So I have no idea what’s making WordPress so cranky this time, but – while I can clearly read Jared’s post about feminism in my email – whenever I click on the link it brings me to a 404Error. (Definitely not the droids I’m looking for.) So for context, this is a response to Jared’s post…

I like the example you chose specifically of chefs – a male dominated profession – that does seem to encroach on the supposed domain of women: cooking, nourishing, and so on. I think the difference falls to some of the binary distinctions Jeff discussed in class yesterday, particularly, art and craft. Cooking at home is a necessity – you must eat and feed your family in order to survive and thrive. Cooking professionally is a specialized trade; people don’t have to eat out, so when they choose to do so it needs to be a special experience. I think that this novelty is what sets the distinction. Women cooking at home is like knitting or darning or the various other female “crafts” – tasks that women complete as part of their daily, female routine. Men cooking professionally – receiving specialized training at Le Cordon Bleu, earning Michelin stars in recognition of culinary achievements – that’s an art. I think there is a (perceived) difference in the importance and status of cooking a healthy, affordable, easy meal for a family of four as part of your day-to-day, and cooking a seven course masterpiece for strangers, whether they be upscale diners or critics. I almost wonder if it is the nurturing component – providing for your husband and children – which seems so feminine, and contributes to this gap between “woman’s work” of cooking at home versus the male-dominated arena of professional chefs.

Great question!