Blog 2: Out of the Binder, Into the Kitchen: Working Women and Cooking

After reading Maria Godoy’s blog, “Out Of The Binder, Into The Kitchen: Working Women And Cooking,” I started thinking more about her use of the concept “guilt-trip casserole.” Godoy quotes The New York Times‘ use of the phrase, which means that women feel guilty to make a home-cooked meal and have family dinners due to the social expectation that having family dinners every night is linked to stronger families.

I’m not surprised that women still feel like they must cook dinner for their families even if they have a full-time job (and so does their husband). While I do think that this concept of “guilt-trip casserole” plays a role in why women continue to take this task on, I think something else is at play here. Men are still not comfortable enough with the idea of cooking dinner for their families, even if their wife works full-time as well, and women still feel the need to help them get adjusted.

I’m assuming the fathers we’re talking about consist of fathers from the Baby Boomer generation, Generation X, and Generation Y, because any fathers from the Millennial generation would be around 20 years old. These generations, and most specifically the Baby Boomer generation, grew up a certain way. Most of their mothers worked in the household taking care of the kids, so in one way, it’s not all that uncommon for them to see their spouses as operating in a similar fashion.

Take my dad for example: while I was in high school, my mom worked twice as many hours to pay off my high school tuition, and this included working at night. My dad probably still worked more hours in a day than her, but over the span of a week (and sometimes weekends for my mom), they both put in their 40 hours. Because my mom worked at night, this meant my dad had to pick up her slack and start learning to make dinners for my brother and me. He definitely had a hard time adjusting to the new change, asking me for help most nights. So whenever my mom had a night off or got home early, she would rush home to make dinner for us and make sure everyone was content.

So while I see where mothers might feel guilty in regard to making sure they raised children around the dinner table, I think they also feel guilty not following the social expectation their husbands grew up with. They want to be there for their kids, definitely, but they also want to make sure their husbands are tucked in.

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Blog 1: Beyonce’s Fierce Feminism

As I read the article, “Beyonce’s Fierce Feminism,” I kept thinking to myself about something I had heard recently about Beyonce. That her new album, Lemonade, which created the perception that Jay Z had cheated on Beyonce with “Becky with the good hair,” was all a hoax to make money. That Jay Z had not actually cheated on Beyonce. So while I read the article, every time it would say anything about critics jumping on Beyonce’s “sexuality” as a feminist, I just thought: $$$.

Obviously, as a performer, Beyonce is going to take on a different persona of who she is in real life. I think most people take on a different persona at work, it’s just that her work is in the public eye and happens to entertain people through music and dance. If she were to stop doing those things (which let’s be honest, I’m sure she enjoys because it’s fun to feel sexy), I think that gives into the notion that men are “in charge” more than the idea that Beyonce gives feminism a bad name or isn’t a real one. Why should she give up what she loves doing because it’s too provocative?

She also came out publicly several times to say she considers herself to be a feminist, so why continue ripping on what type of feminist she is? Feminism can sometimes be so fluid that it can be difficult to even grasp a basic concept, so I’m at a loss for why she is getting jumped on for everything she does in relation to it. All she is saying is that sexuality should be part of feminism and should not be only for males seeking pleasure.

As far as the racial element goes, I don’t buy into it. I don’t think Lady Gaga or Madonna are viewed as feminists anymore than Beyonce is. They’re all criticized for being too sexual with regard to performance. Anyone who sees sexuality as part of the culture of anti-feminism is going to see these performances as they wish to see them, and not think about the underlying goals of the performers. I don’t think race has to do with it.

I believe that many people overlook her strong desire to come across as a feminist who doesn’t man-hate. I liked the part about the “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour” because I know it must piss people off she named her tour that, but since feminism isn’t about man-bashing, then why do people care? The tour was a celebration of her and her husband’s musical talents, and she is not weaker for having a husband. She clearly wants to take pride in her name, and as the article mentioned, it’s for her public persona and she actually goes by Knowles-Carter in real life, as does Jay Z.

Overall, I found it interesting that so many people are angry with Beyonce’s type of feminism, but I think those people might find her more interesting if they actually look at the undertones within her public persona.