Just to level with you all, the first sentence of this blog post makes me nervous to put out there. There is so much emotion out there that a part of me knows that this one little sentence may tick someone off. Which sucks, but it’s my blog… so here it goes:
I have felt a little confused through the recent resurgence of feminism.
I love dynamic and powerful women. I root for them. I strive to be one. But, as gender roles go, I will be the first to admit that I do lean quite female. Particularly when it comes to my interests.
I like clothes, maintaining a nice home, gardening and the occasional gossip magazine. I love a good pedicure, dinner out with the girls, low intensity exercise and being a hostess. Babies, fresh cut flowers and crisp bottles of rose make me happy. The Paper Source, Anthropologie, and little off the beaten path boutiques are my jam.
Guess what else I really like to do? Cook.
And, my favorite person to cook for? My husband.
How 1950’s of me. Right?
How anti-feminism. Right?
Cooking… for a man.
But, like it or not, it’s true.
Through all the recent press, hashtags and articles I have felt lost. I even have felt a little bad for liking these things.
This confusion has turned to sadness and then last weekend it became disappointment.
The Audi Super Bowl commercial where the narrator asks “What will I tell my daughter?” struck my heart in a way that I don’t believe the creators had intended.
I am all for equality in every sense. I am definitely for equality in the workforce, particularly equal pay.
When and if I am blessed with a daughter I already know what I will tell her: I will tell her she can be and do whatever she wants. She can grow up and change the world. I hope to guide her to have a strong sense of self and to not be dependent on a man.
And, I think by being a working mom and a female farmer, I am setting a good example. I also hope that by being one of the many women redefining motherhood, careers and farming that I am also paving a way for all of our daughters.
But, I have a son.
A wonderful, super-cute nine month old son.
A little boy who has this amazing ability to make anyone happy with his smile. A son who has looked at this world with his bright blue eyes wide open since Day One. Two things I hope he never loses.
… That and his chubby feet, but I will take what I can get.
What about him?
What am I supposed to tell him?
How I am supposed to feel when the world is shouting “The Future is Female!”?
What do I tell him when he sees this?
What does this mean for my son’s future? The future for all boys?
This is so hard for me because as his mom I will tell him is exactly what I would tell a daughter: He can be and do anything he wants. He can grow up and change the world.
… But, I can’t help but wonder, will the world tell him something different?
And, just as I hope to raise independent girls, I will not be raising a helpless man.
My son will do his laundry and will be taught to read tags so he doesn’t ruin anything he owns. He will be expected to pick up after himself. He will know how to sew on a button and run a quick stitch… because 1. That’s really all I can teach him. And, 2. It’s really all you need to know in a bind. Tailors are around for a reason.
My son will also know how to cook. God willing, he will know how to cook well.
Even before kids, Adam and I talked about the importance of getting children into the kitchen. We plan on involving them in the cooking process at an early age. There are so many studies that show that this makes young kids more confident and inclined to eat healthy foods. We have also talked about instilling responsibility, skill and hopefully a little creativity in our children by making them in charge of one meal a week as teenagers.
Cooking is not just for women. It’s not just for grandmas. It’s not just for 1950s housewives.
Cooking is a life skill for everyone.
Cooking and food are great equalizers because we all have to eat. No one is exempt from this.
I am a product of the “You Go Girl” generation which was impactful, lucky and something I have totally embraced. It is also something I don’t want to go anywhere.
But, while we continue to fight for girls, let’s also take a few cues from food.
Let’s not make people feel bad about something that they love.
And, let’s not forget about the boys.
Cooking and Food is gender ambiguous. It is for everyone. And, I love that about food.