During the heyday of the feminist movements of the 1970s, the idea of women cooking for men was often seen as an act of subservience. In his new book, â€˜Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human,â€™ anthropologist Richard Wrangham writes that when our prehistoric ancestors first started cooking about 2 million years ago, it was women who did the work.
â€˜Women became responsible for all of the daily drudgery that led to feeding their husbands,â€™ writes Wrangham. Men, on the other hand, were free to â€˜do manly things like hunting or war raids or politicking.â€™
But times have changed, both from those very early days, and since the 70s. Women working in the kitchen today have begun to think of themselves quite differently, says Elizabeth Cline in her blog â€˜Sex and the Kitchen,â€™ posted recently on The Daily Beast.
â€˜The rise of the foodie culture has made home cooking more important, more creative, and more intellectually engaging,â€™ Cline writes. â€˜The role of home cook has become a more prestigious one, allowing more women to think of prepping daily meals as an act of empowerment. And to spin their skills into blogs, book deals, and high-powered careers,â€™ she says.
The Internet has fostered the foodie culture, now teeming with a variety of food blogs and culinary web sites. Food magazines, too, have become an increasingly respected area of print journalism, and many of the power positions in the field are held by women.
Conversely, more men are sharing the kitchen duties today, due in part to the cultural rise of the celebrity chef. â€˜Foodie-ism has become a hallmark of egalitarian relationships,â€™ Cline says.
You can read more of Elizabeth Cline’s thought-provoking article here.
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