"Lost in the Kitchen" Dave Barry
In Dave Barry's essay "Lost in the Kitchen" Barry shares his opinion on sexual equality through a personal experience with his family on Thanksgiving. In the conclusion paragraph a point is made that before women's liberation, men took care of the cars and women took care of the kitchen. Now after women's liberation, men no longer feel obligated to take care of the cars. By this, Barry is meaning to say that before women's liberation, women had their specific, "feminine" jobs and men had their "masculine" duties to take care of. After women were liberated, those roles were disrupted and women became viewed as more qualified to take on those more "masculine" responsibilities. At first, one can imagine that men might have felt their definite masculinity slipping away from them and been insulted, but as time has passed that pride has subsided and men are now giving in to the new role women play in society, or as Barry implies, men have not only succumbed to this, but have gotten lazy. I disagree that the balance of responsibility between men and women is weighted more heavily on women due to men's passive or lazy tendencies because especially in a family situation, there are too many variables for the blame to rest on just one gender.
There certainly are circumstances where, especially in a household, passiveness or laziness is the driving force behind imbalance of roles between men and women. However, this is interchangeable when it comes to gender. For example, my very own parents fit the stereotype Barry creates in reverse. Both of my parents cook, but my father is the chef. My mother has her few special dishes that she'll repeatedly cook and we do enjoy, but my father is always in charge of the specialty concoctions. My dad does the grocery shopping which he takes on after a full day of work, buys more groceries than we need and while attempting and failing to put them away due to lack of room, proceeds to clean the kitchen, which leads to cleaning the living room, garage, office and anything else his to do list of a brain can think up.
My mother is perfectly capable of these tasks, but allows my dad to work himself. Whether that is because getting in my dad's way when he's on a mission is dangerous in itself, or because she simply knows he'll do the work so she doesn't have to, I can't say for sure, but after years of marriage my mother has turned from staying out of his way to passively leaving him to take on a heaping plate of responsibility, that could easily be divided up and passed on out. This family dynamic has absolutely nothing to do with women's liberation or gender in general; it is merely circumstance that is created by individuals in a unique situation.
Though Barry makes a humorous point about the truth behind the stereotype of men,
Gender roles play a significant role in the evolution of how far the United States has come. Females and males have not always held the same rights, nor have they upheld the same presumptions pasted on them by society’s view. Many observations have shown the wide variety in treatment, pay, household responsibilities, parental obligations, and needs. As from the time of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women were granted the right to vote. Decades after, a substantial amount of studies prove that a gender gap exists in many ways of life.
Emily C. Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” essay speaks of the struggle women faced over decades in becoming considerably equal to men. She stated that women have no say in this country in regards to marriage, jobs, and government (380-381). Stanton was an advocate for women’s rights, before the 19th Amendment was passed. Women’s roles in comparison to men’s have changed dramatically prior the Women’s Suffrage Act. Men spoke for women through voting and working. Nowadays, females are candidates in Presidential elections. The magnitude of evolution shows the drive behind a person’s role in society. In a democracy, each person shall be represented. For the longest time, women were not. Alongside, men and women are found in professions that were once considered one or the other. Many men stay home with their children. Times have changed dramatically for both genders. Gender roles are important in that studies and observation provide knowledge in how far this country has come.
How do gender roles affect each family?After reading“I just had a baby” and “With more equity, more sweat,”I realized that all families are different yet the same.Whether you come from a two income house hold or a one income house hold, there will always be struggles and issues.Deciding, whether its more beneficial to have both a father and mother figure at work during the day is the big decision most families have to make.
In both articles it discusses how the women are seeking to have fulfilling jobs and help provide for the family.The problem with this is, are families home lives suffering?Both articles discuss in different ways, how children, housework and family time suffers when both parents are absent from the house all day.Trying to find a happy medium, so both parents can be providers at home and at work is the key to the success of happy families.In “I just had a baby,” the lady has a very successful job, which she loves and spends all of her days focusing on that.After having a child, her priorities change.She realizes having a child is not only stressful but puts a strain on working life, after realizing this she goes forward of starting her own business that makes it easier for working parents.Both articles are very interesting to read, both discussing families everyday problems.Each family is different; all have different expectations, jobs, and lifestyles.Finding a family schedule along with a work schedule that fits your family right is the key to these problems.It is possible to have a two income family house hold, and I think it is becoming more and more popular with the economy rises, figuring out how to make it work with your family is what is important and the ending result.Family
Like the Star-Tribune article, The Atlantic article“Milking the Poor: One Family’s Fall Into Homelessness”, talks about the strength of a family. Nothing can come between family. Going through a tough time only makes a family strong. But The Atlantic article is slightly different then the Star-Tribune article. “Milking the Poor” article does not make the reader feel what the family is feeling. Instead, this article puts images into your head. Reading this article is like reading a book or watching a movie. The article is so vivid with its words that the words come alive.
In each family gender roles are perceived differently.In some families the man is the main provider while the mother stays home and takes care of the family, in others the man can take on the role of Mr. Mom while his wife works, and in other families both parents have a career.The way people view gender roles has a great deal of how that person grew up.For example in “The Men We Carry In Our Minds” the writer believes woman take on an easy role at home and woman like staying home and doing whatever they want, but in the article “Work-Family Role Conflict” it is believed that stay at home moms are more depressed and woman that take on multiple roles have higher self-esteem and are just generally happier.Also in the essay “Once More At the Lake” the son and father take a fishing trip and not once does he mention his wife which gives the impression that she was just left at home to take care of the house.
In the essay “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” the author Sanders talks about depending on your background and family is how you see the roles of men.In Sanders family and the families around him, the father was the one doing the back breaking work causing weak hearing, knees, ankles and many other issues, while the woman stayed at home took care of the kids and got to read books, visit neighbors and just relax.This is why Sanders did not understand why woman would ever be envious of men in fact he didn’t come to the realization that woman had anything of men until he went to college.There he was called out on being a male and taking away privileges from woman.The girls that were doing this were the type of girls that have fathers that had suit and tie jobs and basically ruled there wives and daughters lives and futures.
In conclusion, the study of family and gender roles is a major attribute in what society uses to advance.Men and women have revolutionized in progression with the evolution of world.Through time, women have gained the right to vote while men are engaging in what society defines as ‘female occupations.’ By doing so, men, women, girls and boys of all ages have molded what was considered to be the norm into an evolution of what use to be an expression of taboo.Families have empowered themselves to accomplish many goals in evolving in all aspects of society.Changes have permitted acceptance of gender role reversal and different roles a family member plays in a unit.Together, the world has seen many resolutions, and will have many more to come.Annotated Bibliography
Gender role: the image of being man or woman that a person presents to others. A woman’s role is in the kitchen. “Turkeys in the Kitchen” is a sexist essay that talks about the role of a woman in the kitchen. Men are still the same “scums” they were back in the days when it comes to helping woman in the kitchen. Men are no good when it comes to helping in the kitchen. They do no know what pots to use, what vegetable is what, or how to even prepare a meal. But according to men, women do not make it easy to learn how to cook. If asked to help in the kitchen men have no idea what they are doing so the woman will just take over anyways. Men are about as useful as an ill-trained Labrador retriever. All they are good for is watching the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and fixing up cars.
In his essay Dave Barry discusses how men do not fit in the kitchen, particularly on Thanksgiving Day. Barry tells a personal story at the beginning of the essay about his experience at Thanksgiving trying to help in the kitchen and being shuffled out by his wife’s friend with her telling him to “keep an eye on the children,” while his wife can smoothly get to work with no guidance.
Barry also talks about how women may not be the best people to teach the art of cooking. According to him something like cutting up turnips that “woman, who had all this sexist Home Economics training back in the pre-feminism era” think is fairly simple can be one of the most difficult tasks for “man, who got his training in Shop Class”. At the end of his essay Barry leaves you hanging with a thought from his wife after reading his work, then goes and eats a waffle she made him of course.
Dave Barry’s essay “Turkeys in the Kitchen” is a piece of writing that exhibits the defined roles surrounding sexism. In a comical piece of writing, Barry’s essay is easy relatable to his readers. Thanksgiving is a holiday that most people celebrate, allowing for readers’ imaginations to run wild. He starts off by stating that men are of no help in the kitchen; this statement as been proven on many instances. Barry brings up the connection between men and football while the women are slaving away over ovens to prepare a feast for everyone. Gene, Barry’s friend, and himself were asked to watch the children and were distracted by the Detroit Lions game on television. This is a relatable example that many people experience on a day to day basis. Barry makes a point of not taking a side on this issue, but expresses interest on how roles of a man and woman vary while remaining consistent over time.
Another example that Barry provides in his essay is “women do not make it easy to learn.” The “it” Barry was referring to was cooking in the kitchen. By having his wife simply say, “you can cut up the turnips” results in Barry questioning how to go about doing such a simple task that comes easy to a woman. The point he is trying to make is that women are perhaps born with the instinct to perform certain tasks than men, and vice versa. He also makes a point to state that the roles of women and men are not as much of a problem as they are a statement of social norm. Barry goes about to state that he took shop class through high school, where as women learned techniques in Home Economics. Women assume the position in the kitchen because that is what society has expected for women over decades of consistency. Barry acknowledges that his wife is more talented in the kitchen, as well as his lack of success in trying to participate. His humor throughout the essay addresses the underlying realism of stereotypical behavior.
In the conclusion of the article Barry states that he asked his wife the opinion of this essay. She responded with, “before Women’s Liberation, men took care of the cars and women took care of the kitchen, whereas now that we have Women’s Liberation, men no longer feel obligated to take care of the cars.” What Barry’s wife reveals is that men now rely on women more so than before to provide basic needs for her family. Women are not equal with men in society to this very day, but the image of women obtaining a male’s profession has allowed for such change to occur. In conclusion, gender expectations have remained consistent throughout many years, and stereotypical behavior lies within each person to some degree.
Davidson, Christina. “Milking the Poor: One Family’s Fall Into Homelessness.” The Atlantic, 12 Oct. 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2011.
Family is a special bond that nothing can come between. No matter the problems that one may go through, family that will always be there with support. One family knows first hand about the love and support of a family. Emma and her husband have been through many trials and tribulations over the course of their lives. These two struggled with money and homelessness for quite some time. But no matter the struggle of money or even jail time they were still a family and supported one another.
This article starts off with Emma getting pulled over; she got a ticket for driving without insurance. This was the very first of many problems this family had. Tragedy after tragedy struck this family. If it wasn’t getting pulled over and receiving more tickets, it was losing housemates and their house or receiving jail time. This family became so in dept that they lost their house and become homeless. Wilkin’s, Emma’s husband, had to spend 30 days in jail for not paying his tickets. After many hospital bills this family did not know what to do. Emma and her baby, Elizabeth, had to live in the car for a while before finding a place to live at a homeless shelter.
No matter what this family went through they stuck together. They supported one another through thick and thin. This is what a family. Emma knows that after all of this they will recover and become stronger and wiser from the experience. Elizabeth is what keeps this family together and keeps them going. For her, they will keep fighting and doing whatever it takes.
Hammer, Leslie, and Cynthia Thompson. "Work-Family Role Conflict (2003)." The Sloan Work and Family Research Network. Sloan Work and Family Research Network, 12 May 2003. Web. 12 May 2003.
In the reading Rational versus gender role explanations for work-family conflicts, being discussed is the difference between the gender roles who have jobs or whose job is maintaining a home. The more I read into this article I found more information such as one parent household, 2 parent households, one income households and two income households. After reading this I discovered the many challenges all families face. It breaks down information of separate expected gender roles, whether it has to deal with the working aspect or the at home family aspects. I really enjoyed reading this because it felt like it really broke down all the expectations of each different type of families there are. Not all families have the same expectations, or same obligations. This is a good article about finding what is needed by your family, and figuring out which lifestyle works best for your family.Kay, Katty. “I Just Had a Baby, I’ll Call You Back.” Newsweek 02 Jun 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
In this essay Katty Kay discusses the unfortunate transitions happening between woman and the work force. She claims that now a days woman have less continuous careers because they are looking more for a flexible schedule to be with their families more often which unfortunately a lot of jobs do not allow. This essay shows that woman are starting to take on the old fashioned gender roles of the mother staying home to take care of their children
Kay tells the story of a woman, Christine Heenan, whom in her twenties worked in the Clinton White House. Heenan says “I loved being at the office at 7, working with smart, fast thinking people till 10 at night, going out after work, talking about work, and getting up and doing it again.” In 1995 Heenan switched jobs to work in Rhode Island at Brown University. The pace was much slower than that of the White House and she missed that but after her babies were born she had a wakeup call in what was important and quit her job to start her own company. The company she opens offered the flexibility to its employers, the same flexibility that Heenan wished she had had at her old jobs.
“Plateauing”, is what they are starting to call this, when a woman loses the desire to climb the work ladder for the chance to be with her family. A professor at Wharton, Monica McGrath, says that “these women aren’t lacking in ambition and they want to make a difference in their jobs. It’s a question of ‘how much more responsibility can I take on.”
Morin, Richard, and Megan Rosenfeld. "With More Equity, More Sweat." The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - The Washington Post. Washington Post, Mar.-Apr. 1998. Web. 22 Mar. 1998.
Sanders, Scott Russell. “The Men We Carry in Our Minds.” 50 Essays: A portable Anthology. Ed. Samuel Cohen. 2011. 346-352. Print.
In Scott Russell Sanders' "The Men We Carry in Our Minds," Sanders has a conversation with a female companion on the struggle differences between men and women. Sanders starts off by saying women live a more difficult life than men, having to bear children, work, cook, and clean. His female companion states that females are full of passion and drive that they are willing to take on all tasks, and that they do not do it alone. Females rely on each other to accomplish many tasks that women perform. After Sanders sits and thinks about the definition of a man, he concludes many different observations.
Men are hard workers, composed of sweat and consisitency in work ethic. Men are also looked at as the provider for the family and if a man were to lose his job, he would feel guilt. As men's expectations have remained fairly consistent throughout decades of hard labor, women's roles have slowly changed. Women are a main component of the every day nine to five job. Alongside, women give birth and do house chores. What Sanders female companion was stating was semi false. Many women feel the day to day pressure of new expectations and feel that pressure alone. Men are defined as victims in Sanders' article. This statement is entirely false. Men and women are expected to fill certain roles in society, these different roles filled with different pressures. In an economy where both partners of a marriage have to work for a bigger income to make ends meet are fairly common nowadays. Women are not entirely composed of hard drive and work ethic. Many women find themselves wrapped in time management and struggle. However, Sanders focus lies on the definition of men.
Over the ages men worked hard hours late into the night to provide for their family. Men were soldiers, warriors, fighting for countries. Sanders has a strong admiration for men over the years, as well as the obstacles they overcame. Some men are business employees and CEOs. These men were not quite as appealing to Sanders; furthermore, he believed that those men did not have the same struggle as the men who worked long hours in the grueling hot sun. Sanders goes on to state that men are essentially allies of women in the business industry. Back to a previous statement, men and women face different obstacles and pressures. The climb to the top appeared much more easier to women. Sanders disagreed with this statement. For example, his father worked hard in a tire factory and eventually ended up as a business man himself working up the ladder. Women have to accomplish obstacles to climb up the ladder as well. However, women were not granted the same rights early on, allowing for a set back.
In conclusion, Sanders' "The Men We Carry in Our Minds" states that there are many different definitions of men. Men have overcomed a variety of struggles to the 21st century, as they have high expectations to live up to. Sanders' states that men and women are allies of each other against those that are born into a family with certain advances in the working world. Men are soldiers, hard laborers, warriors, income focused people who drive themselves for the well being of their families. Men are looked down upon as those who look down upon women. Sanders argues that men are just as weak as females in a world filled with high expectations. The definition of a man has been objectified by society, and will remain defined for centuries to come.
The first story I read was The Men We Carry In Our Minds. After reading this, I found myself looking at different perspectives of not only how men portray woman, but also how woman, myself included, portray men. Each person has a different opinion on how woman and men are portrayed, and who has “the tougher job.” In this reading, Sanders does a good job of looking at not only the male/female gender, but also the different social classes. He starts off discussing his childhood, and the only type of men and woman he saw. He then continues on describing these men, and how as he grew up, he continued seeing men of a lower working class and how they lived and worked. After Sanders grew up he looked more into the roles of woman and men, trying to describe the lives that they live and work. At the very end he gets into the argument with college females, ones from upper class families, on how the roles that men play are not as efficient as the ones that females have to play daily. Sande’rs see’s himself as more of an alley with the females than an enemy. He tries to focus his attention to helping woman’s roles be more noticed. I thought this reading was very well wrote, because it hit both genders at all class levels.
Wolfson, Joshua. “After Suicide, A Family’s Journey Towards Grace.” Star-Tribune. Star-Tribune, 18 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.
Suicide is considered the easy way out. It is also a selfish thing to do. It is devastating not only for your family but also your friends. Imagine being a mother and having two out of three sons committing suicide, or being the brother and having your two brothers die. This is what BJ and Blair had to go through. Blair was close to his brothers. He could tell that they were depressed but they did not want help. Both of the brothers were amazing athletes and excelled in school. They did not start to spiral out of control until they started hanging out with the wrong people and started drinking. Once they were in their deep hole of depression they could not get out of it. BJ, the mother knew she had to do something in order to help other people. She did not want any other mothers to go through what she had to go through. BJ started Grace for 2 Brothers; this was a foundation that focused on preventing suicides. She now talks to schools to help prevent further suicides in Wisconsin, which is the leading state of most suicides.
Junod, Tom. “My Mom Couldn’t Cook.” Esquire. 21 Mar. 2011: Web. 19 Oct. 2011.
In Tom Junod’s paper he basically comes to the conclusion of why his mom disliked cooking so much. In Junod’s current family he is the head chef and cooks for his wife and daughter 300 days a year, which is considered to be unconventional since most gender roles are for the woman to cook for her family. In his childhood family his mother was the main cook and cooked 300 days a year, but according to Junod her food was less than perfect, and he noticed his mother hated cooking. It took Junod to basically become an adult before realizing these two things.
When Junod realized how much his mother truly hated cooking he thought it was for reasons such as she was just a bad cook, or that she was using cooking as a way to reject her family, but he soon realized the real reason she hated it was because she didn’t know how to properly cook, “I understood that she simply wasn’t cut out for it, and yet, because she was part of the postwar suburban vanguard, she knew she was going to be judged on it,” Junod states when he comes to the realization.
This article also has a lot to do with Junod and his mother’s relationship. Junod thought that learning to cook and cooking for the soul purpose just to cook, not just to provide for his family, was a way of betraying his mother. “My decision to cook – was a rejection of the way I’d been raised, a rebuke of the way she’d raised me. At the end of the article Junod mother had had a stroke and was refusing to eat. Junod tried everything to get her to eat because the doctors said if she didn’t eat she would die from malnutrition. In the end Junod’s efforts weren’t enough and his mother passed away from starvation.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” is an essay published facing the concern of women’s rights. Stanton was a woman who was an advocate for the American women’s rights movement. She expresses concern towards equal opportunity in the United States based upon gender. Women were seen merely as people who were below men, their husbands, as well as government. Stanton states that if a woman were to marry, her husband would become her master. A man would make decisions within the marriage as to how his wife would live, how she would obey him. She goes on further to say that in the law of divorce; men also have the upper hand, including custody battles over children. What does this say about the United States history on the uprising right of women?
Women have overcome many obstacles in the course of history. Women were expected to cook, clean, care for the children, and attend church. Women were not working in “male professions” such as law, medicine, and theology (381). Now, women are still expected to cook, clean, take care of children, and work in many homes across the United States. By doing so, this evidence inadvertently declares the power of women in their ability to succeed at anything they try to accomplish. Stanton’s main concern was that if women do not have the right to vote, they do not have the right to accomplish any sort of task in American society. The voting franchise controls the operation of government; furthermore, the government had control over women without women’s input. Stanton’s passion towards equal rights was a gateway along with many other female activists to work hard in accomplishing, at the time, what was thought to be impossible.
Staples, Brent. “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space.” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Samuel Cohen. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 72-75. Print.
When people think of a robber one may think of a black man. People stereotype black men to be bad people. But not all black men are bad. Brent Staples is trying to show that black men can be good. When walking around late at night in New York can be a little scary. But only watching out for the black men is wrong. You should watch out for everyone and not be stereotypical towards other races. Brent Staples is trying to show other people that he is not a bad guy by showing and singing. He tries to make people less scared by singing to classical music. If he sees that a woman may seem scared because they are going in the same direction he will give her space so she becomes less frightened. He does not want to make other people feel uncomfortable so he does what he can under these circumstances.
Sojourner Truth. “Ain’t I a Woman?” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Samuel Cohen. 2011. 410-411.
In her essay, Sojourner Truth talks about the unfairness between men and woman, and also blacks and whites. She says “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches and to have the best place everywhere.” But, Truth has never got these luxuries even though she is in fact a woman. She also discusses the hard ships that she has had to go through because at one point in her life she was a slave.
At the end of this essay Truth dismisses any argument men may make about men being better because Christ was man. She asks “where did your Christ come from?” and that answer would be of course a woman.
Sojourner Truth is a woman who has dealt with the hardships African Americans have experienced over decades of time. She is a woman who has been disrespected as a person. In earlier times, men would open carriages for women and to have "the best place everywhere." Women were upheld in society, or were they? Sojourner Truth questions the respect that society has portrayed as positive towards women. She as a woman, have beared thirteen children, all of which were sold to slavery. Why is it that she loses her children, while others are upheld with gifts and tidings? Sojourner Truth questions the racism and sexism that drives this country. Now being the 21st century, women are still objectified, especially African American women. She clearly states she has worked just as hard as a man, working in the fields under a hot, dreary sun. Sojourner played the role of man but is looked down upon because she is a woman, a person with feelings and struggles as much as the next. Her essay questions the assumptions society has portrayed for so long. Has time truly changed the outlook on women?
Many would argue yes, evidence being the right to vote and being able to obtain "male professions" such as doctor and lawyer. Those people who are much more aware of the truth in towns and cities everywhere would argue no. The reason behind this being that women are now struggling with bearing children, having a full time job, cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc. Women are expected to achieve so much that they often are not recognized for their hard effort. Sojourner argues that in the assumption that women are not looked upon as people, men try to justify their actions by assuming gender roles. Time is evidence that preconsumed notions of the way women are expected to live have not changed. "Ain't I A Woman?" opens up doors in the fight against sexism and racism. Sojourner advocated for the women's rights in a nation where equality will never exist.
Trask, Bahira. "Traditional Gender Roles (2006)." The Sloan Work and Family Research Network. Sloan Family Network, 26 Aug. 2006. Web. Aug.-Sept. 2006.
In the article Traditional Gender Roles, it begins discussing what roles each party is expected to play. Do both parents work? Who stays home? What roles are expected by each male and female. After reading into this article, its discussing how a successful family and marriage starts with equal working rights, and equal households tasks, and financial statuses. After women start a family, they are usually perceived of the main caregiver for the family and the household. Men are seen as the financial providers. In this article it is discussed which is the best approach to making the family and working atmospheres work.
White, E.B. “Once More at The Lake.” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Samuel Cohen. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 431-437. Print.
Not only does this essay focus on family, it also has some gender roles. The author only talks about males in this essay, not once does he say anything about female. He makes it seem like only guys can go camping and fishing. Surprisingly, a selected few females do like to go camping and fishing.