…Written by Rotimi Awe
Nigerian Twitter went agog after a video of a revered pastor saying no man should get married to a lady who is culinary challenged, surfaced online. In the church’s yearly convention, the pastor said and I quote, “Don’t marry a girl who is lazy! Don’t marry a girl who cannot cook, she needs to know how to do chores and cook because you cannot afford to be eating out all the time.” He also talked about other things like long beards (I’m sure Jesus would bat an eyelid if he was alive today) , ethnic prejudices, unemployed men, etc… I’m just going to stick with the one that got twitter lit up like the 1st of October.
I grew up in a family of 6; 5 dudes, one chick. I am the second from the rear. My mum made sure she raised none of us with any deficiencies in the cooking department. She was very particular about the guys working in the kitchen either as a cook, a dish washer or just anything that could be defined as a kitchen chore. The result; 2 brothers with immense cooking skills and another (my humble self) with superb dish washing abilities. Basically, none of mummy’s gridiron gang are slushes when it comes to kitchen duties. Also, in school, I was friends with a guy who’s cooking skills is almost next to none. The dude could cook anything from the usual delicacies to the unusual ones. I’m sure if given sand grains, my friend would have gotten it cooked into a sweet crunchy meal.
So I find it weird when I hear people say cooking is a girl’s “job requirement” and a guy’s major requirement from a girl he intends marrying. Thanks to my mum, my mindset wasn’t built on such gender delineation. I mean, why would any guy overlook other incredible qualities a woman possesses these days just because she can’t cook? It is absurd that many guys still see this as a criteria let alone an important one to buy a ring.
Do you expect your wife, who has a regular 9-5 job (which in reality is actually a 9-9 job) and gets bumped around through the chaotic Lagos traffic, to come home and cook that delicious meal you’ve been salivating about and still perform her womanly duties in bed? If you do, then you seriously need a brain sanitiser to clean out such thought process. Having said that, I believe that all men must know how to cook (at least the basic meals which does not include noodles), it doesn’t take an arm or a leg to know how to separate the pans from the pots. No rule in any law book says a man shouldn’t be with such skills. Back in the days, it was fashionable for ladies to get married without having a job. But today, men will frown at the thought of getting married to unemployed women. I expect that the same sentiments should be expressed to guys who think the kitchen should be the ladies foot stool. God knows, I definitely won’t get hitched with a lady who only sleeps, eats and drinks the kitchen.
We should completely do away with such mundane mentalities, a woman shouldn’t be judged by her culinary skills or lack of alone. I bet you lots of men won’t turn down an opportunity to get hitched with, say a Michelle Obama or Beyonce even if they lacked such kitchen skills.
So, I find the Pastor’s comments on cooking and “lazy girls” distasteful and completely out of sync with the present time. I think religious leaders should start investing in PR consultants, a lot of the controversial things they say can be avoided if only their speeches or messages were initially vetted. And shame on those followers who think this was all about feminism. This has nothing to do with the latter (though I’m a fervent profeminist), it has everything to do with common sense.
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