The Vagenda

Dear Every Magazine Ever,

Please, please, PLEASE stop telling me to cook for my man wearing nothing but an apron. I’m talking about this kind of shit (courtesy of Glamour US):
Lady columnist: I do not care what you and your friends get up to in your own homes. That’s your affair. But magazines constantly implying that I should be some kind of domestic slut housewife stripper combo is really starting to get on my (comfy sweatshirt clad) tits. By all means, continue reinforcing arbitrary gender norms in your own time, and  within your own relationship, but don’t make the rest of us feel inadequate because we come home, put our pyjamas on, and heat up the microwavable Sainsbury’s Shepherd’s Pie, before having perfectly adequate missionary sex followed by cuddles and Celebrity Masterchef. I don’t want to be spanked with a rolling pin, either. 
All this baking/cooking lifestyle fetishization means women are ultimately going to end up in a place where we’re expected to jump naked out of giant cakes (again.) Except this time, it’ll be a giant home baked gluten-free organic cupcake glazed with the souls of our feminist predecessors. 
Enough already.
Yours Sincerely,

10 thoughts on “Dear Every Magazine Ever,

  1. I really enjoy your viewpoint, but have to admit I enjoy fetish-orientated sex so don’t find the apron suggestion offensive at all. It’s a sweet way to play with roles, an exaggeration of the feminine. I personally find that exaggeration a lot of fun to mess with, and it’s something my lover and I discuss together too. We often start laughing in the middle of some created scenario because it’s pretty silly, and yet for whatever reason, it works for us. I quite like knowing what others get up to – I don’t have to do what they’re doing, and I know my lover finds me attractive no matter what I’m wearing. These apron type ideas are just a bit of fun aren’t they? Now where is that one my mum gave me …

  2. Completely agree. And I don’t understand why cooking is considered feminine. I bet Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver don’t put on vintage aprons and heels when cooking for their families.

  3. Thanks, Jennafer, for the mental image your comment gave me. I didn’t really want to sleep tonight anyway. >_< (but I reckon Jamie would be like a pantomime dame and Gordon would swear lots that it was the shoe designer’s fault he fell over and twisted his ankle, don’t you think?)

  4. I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t perpetuate oppressive stereotypes, but equally dangerous is the condemnation of a particular sexual roleplay or fetish as if it were to blame for this. The arbitrary gender norms that you speak of are indeed harmful, but this article is dissappointingly judgemental and sex-negative. I cooked for my partner wearing lingerie, an apron and heels to try out the housewife roleplay for a night, because I have a submissive sexuality. I wouldn’t want that role in my real life, but for that night I had heaps of fun. On the flip side of that, we played slave & master on a different night where I was the one in charge. I made him paint my toenails, put a collar and leash on him and made him kneel at my feet. He enjoyed it immensely, because his sexuality is naturally submissive too. Neither of these scenes has any bearing on the dynamic of our relationship (we’re equals). This was sexual roleplay to get us both off. The assumption that one of these roleplays necessarily subverts the woman is frankly insulting at worst and not paticularly bright at best. Learn to tolerate diverse sexualities, including naturally submissive women. It doesn’t harm our feminist goals.

  5. Actually I read an interview with Jamie Oliver a couple of years ago where he said he and his wife often cook naked together. Does that count for something?

  6. Other women doing things differently to you is not a threat to feminism or gender roles or your way of life. Feminism is about choice, not at taking offence at women who don’t live according to your preconceived notions of how women should act and what roles they should play. Isn’t that what we tried to escape in the first place?