before you got saved? How so?

I love and appreciate every single one of your posts

Anya Posh said...

a lot of this boils down to choice. Nowadays, a lot of people can choose to live however they can (not want).

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