by Lakin’ Goodluck
The things we make the crux of our debates in this generation are truly quite puzzling. So a pastor offers a valuable and sagacious counsel to his congregation, and some people just threw caution to the wind in order to prove the wrongness of such counsel. Others did not even give the admonition some thought; they just threw it back in Daddy’s face.
What I don’t understand about this tsunami of defensive reaction is the energy behind it. Could it be that we now have more women who cannot cook in our society? Or could it be that the ladies feel inferior whenever they are expected to cook for their man? Maybe it’s just another feminism vibration.
I know that some advocates of feminism have taken to social media to defend why it is less important for a woman to learn and know how to cook so long as she can pay someone to do it in her stead. Well, I believe the proponents are right; after all, if you can afford it, you can avoid it.
Strangely, I think eating and cooking can be likened to speaking and hearing. Yea, I’m aware of the weirdness of this comparison, but let’s examine this similarity. We are naturally born with the ability to hear and speak, but we’ve got to learn how and what to speak through the existing socialization process we are exposed to.
Similarly, we are born with the ability to eat and cook, but we’ve got learn how to eat and prepare food through the kind of socialization system we are exposed to. So I say eating is hearing, while cooking is speaking. You hear what is spoken by someone just as you eat what is prepared by someone. It is also possible for you to hear what you say just as it is possible for you to eat what you have prepared.
When you speak you combine sound to make meaning; the same way, you blend ingredients to make a good delicacy. Growing up, you may be exposed to more than one language, but you are often stronger in one than the others for many reasons, which could be your level of interest in that language, its prominence/dominance, and the ease of learning. Bottom line is, somehow you sha learn how to speak one language.
Amazingly, the same socialization process, usually, may have exposed you to the art of cooking but by some means you missed it or deliberately discarded it. Now, this goes to those who are trying to justify the normality of a woman who shouldn’t bother about learning how to cook.
Are you also saying it is normal for any human not to learn how to speak when he/she can, simply because he/she has mastered the art of writing and can just listen to others speak? I guess your answer would be no!
If food is essential for the survival of any human being (man or woman), then it is important you learn how to make the food. Nobody is born with some peculiar gastronomic know-how; it’s something you learn as you grow in life.
So if you can learn how to eat chocolate, cucumber, bitter leaf soup, and all the numerous strange delicacies in the world, why can’t you learn how to make some? No one is saying the woman should be perfect in all; simply know how to prepare some.
Just as you can’t master all the languages in Nigeria, and can’t even master the one you speak so well, you may not be able to master the science of cooking. But just learn how to make one or two delicacies (not noodles please).
Besides, people combine sound with the intention of making meaning, yet it’s difficult to make a meaning of what they say. Equally, people sometimes speak, and it just doesn’t sound sweet to the hearer.
Either way, you cannot disregard their effort at saying something. In like manner, some people can cook but the yields from their kitchen sometimes taste like an awful sound in the ear.
As horrible as their food may taste, you can’t disrespect the effort; you can only help such people to be better. And by the time they get better at one delicacy, it will naturally extend to other delicacies.
“Guess what?” Research has shown that the more languages you can speak, the easier it is for you to learn another. So I say the more delicacies you can prepare, the easier it becomes for you learn others. The one who cooks gives to the one who eats, and it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Take pride in the ability to give (speak/cook) and receive (hear/eat). Don’t take pride in the ability to receive (eat) alone. The only people that are permitted to listen without learning how to speak are those that have some form of speech impairments. (Don’t forget that even this class of people speak by some means).
My sister, extract the wisdom in Pastor Adeboye’s counsel and go learn how to cook. It is not a rocket science! You can actually use your phone to ask Google to teach you some techniques, instead of spending time playing Pokémon. In fact, blogs on food and cookery abound.
I really don’t think it’s a thing of pride to confidently say “I cannot cook” in this age and time when learning virtually everything has been radically simplified. And I do not believe it’s something to defend passionately. (I hope they won’t say I’m judging them now) If there will be any debate on this cooking thing, let us talk about those that ‘do not like to cook’.
If a woman does not like cooking, that is more understandable. At least she knows how to do it and can do it when there is need for it.
Personally, I don’t think it’s good to marry a woman that cannot cook; I also don’t think it is good to marry a man that cannot at least parboil rice. Then again, if the two partners planning to get married are ready to enrol in the lifetime school of marriage without this ability, they are permitted to enjoy the coursework that comes their way. Let’s just stop debating this matter in Nigeria!
There are more disturbing issues in the country right now, many actually. Just recently, we were told that the people we (Nigeria) sent on a mission to Brazil for the Olympics got stranded in the US and a sympathetic airline had to come to our rescue. Now the smart company has started using the situation as a marketing stunt. (Se r’aye yin lode – you see your life outside?)
Yet back home we have turned the national budget to another infant that needs to be padded. And APC has told us that whether the baby wears pad or not is a family affair; therefore, Nigerians should back off!
My sister, you now see that there are too many issues we should be embarrassed about as a people. Let’s not add this cooking disability to it because this disability can only be self-imposed; it is not natural!
“And before somebody will come and ask me if I can cook, let me just say that I may not be able to cook Isi Ewu, but I can boil the Isi so well such that it will taste nice in the Isi Ewu soup.”
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Written by Lakin’ Goodluck