Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feminism and cooking, part 2

[Alternative title]: I am just like my mother (or not?)

It's been a while since I lasted posted, and I am sorry for that. I was too busy averting crises, or at least trying to (my failure rating is quite amazing these days!), so I didn't really have a moment of peace to thing about things. However, today is the day. And after the previous, painfully long and quite general post about feminism, today it gets personal.

It is commonly accepted that each generation is more progressive and innovating that the last one. If we think about it, we are far more progressive than our mothers. More open-minded, more ready to accept new and different things. Umm... no. In my case, things went kind of backwards.

First of all, my parents had me when they were both 20 years old. As you probably can imagine, no, they didn't get married at 16, so it wasn't a "well thought" and "mature" decision to have a child. I sort of happened - unexpectedly. At an age when they were both unprepared to raise a child, and while they were both studying at university.

Luckily for me, my parents rose up to the challenge. It wasn't easy, of course, but that is another story. Due to the young age of my parents, however, and the fact that they were also highly active in terms of political participation at the university, I was raised up in a quite "unorthodox" way. Instead of taking a nap in my crib, for example, I got to used to sleeping in student amphitheaters, "witnessing" discussions, student elections and quarrels between different political parties. I became sort of the year's "mascot" and, whenever my parents didn't have time to take care of me, I had the rest of the students babysit me in rotation. I learnt how to read at the age of 3, and could sing baby songs and political ones at an equal ratio.

I am sure all of this helped me in the end. It made me more sociable (being around so many people), good in communication, and easily adaptable to different situations. Even today, I can't relate to people having "difficult" children, who are very picky eaters, or very particular about their needs. Having two parents with no income, any food tasted good, and any place could be transformed to a sleeping place. Most of all, I didn't feel neglected - not a tiny bit. I felt right there, in the center of attention, being part of all the fun - even if fun included hundreds of people disagreeing about stuff I couldn't quite comprehend. I didn't care - it just felt good being with my parents.

After being raised in such an uncommon way, my parents expected that I became an extraordinary person, to say the least. Extremely cultured, liberal in my political views, a feminist, an atheist, not a teeny bit religious or conservative. After all, how could I be? I never had a traditional upbringing, or a conservative background.

Unluckily for them, I share a lot of their views, but have some of my own as well. No, by no means I consider myself to be a conservative person. However, though not religious, for example, I am highly spiritual. I do think that there is a greater force out there, that keeps the whole universe in balance. I don't want to label this force, but I believe in it. Also, I strongly believe in feminism, but not to the point that women insult the other sex and try to take over their roles. And, last but not least, (and I am finally getting to the topic of my post) unlike my mother, I enjoy cooking.

In my parents' house, cooking was a chore, a necessity, something that reasonable people are obliged to do and nothing more. Also, being a part of the household routine, it was something a sane woman would try to avoid. The point was to get out of the kitchen, not go inside! As well as this, eating was merely for satisfying a biological need, that had to be met and then be done with it. No, I would be unfair to say that me and my brother and sister grew up on fast food. But we grew up with quick meals that took place in a hurry, in order to attend to more important things later.

Well, I strongly disagree with all the above. Cooking is not just for getting the stomach full. Cooking is a way of relaxing, having some time to oneself, leaving the imagination loose, trying to conquer unknown kingdoms. It is a way of getting the creative juices flowing, and getting rid of the day's tension and troubles. But the miracle doesn't stop there: Hopefully, something good will come out of this enjoyable process, something that will make the people we love happy and amazed. One more token of our love and affection, one more way to show that we care. And even if everything tastes disgusting in the end, it will still be something to laugh about later. Yes, cooking is remarkable indeed.

But, no matter how hard I try, my parents will never ever understand that. To them, it will always be just a waste of time. Or worse. Because to my mother, a devoted feminist, it is a form of submission. As a result, every time they call me in the middle of my "food creating process" and ask me what I have been up to, their standard response to my answer is a sigh of disapproval. Sometimes, I swear it does feel like doing something illegal!

So, sorry mom, I am not like you. But please, do not worry. I know my rights, and cooking is not gonna make me quit them. LOL You didn't raise no fool. But you didn't raise no identical copy of yours, either.

I really wish you could understand me sometimes. Not only in the matter of cooking, but in all those things that bring us apart. All those things that make you shrug your shoulders and wonder how it is possible that this apple came from your tree. But, at some matters, I have just given up hope.

I am nothing like you. But my mirror says otherwise. My mood swings say otherwise. My partner says otherwise. LOL And the way I get passionate about things, and extremely emotional and spontaneous, actually does remind me of somebody I know very well...


  1. Great post! It's interesting to look into ourselves and find all of the forces (no matter how large or small) that shaped us into who we are! Good for you for recognizing that enjoying something does NOT make you a submissive mass of female jelly! Too bad your parents can't see that!

  2. Wonderful post! It's amazing as I get older how much of my Mother seems to start showing in me. Great Blog :)

  3. oh & awesome playlist! What a great mix! :)

  4. Thank you so much, Lissaloo! :)