You Know I'm Just Joking by Ayomide Tayo It is time to shut up about cooking

Cooking in relationships and marriages is an over-flogged topic on social media. There are better things to talk about.

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It's very possible for cooking in a marriage to be a joint venture play

It's very possible for cooking in a marriage to be a joint venture

(Instagram )
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Let's jump right into this. Our dear leader, President Buhari made a gaffe in Germany on Friday, October 14, 2016, when he spoke about the First Lady Aisha Buhari.

The unfortunate statement quickly turned to the 'Other Room-gate' on social media with #OtherRoom trending within minutes the first story of the President's poor statement was posted online.

Predictably, this created an argument that ravaged most of Twitter during the weekend despite the return of European club football. It's so disappointing that a healthy conversation on feminism and equal rights can't happen on social media without cooking being mentioned. Are we that hungry in this country? Is there a famine?

This weekend, not only was cooking mentioned it once again became the trending issue. In 2016, the topic of cooking in relationships and marriages has trended not less than seven times on Twitter.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015 play

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015

(AFP/File)

 

The cooking discourse hasn't grown beyond emotional bursts and rants from both sides of the aisle to be honest. It's about emotions than intellect. At the heart of the argument is this "is it compulsory for a woman to cook for her husband or boyfriend?"

Now this is my own opinion about this. Relationships and marriages are like religions. As a Christian, you cannot impose your beliefs on a Muslim and vice versa. Every religion or faith has its own rules or principles that make it work. The same goes with marriages.

For example, in your neighbour's house, the wife might do the cooking in the house because that is what works best for her and her husband. In another house, it might be different. The wife might be the one to pay the bills and the husband is the one who cooks and does the house chores.

ALSO READ: Nigerians react to President Buhari saying his wife belongs in a kitchen

These are two homes with their own unique ways of making things work. It would be foolish for the wife who does all the house chores to tell her neighbour that she should be cooking for her husband too. What works for Couple A might not work for Couple B.

 

The problem with people engaged in this discussion on Twitter is that a lot of them try to impose their beliefs on other people. Some women love to cook for their husbands and families. That shouldn't necessarily make them better women than the wives who do not cook for their families.

At the end of the day, do what works for you. A man and his wife might be happy to eat food that the house help cooks. You might not like that but is not of your business. There is no one size fits all rule when it comes to roles in marriages and relationships. The end goal in relationships is happiness. As long as a man and woman are happy about the way the are then it is nobody's business.

 

In any relationship, there will roles. Roles helps society progress. Any endeavour that involves more than one person will need roles so that it can work. In a marriage and relationship, there must be roles, equal roles. One party shouldn't be overburdened with roles.

 

In the traditional setting, a woman is responsible for the domestic duties while the man is responsible for catering for the household financially. In a more liberal setting,  roles can be reversed or re-structured. This is just like religion. We have Orthodox Christians and Pentecostals- two different set of Christians. At the end of the day, the Christian who worships at St.Peter is happy and the Christian that goes to Day Star is happy. Why can't people let other people live their lives?

 

This cooking issue makes a mockery of feminism in Nigeria. It has hijacked the feminist movement. Equal rights and pay should be at the forefront of the feminist movement in Nigeria, but what we have are so called relationship experts barely out of the university subverting a powerful discourse with their shoddy opinions (which sometimes boils down to the fact that they can't cook).

 

Female genital mutilation, underage marriage, rape culture, and the education of the girl child are some of the things that men and women should be talking about now. Unfortunately, "who will pound yam?" takes the cake.

 

Last week before this hullabaloo about the kitchen and the living room, award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie wrote a 9,000 word, 15 points feminist manifesto on how to raise a daughter. In the lengthy essay, Adichie wrote: "The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina." She is right on this.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie play

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

(Vogue)

 

The deal here is someone should the cooking in the home. An agreement on who will do this depends on the couple and not a chauvinistic pig with many followers or a once heart-broken now reformed love expert on Twitter.

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