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Zomato released an ad featuring PV Sindhu’s dad cooking, on #IWD2020. With the hashtag #SoWhatIfIDontCook it celebrates women for their skills and work other than cooking, unlike that expected of an ‘ideal’ woman.
“Better than a man who loves and respects is a man who cooks,” said somebody. And what about a woman? Well what about her? Isn’t she supposed to know cooking?
The advertisement aired by Zomato on International Woman’s Day 2020 is a breath of fresh air. Yes, she works and doesn’t know cooking. #SoWhatIfIDontCook, she asks. Perfectly ok.
And the ad features PV Sindhu’s father cooking.
Over the years, cooking and woman have become synonyms. If she is a woman, cooking is in her genes. She is born with a laddle and a spoon . This belief has become inbuilt in the society so much that this has become a criteria for bride selection. ‘Can you cook?’ The conversation with a prospective bride starts with this phrase.
Many of us could easily relate. A homemaker or a working lady, cooking is considered to be an integral part of her personality. She is sanskaari if she knows how to balance salt and spices in her dishes and if she cannot she is frowned upon. She is not the ideal woman if she cannot manage her kitchen well as it her primary territory. Her label of being a complete woman depends on this aspect to a large extent.
Contrary to this, a man who can cook is drooled over, he is the ideal husband and his wife the luckiest one. And for the other way round, spare your pities for he is the afflicted one.
But my concern is why is cooking so gender specific? Why is it the job of the lady of the house? Why the man of the house is allowed to sit and relax after a day’s long work as opposed to a woman, who even after being tired to the bones is asked to step in the kitchen to check the dishes.
A woman can cook or not should solely be decided by her alone, if she wants to cook and not something that her life depends on or would be so once she gets married.
A daughter who shows interest in cooking should be encouraged solely because it’s a necessary skill for her. A son who breaks the stereotype barriers and enters the threshold of kitchen should be motivated because it’s necessary for him as well.
A husband who manages the kitchen while the wife is doing something else should be a normal sight in every household and not a scene that pops out one’s eyeballs.
Let’s give this choice to both to decide whether they wish to learn this skill, and not make it mandatory for one alone – but a necessary skill for survival to anyone.
“Do you cook?” Or “Can you cook?” Should not be the starting lines of conversation whenever we see a working lady. Or even “how do you manage?” Because irrespective of gender, everyone needs food. And just like it is Ok for a man to order in and relax if he wants to, it should be Ok for a woman too.
Let’s not make cooking a burden and her other achievements be shadowed if she does not cook. This Woman’s Day like Zomato advocates, if you can afford it, let us all give our women a choice to decide if they want to cook or not.
Lets for once allow cooking to take a backseat and celebrate and congratulate her for her achievements for which we know her. Yes, let’s make cooking a choice.
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Writing started on an impulse as a means to vent out emotional distress. Now it
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