Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:54 pm

Girl Talk: Collaborate on holiday cooking to squash outdated gender roles


It is the season of family and thanks and too much food.

Mom cooks the bird or swine and dad carves it once all the cooking is done. Wait. Who does what, now?

Well, according to the traditions and holiday gender roles, apparently the man of the house knows how to carve a cooked turkey better than his female counterpart. In America, this tradition has helped to define gender roles during the holiday season.

Here’s the thing – I love cooking. I love it to the point where I sometimes stay up during all hours of the night and make food just to make it because it’s fun. I once cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for eight people singlehandedly and was stoked to be able to have the chance to do such a thing. My problem is the idea that the women of the house are expected to make food during the holidays.

I’m sure your mother’s mother’s famous family apple pie recipe is out of this world, but since when was your brother not expected to be able to make it?

Maybe it’s just me (it’s not) but it seems like whenever there are family get-togethers, the men in the family are always doing something with meat: grilling, carving or what have you.

I remember a few years ago when I went home for winter break, which is a time that we expect to have relaxation and no worries about working on anything. All I could think about was how many cookies I was going to have to make. I wondered why I had to do this. Sure, I was darn good with a sugar cookie recipe, but I’m pretty certain any of my uncles could have handled taking on a batch themselves.

My uncle Dallan makes some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. His mashed potatoes at Christmas time are easily the dish I look forward to devouring most when our family gets together. I think one of the ingredients is magic.

He is the exception. He lends a hand that does more than cut a turkey. Not that all men do nothing but carve the bird, but the only thing that sets them apart is the fact that they are men. I’m not sure if it’s a declaration of power in the home, or perhaps was at one point, but times change, and with them so do traditions.

It’s been decades since the age of “Mad Men”. Women shouldn’t be expected to have a day of kitchen work while men watch sports and eat snacks. At the very least, gender roles should merge, or be erased, depending on how you’d like to look at it.

I would enjoy a holiday during which I make food – with the guys. I’m not opposed to also sitting and watching sports, and when the turkey is done I would love a stab at the carving knife with the seemingly unsafe moving blade. I’d very much like to make my cake and eat it, too. Except it would definitely be pie.