Men mustn’t cook

I was talking to someone the other day who was intrigued that I try, as much as possible, to bring a packed lunch to work everyday, rather than gorge myself on ta’meya and shawarma all the time.

“Do you have the time?” he asked, knowing how frantically busy I have been over the past few weeks.

“Um. Well, when I don’t have the time, often my wife prepares the lunch,” I replied.

“Do you ever cook?”

“Sometimes,” I said. “Actually, I quite like cooking. When I have the time.”

“You mustn’t!” he exclaimed, his typically jovial face suddenly clouded by seriousness. “In Africa, men do not cook.”

“But I enjoy it,” I protested, adding, lamely: “It relaxes me.”

“But you mustn’t do it,” he insisted, seeming almost angry with me. “You are in Africa now, so you should do as we do. I firmly believe that God put African women on this Earth so that they could cook for their men. You mustn’t cook.”

I thought his use of the word ‘African’ was interesting – almost as if he feared that, by not including it, he might be offending my whiteman sensitivities.

In our company were five African women. To be fair, it is difficult to say for certain whether he was joking – but something in his tone suggested that he wasn’t.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Men mustn’t cook”

  1. kizzie Says:

    This is sooo sexist! I’m pissed off.
    I know most women are looking for a tall, wealthy, romantic and educated man. I’m looking for a man who can cook!

  2. Another Blog About Sudan Discovered : The Sudanese Thinker Says:

    […] Men Mustn’t Cook: He sounds like the typical super traditionalist uptight Sudanese male. Yeah, did you hear that women? YOU do all the cooking and cleaning. Besides being a baby-making machine, that’s your purpose in life. Now stop reading this blog and go bake me some cookies. […]

  3. Dalu Says:

    Give me his name and address.

  4. Dalu Says:

    “I thought his use of the word ‘African’ was interesting – almost as if he feared that, by not including it, he might be offending my whiteman sensitivities.”

    It’s good that you noted that. Such sentiments apparently should only be held up against African women. On the flip side, I know several African (well Sudanese to be more precise) women find pride in their domestication skills and constantly mock European/American women for not being domesticated enough. This sentence sounds awkward. hmm. Yea anyway, sure this belief is all kinds of misguided, but it explains in part the usage of the phrase “african women” and not just “women.” Some of my relatives are married to American (white) women or have dated American (again, er..white) women, and normal traditional wifey duties that are expected of Sudanese women are usually not enforced on their foreign wives.

    That’s another angle. Because I mean, he probably just didn’t want to offend you also. You being, white…and all.

  5. police car with the nines flipped upside down Says:

    my dad cooks sometimes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: