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Amina Alabi: The Vagina Doesn’t Come with a Pre-installed Cooking App

There’s only so much a woman can do. We are fighting for equality and there’s being a shift in our cultural norms with women contributing extensively to household expenses. Now, we need to focus on getting men to make the shift to the kitchen and other parts of the household.

Amina Alabi

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I hate engaging in conversations like this, but until this prevalent situation stops being acceptable, we must keep talking about it in the hope that changes will happen.

Cooking is a chore. Trying to sweeten it and make it seem like a service to the family doesn’t take away the fact that it is a job that takes (mostly) hours to complete – hours that can be channeled into doing more productive tasks.

It is shameful that we are still discussing gender roles in relation to cooking in 2020. It seems these Nigerian ‘kings’ still have their heads in the clouds. Everybody is talking about more productive and life-changing issues and you are worried that cooking will emancipate you.

There’s only so much a woman can do. We are fighting for equality and there’s being a shift in our cultural norms with women contributing extensively to household expenses. Now, we need to focus on getting men to make the shift to the kitchen and other parts of the household.

That a woman’s self-worth and value is largely hinged on her ability to determine the quantity of salt to add to a pot of soup is disgraceful. In our society, 70% of ‘wife material’ is measured by how many pots of soup a woman can cook within the space of a few hours and how she can successfully multitask house chores. In 2020! Tueh! Disgraceful lot!

A woman can be a successful businesswoman or a high flying career woman, she can be uber-intelligent and extremely smart but in this society, if she cannot cook and manage the household, all her achievements equate to naught.

I have always maintained that you do not need a vagina to cook, the middle part of your anatomy is not a gate pass to the kitchen. Women do not have to be the cooks in the house, you didn’t know? You’re welcome.
Except cooking is a hobby, I think it’s an absolute waste of valuable time, especially for women who work hours to pay the bills.

Let us equate this thing, if men believe cooking is abominable to their gender, women must also start to see contributing financially to the household as a deprivation of their cultural rights. If we want to act like we are in 1840, let us all act accordingly.

What is the big deal in cooking food that you will eat?

The other day, I saw a woman thanking her husband profusely for ‘helping her’ carry their child. A child that he helped make. A child that answers his name. He carried his child and you are thanking him?! How many times has he thanked you for carrying your child?

Imagine how strange it will be if you walk into an average Nigerian home and see the man in the kitchen cooking, weird abi? Now, imagine how strange it was at first when women took charge of the financial responsibilities at home. It isn’t so strange anymore because we’ve grown to get used to it, we’ve adjusted our mindset to the reality that is what we must also do in this case. We must also get used to the fact that men should cook in their homes.

A ‘poor’ and uneducated family – by layman standards – could even be excused from this rule because they are at the grassroots of society. Their thoughts and mindset have been enshrined with societal values and these changes are hard to implement in them. But what about you? Well-travelled alpha male? With all the stamps in your passport, you still have the mentality of the caveman.

Cooking is not Valentine’s day treat. It’s not a Christmas day special. It isn’t a birthday gift (how can you even use food you cooked as a birthday gift? Na wa!) It is something women do every day, man up and get yourself into the kitchen.

The people easily misled by narratives like this are Millenials, most Gen Xers have all this figured out. But listen: dear millennial, cooking does not make you an exceptional woman and the stomach is not the way to anybody’s heart.

Trust the ‘matriarchs of patriarchy’ to quickly jump on this opportunity and show themselves as ‘happily married’ because they cook, lol, it still doesn’t make you better than women who have chosen a different path.

The vagina doesn’t come with a cooking and house chores manual, neither does the penis come with a breadwinner stamp – all gender roles are fluid. If you want to eat, cook. If you want to spend, earn. Cabish?

Hey! I am Amina and I love to write amongst other things. I believe learning is continuous and every experience helps shape our perspective on life and our opinions on varied subjects. I hope to help influence and redirect our views as a people from mundane to extraordinary one article at a time. I.G _aminahlabi

3 Comments

  1. didi

    March 2, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Firstly unknowingly to you, your referring to a woman by calling VAGINA is an insult to womanhood. You dont need to use the term VAGINA TO refer to a woman.

    And yes till date WOMEN SEE PROVING FOR THE FAMILY WHEN THEY HAVE HUSBANDS as an embarrassment.
    You know nothing about a family, you know nothing about the first family that ever lived here on earth. Get to know God first then you will have WISDOM to understand why certain things are so. Its a woman’s duty to care for the WELFARE of her home. That does not mean the man should not help out sometimes

    Everybody in the family has a role to play. There is a reason why GOD gave the woman BREAST. DONT forget its not SCIENCE THAT CREATED THAT BREAST its God. Its not by accident. Theres a reason why GOD created the emotional bond between all FEMALE animals and their young ones. When it comes to family we dont choose roles but your gender and position as a wife or husband does.

    So so so my dear forget about that its 2020 thing. A new decade doesnt mean white becomes black or the sky should become red. There are some things God made so for a reason. When were you born? What do you think you know with that little brain? My dear receive wisdom ehhh

    1
  2. Cece

    March 2, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Firstly unknowingly to you, your referring to a woman by calling VAGINA is an insult to womanhood. You dont need to use the term VAGINA TO refer to a woman.

    And yes till date WOMEN SEE PROVING FOR THE FAMILY WHEN THEY HAVE HUSBANDS as an embarrassment.
    You know nothing about a family, you know nothing about the first family that ever lived here on earth. Get to know God first then you will have WISDOM to understand why certain things are so. Its a woman’s duty to care for the WELFARE of her home. That does not mean the man should not help out sometimes

    Everybody in the family has a role to play. There is a reason why GOD gave the woman BREAST. DONT forget its not SCIENCE THAT CREATED THAT BREAST its God. Its not by accident. Theres a reason why GOD created the emotional bond between all FEMALE animals and their young ones. When it comes to family we dont choose roles but your gender and position as a wife or husband does.

    So so so my dear forget about that its 2020 thing. A new decade doesnt mean white becomes black or the sky should become red. There are some things God made so for a reason. When were you born? What do you think you know with that little brain? My dear receive wisdom ehhh

  3. Temi Tope

    March 3, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Ahahahaha! I laughed til I fell. This is a very interesting piece of evidence on the roles of Women in the African culture.. but you know what?? We as mums, aunties, sisters, friends should start teaching these men , starting with our boys.. I have started with them since they were kids.. wash dishes, go to the supermarket, cook and help in the house.. Today they are all grown on their own and their women friends noticed how well I have raised them. My husband is a medical doctor but came from a Traditional family ( no need to explain ) you know what I mean.. but being with me, he has learned to cook, help in the house and clean. Hey we are family and family stands for each other.. WOMEN alone can not do it all. My granny used to say.. One bangle can not shake alone.. we need to bangles.. an old Fulani proverb.

    3

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