Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cooking Terms and What They Mean (for Gender Roles)

Here's an instructional video from 1949. It teaches you how to cook, provided you are a young wife. Culinary arts and the proper place of a woman—two lessons in one! Thank you, Professor Edna A. Hill of the Department of Home Economics at the University of Kansas. (And note that, even though the advice comes from an educated woman and is directed at a young woman, it's narrated by an austere man.)

Favorite quotes:
  • "To stir is to mix food materials with a circular motion to secure a uniform consistency."
  • "Yes, the honeymoon is over for Tim now that he starts back to work. And it's over for Margie, too, as she enters her bright new kitchen to cook her first meal."
  • "But wait a minute! There's still time to bake another cake before Tim comes home to lunch."


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Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Yes, the sexism and derogatory attitude is a given here. I grew up with these kinds of films (they actually showed them in school). But its also hard to believe Margie never cooked a meal til after the honeymoon. My kids learn those cooking terms through both instruction from me (and grandma) and by trial and error... before they turn ten! Now they prepare meals regularly. They also know how to change a tire, read a map, and run a washing machine.

I still have to drive them around and pay for everything, though.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Terra said...


Ok, yeah, I can see how "cream" the butter might be confusing... but "Stir?" If you don't understand what stir means, I don't think this movie has any chance of making you a gourmet.

5:35 PM  
Blogger The Good Reverend said...

To me, beyond even the assumption that Margie will be staying at home and cooking meals (which I suppose was more descriptive than prescriptive in 1949), what's really degrading about this is the implication that young women like Margie are completely helpless with even the most intuitive things--and that they way men should deal with them is through sarcasm and then direct, paternal instruction.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooking is word which is difficult to find in my husband's dictionary. He was even not aware of cooking terms So I think cooking is impossible for the males.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Viagra Online said...

This is perfect because I like the recipes from that time because they used other kind of ingredients without preservatives.

12:10 PM  

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