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Feb 1, 2012 05:57 PM

These boys will not grow up to be the offensive stereotype of guys who can't boil water

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  1. I understand pity and possibly disgust for those that cannot cook, but 'offensive'? How can someone else, a complete stranger not cooking well, be offensive to you?

    3 Replies
    1. re: John E.

      I think what huiray means is that it's offensive to stereotype men by calling them all lousy cooks. I do not think huiray means to imply that lousy cooks offend him. That's how I read it, anyway.

        1. re: huiray

          Now that you've spelled it out for me....I understand the reading now. I find it amazing when I hear of people, not just men, who are basically helpless in the kitchen.

          There is a local radio talkshow host in the Twin Cities who falls in this category. While he had Anthoney Bourdain as an in-studio guest he told a story about when he and his wife were shopping for a new stove. The salesman asked if their current stove was gas or electric. His wife told him to answer the question and he did not know the answer. Bourdain was floored.

    2. Oh for someone's sake, kids learn how to cook if, and I mean if, the parentage is willing to teach, and they're good at the craft they wish to pass along. I applaud these parents and my own, although I was not remotely resistant to learning; bless those who have/had the wherewithall and patience to set skill in motion. I'm not feeling like chefs are budding here, but certainly kids who cook get along a bit better in life. The mom in the article was doing no harm.

      Sure, girlfriends of the future will be thrilled; women always always love a man who can cook. More importantly, these guys will eat well.

      I'm going to repeat this for emphasis: women always, always love a man who can cook.

      As for offensive, it is not offensive to not know how to cook; rather, not knowing how to eat is the offense.

      6 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        It's a shame to not be able to feed yourself -- even if it's scrambled eggs or pasta with jarred sauce-- but it's not offensive.

        1. re: sunshine842

          Yes, it's a shame - but the (common) expectation that a man cannot *cook* for himself and needs a woman to cook for him is offensive. (He can certainly feed himself - from takeout places and the like, for example)

          A former co-worker of mine was so stunned, when I described cooking the lunch myself that she saw me bringing in one day, she was exclaiming in utter astonishment and disbelief that I, a man, could cook, as her husband and all menfolk she knew never set foot in the kitchen etc etc. I was speechless myself, then angry.

          1. re: huiray

            I agree with you on the expectations -- but then I was raised in a weird family. Boys are taught to do laundry and iron a shirt and sew on a button and clean house and cook (at least simple things - mac and cheese, and omelettes, and sandwiches -- the boys' interest dictates how much more in-depth it gets -- but they must learn the basics).

            Girls are taught to change tires and oil, fix a crooked cabinet door, paint, and fix toilets.

            We're all pretty self-sufficient and independent.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Nothing weird about it. My family was exactly the same but my mother who's parents were in the bakery business was a very poor baker and plain cook. Luckily, she made sure our grandparents were the food educators. Mom taught us plenty tho and stereotypes had no place in her home or in ours. But, that doesn't stop the world from having them in any area (career goals, athletic strength, artistic pursuits or about food). It's easier to ignore such narrow thoughts and live.

        2. re: bushwickgirl

          It is offensive to think that all men are hopeless klutzes who don't know how to cook the simplest things, which is commonly assigned to be a trait of men. (Yet most professional chefs are men - go figure)

          Indeed the mother of those kids in the article was doing more than "doing no harm" [and neither did I impute that, please consider more carefully my title for the thread] - instead, I was implying that she was doing a whole lot of good by raising two boys who would be able to cook. That these two boys would grow up to be men who knew their way around a kitchen, and would refute the expectation of many who would expect a man, any man, to be a complete klutz in the kitchen.

          1. re: huiray

            My guess is anecdotal reference is what perpetuates the stereotype. Perhaps most of the men the women talked about were, in fact, lousy or non-cooks.

        3. I always thought this stereotypical fellow/ husband who is helpless in the kitchen, was somewhat "old school"/ of the old "Leave it to Beaver" type and - looking around, seems to have been mostly replaced by the more "equal crowd"? And of course, I would think most single people have no choice but to learn how to cook to avoid starvation....or drive the waitress/waiter crazy.

          1. Very nice. I enjoy reading articles where children are allowed to learn and grow.

            Thinking of offensive stereotypes of men, commericals commonly show men as klutzes or goobers while the mom and kids are the "cool" ones.

            1. I definitely enjoyed this article, which also brought me back some fond memories of the nights when I got to make a meal for the family. I still make many of those dishes, albeit tweaked a bit to incorporate fresher and more seasonal ingredients.

              I read though the comments and saw that some people called the mother a "snob" (for vetoing the Campbell's soup) and a "control freak." A sad amount of negativity for a mother who is teaching her sons how to nourish themselves and their families.