Saturday, September 5, 2015

Do Women Really Belong In The Kitchen?

“Women do really belong in the kitchen”. In the 80s I probably wouldn’t have been berated for making such a statement, but this Sunday and in households all over Uganda, women especially Corporate Woman, Feminist, Man-Hater Woman, are most likely huddled round kitchen tables spewing tsunami fire balls that I dared to say it.

Husband is also vexing because at some point he expects to be summoned into the kitchen to be asked if he believes the statement. He does, but to preserve the peace and harmony in the house, he’ll lie blind and say: “Honey, what do you expect from TB? He has no idea what he’s talking about and must be smoking those funny Rasta cigarettes.”

That aside, women are putting on weight. Some of them are doing so because it has something to do with their genetics. Others, it’s a lack of exercise or that they just love to eat. And eat. When they put on weight, they don’t like being called ‘fat’ even when it’s plainly obvious that they are fat.

Some fat women make half hearted attempts to shed weight by walking around Kololo Ceremonial Grounds after work or in their neighbourhoods. But when they get home, a feast that’s worthy of being served at a kwanjula awaits them.

However, it’s all up to women. If some women feel that having a ‘wide load’ of a bottom or being unable to walk up to the top floor of Garden City is what they want, then so be it.

There is another factor worth considering. In the UK, researchers from Manchester University and Royal Holloway, University of London, in a recent study, concluded that not doing enough housework is 'making women fat'.  

Back in the day, women were very active in every aspect of the home - from the kitchen, dressing up the children to go to school to tidying up the living room and bedrooms. Mums and grandmothers also didn’t engage in sports or go off to walk in Kololo after work or spend the day sitting about like it’s done today, because there was always something for them to do.

Today’s woman – Corporate Woman, Feminist, Man Hater and all, have been spoilt by labour saving devices such as microwaves, dish washers, cookers and most importantly House-ee whose chief function, is to run around the house all day from kitchen to bedroom to living room. She can be at the back of the house and shackled to a pile of washing but every two minutes, she’ll get called to run a mundane errand like turning on the TV or fan, going upstairs to bring her (madams) phone because she, (madam), can’t be bothered to get out of the settee where she’s been sprawled for the best part of the day to do it herself.

While having those perks brings many benefits, substituting strenuous housework for sedentary office work or lazing about on Facebook, is taking its toll on the waistline.

Researchers reckon that the average woman now spends almost 20 per cent less time on ‘house work’ than her counterpart did in the 80s and that the drop has contributed to the obesity epidemic.
Thus, women being in the kitchen is no longer a sexist attribute but, a welfare one and while I’m so not into women with wide loads, if her being in the kitchen is what it takes her to have a body that I am comfortable with, then who am I to argue?

But I don’t expect Corporate Woman, Feminist or Man-Hater Woman to see it that way. What they will see is us men exploiting the ‘loophole’ in the statement to drag them kicking and screaming back into the kitchen, yet it’s not the case.