Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm a male slob

Some of my posts may indicate that I'm an enlightened progressive chap. I like to think I am, but I have to admit things have slacked on that side (at least domestically) since I've been in Nigeria. We used to have a cook and cleaner (now we have just a cleaner) - so there was no need for me to familiarise myself with the kitchen. Plus I have no culinary talent or imagination (I have lazy default meals and get stuck presented with a limited range of stuff in the fridge and store), whereas Bibi is a talented cook with nutritional creativity aplenty.

So the days when I am to be seen in the kitchen doing stuff are few and far between. I havent washed a plate in ages (apart from once or twice as a guest back in London recently) - so much so that other friends I stayed with in the summer complained bitterly about my laziness around their house. And I have got used to people bringing my food to me (not even bothering to get up and fetch from the kitchen).

All of which might sound like false self-criticism; Jeremy gets to eat his food without contributing to the process, and then affords himself some whistful appraisal; however I do think its problematic when people (especially men) don't contribute to the running of the household. Power structures and forms of expectancy start to coalesce and reproduce themselves. Patriarchy begins with subtle moments of expectation like this. But its difficult to know what to do when there are others who can do kitchen stuff for you. I resolve to spend one day a week doing stuff in the kitchen...


Anonymous,  5:16 pm  

As a woman I sometimes get tired of men like yourself visiting and would probably comment in a similar way to your friends.

However, I very much enjoy cooking and am not overly bothered that my male friends do not cook.

What I do get annoyed about is the fact that they get about their business whilst I am cooking. All I seek is some companionship whilst I'm cooking e.g. fetching ingredients, watching the stove whilst I'm doing preparation etc, nothing difficult just a presence such that I don't feel 'trapped' in the kitchen on my own. Try that with Bibi and I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

Often its the fact that we feel its a duty/expectation rather than you enjoy what we prepare thats the issue! Maybe a recognition that we're tired some days and you recognise it and offer to assist.

But, I haven't met many men, including my father, who haven't grown up seeing their mother in the kitchen whilst their father sits reading the newspaper.

Grace,  8:15 pm  

This is funny. I think the way housework is shared can depend on the couple, some women seem to be okay with doing all the cooking in an equal partnership. I personally won't like that. I expect my husband to cook (and hopefully be good at it) and clean as much as I do. I like to cook, but I like to eat other people's food as well.

It's just like my roomate and I share the cleaning of the apartment. But I guess once you have househelp, the cleaning responsibility (on your part) is reduced.

I really like your blog. I have one but its more of a personal anonymous journal than social commentary!

Ore 8:51 am  

I don't think having your wife do most of the cooking is a necessarily a bad thing, if she loves to cook. However, I do have a problem with men who expect women to do ALL the work around the house. As long as both partners share the work in a way that is pleasing and comfortable for them, I don't think there's a problem.

Of-course, I would love to have a husband who cooks. I love to cook, but can be very lazy about dragging myself into the kitchen unless I really have to.

Anonymous,  8:17 pm  

well. you've become a nigerian man. congratulations! :-(

Anonymous,  10:36 am  

becoming a nigerian male - that is a sure recipe for diseaster. My advice, try your best not to become a slob. don't allow your laziness to find a willing companion. You will find it difficult when you return home.

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP