Bad Feminist

I like being in the kitchen … am I a bad feminist? Probably.

Bad+Feminist

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

I’ve been a really bad feminist this week; I baked brownies and banana nut muffins.

I’m serious. I did it. I’m not kidding you.

On Saturday afternoon, I was procrastinating my homework and responsibilities hardcore. I mean it. Hardcore.

I spent my morning cleaning up the kitchen — Clorox wiping the counters, washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom sinks, spraying down the mirrors and so on and so forth.

When I was done with that, I had a nice afternoon with my roommates as they went through their new clothing purchases from a local thrift sale event. During all of this, I baked muffins and my specialty chocolate M&M brownies, pausing only to give my thoughts on a few pretty interesting articles of clothing. (One-shoulder, neon pink, strange patterns, 80s look dresses? Definitely interesting.)

If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re on it. I love being in the kitchen.

Whether it’s cleaning, cooking, hanging out or just working on some homework, the kitchen is the place to be.

When I want to take a break, you can definitely find me scrubbing some dirty dishes, microwaving day-old pasta or whipping up a fresh batch of cupcakes. I love the kitchen.

It’s where life happens. I remember being at home, my mom and I would always have really good conversations while in the kitchen. My sisters and I made hot chocolate on frigid snowy days in the kitchen. One of my friends and I made oatmeal cookies in the kitchen one day. My ex-boyfriend and I baked chocolate chip cookies and watched “Mulan.”

The kitchen is the place to be.

Does that make me a bad feminist? Absolutely.

You see, since what feels like forever, women have been advertised as the kitchen-scrubber, food-maker and human vacuum cleaner who should be trapped in the kitchen to do all that grubby work. And this stereotype isn’t a thing of the past.

By loving baking, being in the kitchen, I might be perpetuating this stereotype.

But, then again, maybe not.

You see, I get to do all that dish-scrubbing, food-making, and vacuum-cleaning after I get home from a day full of educating classes, working and interning. I voluntarily choose to do those things — there’s no man around telling me what I can and cannot do. I make these decisions myself.

On my resume, my job descriptions do not read: scrubs kitchens, cleans dishes or picks up after her man.

I choose the roles I’m in. I work hard at those roles. I’m so grateful to have that right.

And if that just so happens to be baking a warm batch of fresh brownies, so be it.

Mennecke can be reached at [email protected].