Women belong to themselves, not the kitchen

Popular culture plays on the stereotype that women belong in the kitchen with degrading phrases such as make me a sandwich.

Popular culture plays on the stereotype that women belong in the kitchen with degrading phrases such as “make me a sandwich.”

Veronika Dvorakova, Art Director/Columnist

Certain aspects of popular culture degrade women by asserting that women hold little value as human beings beyond cooking for men. An example of this would be the common saying: “Shut up woman and make me a sandwich.”

It is no woman’s job to satisfy a man’s sandwich needs unless she works at Subway.

Many cultures have long standing traditions of women preparing meals for men. Today, these traditions are abused by individuals who create punch lines that liken women to breathing Easy Bake Ovens. This cruel form of woman-bashing normalizes offensive patriarchal values.

Gender roles related to cooking were a reality in the past and I refuse to let them haunt me in the future.

Once upon a time many years ago, I perched my little seven-year-old self on a stepping stool and marveled at the silky cake batter that my grandmother was stirring in her kitchen. She looked down at me and said, “Veronika, you have to learn how to cook or else no man will ever marry you and you will live a miserable life.”

It took me a few years to realize the absurdity of her comment. Today, I am still bombarded with similar ideas by malevolent (or ignorant) sexists. It makes me want to go back in time to my grandma’s kitchen, snatch her bowl of cake batter, and dump it out on the head of every individual who ever made a woman feel inferior by telling her that she belongs in a kitchen.

Pleasing men by preparing their meals is not at the top of my ‘to do’ list, in fact it is located somewhere between scratching my nails on a chalk board and intentionally giving myself a paper cut. Attracting a mate by spending long hours in the kitchen is not a universal recipe for female happiness.

Women’s self worth can be derived from accomplishments that stretch beyond stereotypical gender roles. The degrading comments that have surfaced as punch lines on memes in recent years restrict both women and men because when cooking is a “woman’s” job, some women grow resentful of a task that some men could enjoy.

The idea that women belong in the kitchen is severely out dated. According to npr.org, 80 percent of top chefs are men. Our society has made significant progress in reducing the prominence of gender roles in the kitchen in recent decades.

No matter what gender you identify with, if you love cooking  then you should go for it. If you hate cooking, you don’t have to do it. So long as you never command anyone to prepare your food, you and I can coexist on this planet.

How to make your own sandwich

Step 1: Choose some delicious bread

If the bread is gross, the sandwich will be gross. I believe that bread is the most important part of the sandwich (that could be because eating carbs brings me happiness.) when making a sandwich, you need two slices of bread. If you are working with a roll, slice it in half.

Step 2: Experiment with some spreads

The possibilities span from classics like mustard and mayonnaise to exciting things like pesto or garlic sauce. Using a knife, spread your selections on the bread.

Step 3: Cheese and Meat

Cheese and meat are often considered the most important part of the sandwich. Pile them on top of one of the slices of bread. If you one of my fellow vegetarians, ditching the meat doesn’t mean sacrificing your protein intake. A few substitutions are bean patties, hard boiled eggs, and vegan lunch meat imitations (they exist!)

Step 4: Vegetables

There are many vegetables to choose from. Lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, spinach, and avocados all make appearances on my sandwiches. Make sure that you slice your vegetables thinly!! Put them on top of the meat and cheese in an organized manner.

Step 5: Close your masterpiece

Place the slice of bread that is not occupied by all of the meat/cheese/vegetables on top of the one that is. Smile knowing that you just did that all by your self.