You wouldn’t believe what happened to me the other day, so my roommate wrote her final exams to become a doctor and then she left, you know how much I love solitude (well if you didn’t before, now you do) therefore I felt like Christmas came early, even though I really will miss her. I rearranged the room and cleaned it to my satisfaction, feeling like I’ve been handed a palace. Now I hate roaches, I loathe those things, next to roaches, geckos and next to those rats ugh, disgusting, slimy looking creatures! My roomie was the official room roach killer as the only living thing I’ve been successful at killing ain’t more than one or two inches long .i.e. ants, baby roaches .e.t.c. (I can’t kill anything from the size of a fly not to talk of a praying mantis) – while I was the official rat scare-r since we both couldn’t kill one.
In my euphoria over the fact that I finally had the room all to myself, I forgot all about the fact that I couldn’t kill a cockroach, one night, I found a biiiiiig one on my reading table, I threw a sandal at it from the opposite end of the room as I couldn’t go near it and it got stuck in between my books when it tried to escape, I left it there till the next morning when the cleaner came and I went to shamefacedly beg her to come take it away. The poor woman laughed her ass off and said ‘ase ole niyin ma’ (so you’re this cowardly ma’am), I just plastered on a smile to cover my utter embarrassment caused by my ineptitude at murder. I’m telling you guys so that somebody can say sorry to me as my friends find it ridiculous that a lady in her twenties cannot successfully kill a cockroach (I’m side-eyeing that British-naija girl, the one that owns this blog). Ok stop lavven and let’s go to the order of the day (in falz’s voice):
William Shakespeare, author extraordinaire, playwriter and poet, once pondered upon a great question, the question shook the core of the universe, it defied gravity, with the most metaphysical question in the play ‘h-omelette’, it goes thus;
To cook or not to cook? That is the question!
Yes, one of the greatest writers that ever lived pondered this question while he lay on his bed dying of hunger and he considered it an abomination for a manly man to make himself food to eat after all it is a woman’s job. Lol, ok seriously I thought the cooking bants on twitter was joking sturvs until people started to take it seriously, a guy tweeted that a woman who doesn’t know how to cook is a waste! Wawuu, to reduce the whole essence of a human being to her ability or inability to cook, isn’t that just a tad bit too much? I don’t even know where to start from as I want to be as impartial as ‘wo-manly’ possible so I won’t be labelled a feminazi, I also have never been married so I won’t say I know much about what goes on in one but I have an example of people who have, so I’ll tell you their story:
Few years back, my mother decided she wanted to go back to school to get a degree in public administration, it was also around the time my dad started his PhD programme, my mum decided to school part time as she had to continue her work in the civil service and she also couldn’t leave her four kids untended to as dad was pretty busy too. I have always been a scaredy cat; I couldn’t even light a match stick at 10, not to talk of making eba successfully! So the first weekend she went away, daddy decided to get it into his head to ask his first daughter who’d rather wash the car than be in the kitchen to make amala (if you wonder what disaster smells like, wonder no more, I’ll show you). I who couldn’t cook beans without trying to raze the house with fire, I who only knew how to fry plantain chips well only because I loved eating it (seriously, back then I could fry that stuff for eons) – you see where I’m going with this? Well I said ‘yes Sir’ and went about the business of boiling water for my amala, when the water got boiled in my own opinion (it seemed hot enough lol) I poured the amala flour, I poured too much, so I added a little cold water, then the water was too much and so I added more flour and then the flour was too much and so I added more cold water and on and on and on until I became satisfied with the results and served it on a plate with the soup mother made before she left for school (can’t remember the exact soup),feeling proud of my first amala, I called out to dad to tell him his food was ready, my siblings and I were already seated about to start munching on our amala when dad came out to eat, as soon as he scooped it into his mouth he shouted ‘e maa jemo, e maa jemo, she e fe poison ara yin ni?!’ meaning stop eating, stop eating, do you want to poison yourselves?! Amala is made of cassava which contains a lot of cyanide so one has to cook it well in order to keep from dying of cyanide poisoning, long story short he made us pour back our amala into the pot and remade it, of course it was soggy after that but he made us all eat amala custard as a punishment, on subsequent weekends daddy himself came to the kitchen to cook while grumbling about how he had 3 daughters who didn’t know their left from their right in the kitchen, not long after mum replaced amala with wheat having gleaned from office gossip that wheat was apparently healthier so I never did learn how to make amala. My sisters and I used to joke back then that our house would have made for better reality TV than KUWTK, we learnt to laugh about a lot of things no matter how terrible the situation was, but that’s a story for another day. My cooking skills have improved a lot from back when I was a teenager, I have school to thank for that but the moral lesson here is daddy cooked, when push came to shove he cooked for himself and his four children while mom was away, he knew he had to make that sacrifice because the mother of his children wanted something more for herself which is why when I see my age mates now saying it is a woman’s duty to cook, I become baffled.
Since when did cooking become based on the presence or lack thereof of the ‘Y’ chromosome, when was that theory postulated? And since we’re apportioning the duty of cooking based on gender, can we apportion eating too as most of us do not practice cannibalism neither do we eat grains and other plants raw (or we can live on only fruits and vegetables, since most of us pray for the wisdom of Daniel). Most of these unwritten laws are standards that were held when the world followed a specific set of rules; men went out to win the bread while women stayed behind at home, I hope you all agree with me that things are not as it were back then, we see more and more women pulling their weight in the society, women now share the responsibility of winning bread for their family too, fathers are no more absentee figures, they play a bigger role than just their financial duties in the family, so I ask, is it that much of a big deal to cook for or with your wife/partner? Is your self esteem so much tied down to your illusion of masculinity that cooking would completely destroy it? Will cooking reduce your chances of becoming Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates in life?
These are questions you should low-key ask yourself. I’m not saying there aren’t functional families in which the wife does all the cooking, of course those families make up to 90% of our world, it’s not a bad thing, but what I don’t get is how it has become a MUST for the woman to do all the cooking, what happened to good old chivalry, do you need an ego massage so much so that the only way life can hand it to you is by feeling like a king while a woman slaves away in the kitchen? Is that why you call it a must? Or do you have scientific proof that the food is most likely going to be poisonous if a male cooks it? I really need to understand the mentality behind this theory as I’ve always felt that any duty done in a partnership such as marriage or even a relationship should be borne out of love and not a sense of duty. I’ll cook for my partner frankly because I want to spoil the lucky somebody silly not because it is my job to do it, and I know he’ll do the same for me simply for the same darn reasons! We’ll share the responsibilities when children start to show up simply because that’s what being partners is about (I hope he took economics in secondary school). Whenever mom and dad got into one of their squabbles (as all married people do) mom would reminisce about when we were little, she used to say ‘when you guys were little and it was time for school, I would go to the kitchen to cook, while your dad would bathe you guys so you could go early, your dad is a good man’, they may not have agreed about a lot of things but dad pulled his weight where it was needed and more, he could have gone off to his place of work without a backward glance since bathing the children still falls under the so-called ‘woman’s duties’ but he did it because he loved her and he loved us, daddy is far from perfect but there are qualities in him that I want in the man I’m going to love for the rest of my life. And for ladies, how come we raise sons who clearly do not respect us and think the only role we had to play in their lives were to birth them and feed them, I have a baby brother, he does the pounding at home, does the dishes too when he finishes he says ‘owo l’on tu nkan se’ meaning you get things done with your hands, funny guy. I know he’s not going to grow up thinking he’s unduly entitled to waiting on a woman for his belly to be filled simply because that wasn’t how his mother raised him! That’s testament to the saying that a man who treats his woman like a princess has evidently been raised by a queen. Phew! This is one long ass post, so what’s the answer to this great philosophical question that made Shakespeare quake in his boots (or whatever they wore back then)?