On many occasions, I have been very vocal against the idea of seeing Wives as cooks and many people like to think that I am just trying to be controversial or raise dust out of nowhere.
Far from it…
I practice what I preach, every woman around me understands this about me. You can’t pay me a visit as a friend and I expect you to enter my kitchen and start cooking for me. No matter how close we are, its a “no-no” except we are really too close and you have the liberty of insisting that you want to cook for us.
I also don’t expect anyone to come over and help me do laundry simply on the basis of being a woman. No, if you want to help me do laundry, it should be voluntary and not a task burdened on you because you are a woman. I can also visit and help you do laundry.
I used to have a female friend who I would visit on weekends when I am less busy and busy her do laundry. I once visited her family and we ended up cooking together in the kitchen for the entire family. It’s nothing, it is something I can do with anybody whether male or female! There is no gender attachment to being responsible.
I don’t understand why a grown-up man should be thinking that it is a woman’s sole duty to cook. The problem I have with this idea isn’t just about who does the cooking, it is the ripple effect it creates. Many women would obviously prefer to cook but when they are doing this because of societal expectations or as a gender-burden, they will be less appreciated.
This is why some men find it easy to make fun of women who can’t cook even while these men can’t turn on an electric stove. Yes, I blame whoever raised those men but I also blame those men because, at some point in your life, you need to retrain yourself, you need to unlearn and relearn.
Because a wife is understood as a cook or domestic slave, some men go out for their normal business as much as their wives do. They come back home at the same time as their wives and then they expect these women to dash to the kitchen and make meals.
Yes, dashing to the kitchen to make meals isn’t the problem, the problem is seeing it as a gender-specific responsibility. It robs you of the ability to acknowledge and appreciate women who do it all alone. Any woman who does these things alone is doing her duty and that of the man.
I have female friends who don’t want their husbands to enter the kitchen, they like to be the Lord of the kitchen. That’s cool, it’s their choice but even at that, when their husband doesn’t understand that these domestic chores aren’t gendered roles, they won’t appreciate these women, they will assume the women are doing their jobs after all and they will make fun of them when the food is too salty or less salty.
I also have female friends who prefer the division of labour, they prefer that their husband share these domestic responsibilities with them. Yes! They have every right to desire it and they also have every right to demand it. If a man can say “I want a woman who has a job”, a woman should be able to comfortably say ” I want a man who respects me and understand we can share domestic chores”. It may not sound like a big deal but disagreements in these areas have ended marriages.
I know a senior Pastor who is a very busy preacher, he has a global ministry. His wife also have a job and together they are building a wonderful family. Sometimes, when he notices his wife is tired, he enters the kitchen after a long day and cooks the meals. It never reduced him, his wife still honour him! Bill Gates reportedly said he do the dishes with his wife even at their age!
Before marriage, you wash your clothes, clean your house, polish your shoes and other domestic chores yourself. When you marry you should still be able to do these things yourself and even help your wife do hers. It applies vice versa too. Marriage is not deliverance from being homely responsible.
If you have the luxury of employing a cook, cleaner, laundry person, gardener and so on, it is beautiful. You are at liberty to treat a cook as a cook or the cleaner as a cleaner. But you are not at liberty to treat your wife as a cook or cleaner. You treat her as yourself because she is one with you. When she happens to be the one handling a major part of the domestic duties, you should appreciate her with every sincerity knowing that she is also doing your job.