Friday, April 5, 2013

My future wife needs to be a cook.

"When I was engaged, A told my mother that I need to know how to cook mutton. The rest didn't matter."

That comment set off a trigger of unwholesome and truly troubling thoughts.

I have, since then, considered quitting the kitchen altogether and hanging a "the kitchen is closed" plaque. I cook. I don't like it. However, I like starvation even less, so I cook. It is only incidental that there is one more person eating my food.

I wish I didn't have to cook and didn't have to, by some calculated default, slip into the role of homemaker.

I wish my husband was my patron and I was lying around writing books that would always remain 'works-in-progress'.

I dislike the fact that young men in the 2000s are actually asking that their wives be domesticated. And I dislike it even more that us wives are becoming domesticated and then bitching about it.

What I want is that this whole culture of requiring domestication just stop.

No, it's not two families getting married. It's two people. And those who think it's more than that are just plain delusional and about 10000 degrees of insane. 


  1. Hey Shruthi,
    I have been regular reader of your blog...there is no post that I more agree with than this one.
    I moved countries (though not too far) to be with my husband.
    Though not really a homemaker, since I did find a job within the first 2 months; I am sure even the so called career women like you/me/others are 'domesticated' in a sense.
    The worst part is that my husband prefers that I don't cook since he calls it a waste of time. Not once in our marriage of 2 years has he ever asked if I'd cooked. STILL, I have somewhat settled into the role of the primary cook in the house.
    My husband helps me clean up and even cooks up a storm on days he can; but I cook 4 of the 5 weekdays. I like, if not love cooking. BUT. To do it along with my work, stresses me out.
    But I cook. And I cook just dinner. And I still crib. And I still do it.
    Sometimes, when I don't cook, I am always thinking what my mum-in-law would think about me. Or the society. Or my own dad. And sometimes, I want to be the superwoman. The one that cooks and takes care of the house AND somehow, has a great career.
    I probably have the least demanding husband (esp. considering that he is an ibanker and is pretty stressed at work most times) who can balance quite a few things rather nicely. Heck, I don't even have a demanding mum-in-law.
    But I can't understand why I choose to cook.

    You are right. We women choose to be domesticated. And then bitch. It's just the way the society said a woman should be when we grew up.

    1. Hi Tina,

      Thank you for the comment. And I can empathise with your situation. As of now, I don't work and for some odd reason that is seen as a good enough reason for me to submit to this culture of domesticity. And as much as it might seem valid to some, especially older folk, it is a thoroughly idiotic point of view if you ask me.

      I, for one, don't see why the home is not a shared responsibility. It ought to be. You're not the only person living there, your spouse is too. He ought to contribute. This easy slipping into roles of ' bread winner' and 'home maker' is extremely odd. I don't get it.

      That being said, my husband is hugely supportive of me and the things I choose to do. Sunday mornings are my off days. I enjoy them. I don't enjoy the mess in the kitchen after he's done making Sunday breakfast though! :P

      Ultimately it boils down to choice - do we freely choose to keep house, cook, manage resources and time, and so on or do we choose to be career-oriented with a sprinkling of domesticity.

      Whatever our choices are, it's important that the result of it is a wholehearted effort in whatever we choose. Life's not worth non-participation.

  2. To be quite honest, I find it alarming when my sisters are in the kitchen. They are good at cooking but I don't want them to end up as a sheer homemaker alone. From my mom's experience, I do not want them to end up as a kitchen appliance in some other household. But yes, the question of feeding oneself does arise. Really well put, Shruthi. I may not understand a woman's plight entirely, but I guess it would only be wise if women were not seen as individuals who MUST be domesticated post marriage. Guys, might as well try the kitchen once in a while .. every attempt of mine makes me feel a tad depressed :-/ I wonder how you people do this day in and day out ..

    1. Kenny,

      Women are 'expected to be good at domestic life, hence the effort made and its results are a lot more personal to us. But like I said, it all boils down to choice. If you choose to be a certain way, I tip my hat to you in respect. However, if there is no participation on your behalf in your life choices, then it's a little scary.

      As for your attempts - it's okay, it'll come with practice. I started out being the expert potato boiler. I make paneer butter masala now, and mine is actually better than what you get at restaurants and it's less oily.

      P.S: use the internet for recipes. hella fun. :)