Rose Prince, a British food writer, thinks that feminism has killed the art of good home cooking. Prince bases her argument on women going to work and not having time to spend all day cooking for their children and her family. She also believes this has directly led to the increase in the consumption of fast food and the obesity epidemic. Clearly, feminists are responsible for all of the ills of the world, right down to childhood obesity.
In a related vein, it’s apparent that the popularity of cable TV cooking shows, especially those hosted by women, are more about sex than food (this is partially true, as there is …
… an entire website devoted to Giada de Laurentis’s cleavage). Prince, in my opinion, is either seriously warped or some sort of right wing plant from the mold of Sarah Palin and the other Mama Grizzlies.
Prince believes that since women are naturally more nurturing, they are automatically the ones who are in charge of upholding home cooking (and indeed, she blames women for the backsliding; nevermind that the kitchen has often been one of the least fun places to be). Men who cook, while worthy of praise, are merely embracing their inner feminine side. For Prince, being a woman means running your home and making good food for your family to eat. While these are good goals, she fails to consider that many women cannot take the entire day just to chop, bake and boil because they need to go out and earn the money that puts that food on the table in the first place. Despite having to actually work for a living and not always being able to make lamb chops and toffee pudding every night (that would be delicious, though), women are no less feminine because of it.
Prince’s idea that women also don’t want to cook is completely misguided, as many women use cooking as a source of pride (this is likely due in no small part to the growth of gourmet cooking shows and the slow food/locavore movements). These movements, plus a general better availability of fresh food, means that it is now easier to make a nutritious meal than the heyday of anti-feminism, the 1950′s (my father remembers much of the food coming from cans or the freezer). Although it is also easier to have an unhealthy, processed meal, it is the fast-paced, financially-driven lifestyle, not feminism and women’s opportunities, that have made people cook less.