Cooking Is Freedom An Article By Jim Sollisch

1743 words - 7 pages

The ability to navigate a culinary environment with moderate ease is a skill most often associated with those of the female persuasion. By the time a young girl enters the daunting world that is adolescence, she is faced with some expectations. One of these being, learning most, if not all, the skills associated with cookery. However, gone are the years where education was reserved only for those with testosterone while the girls sat idly by, tending to the home and preparing meals for the husband. The stereotypes set in place by the cultural norms of earlier decades have begun to fissure, as more and more women find themselves immersed in the dog-eat-dog world of business. In my personal opinion, I strongly believe with this newfound equality between the forces of testosterone and estrogen, it is imperative that boys and men alike learn how to cook for themselves. The ability to navigate a culinary environment is one of the most important skills any individual, regardless of gender, can possess, because it nurtures an invaluable independence in the individual, ensuring their success as they leave the nest of their parents and enter the real world for the first time.
Nowadays, boys are often dependent on their mothers, older sisters and later on, if they choose to get married, their wives, to cook for them. They grow accustomed to having food readily made for whenever they are hungry and if their meal is a delayed or they happen to miss it, they can get cranky and irritable. A personal example of this occurrence is found in my brother. If more boys were to learn how to cook for themselves, beyond the standard of scrambling eggs and toasting bread, they would not have to endure the wait for their food to be made, as they would be able to make whatever they want to eat and prepare it exactly the way they want it. It was not long ago at all that this was all boys were taught how to make. In his article, “Cooking is Freedom”, Jim Sollisch recollects that, “girls took home economics. Boys took [wood]shop. Girls learned to cook lasagna and bake chocolate cake. I would be learning to use a lathe…”. Mr. Sollisch goes on to say that he preferred lasagna to lathes, but at the time, home economics and woodshop were considered single-gender classes. However, recently, fewer and fewer people in the United States are choosing to get married, so this type of gender-discriminatory thinking would not be as advantageous as it might have been in 1972, as there are now more single U.S citizens than there are married couples, the numbers of which are “far below the seventy-eight percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950” (Tavernise). With so many people choosing to remain single, those who have never had a lick of culinary experience are left with very few choices. I think this could also be related to the country’s growing obesity epidemic as well, as when people have neither the ability nor the will to cook their own food, they turn to fast food to...

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