Basic Survival Technique! Has Nothing To Do With Gender Expectations

1. It was a man (Noble Igwe), NOT a woman, not a person who calls himself or herself a feminist that started the hashtag, Wife Not Cook. Why? Because he put up a picture of himself at a restaurant, and someone asked why his newly wed wife couldn't cook for him (because there is something evil in eating out) and he responded with the above which is now trending. To him, his wife was more than the tag of a cook. (read this again). A man started this.

2. One of the first things I learnt how to do as a child was quench thirst, clean myself and feed myself. Basic survival technique. If I'm thirsty, I know where to get water. If I'm hungry, I know what to do. Basic nothingness. Has nothing to do with gender expectations. I cook for myself when I want to. I can go out to eat when I want to. Ordinary everyday thing. And especially now as an adult, I do these things without breaking sweat. That we need to have a hashtag debating issues like this is beyond me.?

3. I have a friend who loves to cook, more like a hobby and she is making money from it. I have a friend who is good with putting together outfits, something I take for granted, and she is making money from it. Taking the mundane a notch higher. I look around and it makes me exceedingly happy that domestic chores can be outsourced. I don't need to crack my head. I get to pay a passionate and better skilled person to fulfil a need for me, and it doesn't take away my ability to do the bare of such need if I want to and it doesn't also have a bearing on my inability to do that thing. Life is beautiful.

4. While serving, a fellow Corp member approached me to be his girlfriend for the following reasons; because I am a 'calabar' girl who can whine waist, wash, clean and cook for him. It was amusing but I told him I'll do it if he pays me. I brought out my notepad to make a list and what it will take. He was surprised. To him, cooking, washing, cleaning etc was a woman's work. Why should he do that when he can have a girlfriend do that? I looked at him with pity, how an adult couldn't even understand the basics of surviving and living. He moved to the NCCF lodge. This one still makes me laugh.

5. Like with everything else, people can learn to do anything on one hand and on the other hand, different chores /activities will appeal more than others. I have a friend who can straighten a house and make a place look magazine worthy, but cooking is war for her. Preference. Nothing more. Doesn't subtract from her validity as a person and especially as a woman. I have a friend that is so good with laundry and loves it but won't go near any cooking that stresses her. While serving in ph, she paid for food to be cooked and delivered for her. She is married and the guy is a friend here too, cooks wella. Life continues.

6. ‎Except a person calls himself or herself a cook, that tag is not mine to give anyone. Last year, I was spoiled silly by a friend who is a chef/baker. He once prepared seafood delicacies for me. He loves to feed people and he has one of the finest family I know. He has not shrunk as a man from that. Basic passion. Basic nothingness.

7. When I was in the university, my mom cooked once every week for me. I started feeling somehow whenever the driver brought the food to the hostel for me and when I voiced my discomfort, she said something, 'feeding you gives me utmost joy so when you reject my food, I feel really bad'. I understood that day that cooking and trying out new things was her way of showing love to us, my dad inclusive, even with the fact that he can cook a storm too. We all can cook but for her, it was an act of devotion. The times she travelled, we survived perfectly well and even forgot her. That does not define her for us.

8. You know what love has taught me? When you really care for a person, you will go an extra mile in making them happy. Their wellbeing becomes important to you and that can be expressed in many ways and cooking is one of such. That a woman loves to cook does not mean she was born to be that or that she is defined as such. That a man loves to cook does not mean he is that too. I discovered that I liked seeing my mom happy when I do a thing for her, even if she can do it. That for me was everything. Taking care of the people in my life in various ways brings me satisfaction. ‎

9. I count my blessings a whole lot and for having a partner who understands teamwork and ways we can complement each other with love and consideration. Who understands basic survival and self care rituals. Who understands that cooking is a skill, one we can develop, explore or get others to do. Who understands that no human was born holding a spatula or pot or spoon. Who does not elevate what we have to domestic debates or mundane activities. Blessings on blessings.

10. Beginning of this year, I reached out to a friend, a nutritionist, asking him to help me compile meals, their functions and how it should be served. I was worried about my health and I knew I needed professional help. He obliged. The best of life is the knowledge that if I can afford a service, I do that happily. I am working towards having a personal chef and nutritionist. The opportunities are endless and I can be pampered and taken care of while focusing on other things. It is a great time to be alive.

11. I always look with dismay at people, seemingly educated people who always jump with glee and take on any opportunity to spit on feminism. Like my best friend will say, 'what the hell are you doing with an Internet connection if you won't educate yourself on things you don't understand'? If you want to be popular, attack feminism. Refer to No 1. A person sneezes, oh these feminist are here again. It is becoming really immature. Get off your yeyeciousness and read things for yourself. Use your head. Damn it!

12. One of my best quotes in the legal profession is this, "a lawyer does not need to know all the laws but he should know where or how to find them when he needs it". I've applied this to every area of my life. If I don't know how to do a thing, I can learn or I outsource it and pay someone else to do for me. Simple. Life is as easy as we want it to be.

Written By Enwongo C. Cleopas

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