Written By: Alyssa Rogers
Get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.
Bitch, I might.
There are conflicting expectations about women’s career choices: are stay at home wives taking a cop out or are women with full time jobs neglecting their families? The new phenomenon of expecting women to both maintain a successful career and nurture a family creates a new stress. However, one of the timeless stereotypes placed on women is their place in "the kitchen".
In most societies, since the dawn of sedentary civilizations, women have been the primary makers of food. Whether they ground corn, salted venison, milked animals, or harvested yams, women were responsible for transforming raw materials into edible, life-sustaining sustenance. This has in many ways evolved and devolved for each society. In America, the stereotype of women having an innate obligation to being the primary, if not sole, preparers of food has shifted in only the past four decades - after the birth of feminism.
Domestic mamas and papas compose the fabric of society.
There is great power in the role of food preparation. After all, how would families, societies, and empires not thrive without sustenance for their stomachs? The bodies that govern, fight for, and educate our society have to be fed. Cooking is power and influence - the foundation of which has traditionally been women. Cooking can also be an expressive, deeply personal practice. Recipes are like narratives and oral histories that keep family histories alive.
Domestic skills and kitchen magic are valuable, fundamental elements to each and every culture – even in those that don’t know it.