Jul 13 2014

Cooking a Gender Stereotype this Sunday Seven

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


While shopping, it was overheard that a young boy said he did not want a “Lord of the Rings Frodo’s Cooking Corner Lego playset” because cooking is for girls. The teenager accompanying the boy responded that Frodo isn’t a girl. The boy replied that Frodo isn’t a person either, he’s a hobbit.


The story hits home for me because my nephew has discovered a love of cooking. At eight years old, he’s a regular helper in the kitchen, eager to assist his mom, grandma, dad, and uncle. One day, a boy like the one in the story might say something foolish to him, something like, “cooking is for girls.” I don’t wish to see him crushed. I want to see him smile with pride and fire back against a gender stereotype. Therefore, Zane, this list is for you:


Seven People Who are Famous Thanks to Cooking

– and none of them are girls (or hobbits)


  1. Alton Brown
  2. Robert Irvine
  3. Emeril Lagasse
  4. Mario Batali
  5. Bobby Flay
  6. Jamie Oliver
  7. Justin Warner


Cooking is not just for girls or hobbits. Read more on the blog of J Lenni Dorner


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  1. How about Robert Irvine, the chef in the series Restaurant Impossible? Or Chef Ramsey?
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    1. Robert Irvine is #2 on the list.
      Gordon Ramsey is another great example (though not someone my 8 year nephew has seen, given the language).

    • Kat on July 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Tell Zane that he is going to get lots of dates one day, due to his cooking abilities.
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    1. I’m sure that he will.

  2. My husband does all the cooking in your house. He cooks way better than me and I’m more than happy to do the cleanup. It works for us. In fact I think men do a far better job cooking then women do. They are more apt to take chances and find so great new ideas.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂
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    1. I don’t know about better or worse just because of gender. I think it’s more that some people enjoy being in the kitchen and creating food, and others should be kept away by order of the health and/or fire department. (LOL…not that I can relate or anything…)
      In 2014 why are household and child raising toys still mostly on the PINK side

  3. Great post! As much as we teach girls that they can do so much more than just what is shown in the “pink” toy isle, we need to also be focusing on teaching boys that it’s perfectly ok for them to do stereotypically “girl” things too, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand why cooking (or doing any “girl” thing) is so insulting for boys (like the little boy in the example you shared seemed to think)…that message just keeps getting handed to boys even as they grow up (e.g., coaches calling players “ladies” to get them to hustle more, etc.). Anyway, thanks for writing this! Cheers, marci 🙂
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    1. Funny story- I had been to a few women’s softball games (or maybe it was baseball- to be honest I don’t know) in my youth. My mom’s best friend, Michelle, played on a team that was doing very well, so we’d go to cheer her on.
      Fast forward to, I believe, 7th grade. The phys ed teacher (a guy who must have been pushing 70), says something about my hitting like a girl. My dumb self looks at him like he’s nuts. Hit like a girl? I missed! If I hit the ball like Michelle, my classmates would have been running to the cornfield to find it! Replying, “Well I’m certainly trying to!” was not the correct answer.
      Took a few years to figure out what he meant. I’m feeling pretty sure that, in today’s lawyer-happy world, I wouldn’t have been the one in detention.


      1. Oh my goodness! Good for you that you didn’t know what he meant at the time. Surely you have seen this short video called “Like A Girl”? Your story reminds me of it – take a look – it’s pretty good! http://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs
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        1. Very interesting. No, I had never seen or heard of that video before.
          I just grew up with strong women role models. (Strong males ones, as well, who happened to have mated with these wonderful women.) I wasn’t aware that other women might not be like that. Confused me like mad when puberty hit and the girls my own age started acting like people I couldn’t identify. “I can’t do those things, J! I’m a woman now.” Yeah, sure, you knew the difference between a fan belt and a radiator hose yesterday, but now your mind fell out and you can’t even pump your own gas? Apparently, I was supposed to like this new behavior. I have no clue why acting inferior to ones own self causes attraction or arousal from males. I had to wait until college to find female peers with brains they’d admit to again. The women who didn’t have to pity men- who could be better than a male at something because they were better at it- those were the ones I got along with. Still are.

          1. And, ps- If someone asked six year old me to do something “like a girl,” I’d have asked for the spelling and definition of “girl.” I probably wouldn’t have done whatever was asked, because I’d assume the person asking was intellectually inferior. (Once they confirmed that we had the same word and meaning.) I was unaware of a difference, particularly one that spanned an entire gender. I could imitate a person, but to imitate every girl I knew in one move? The request would have sounded as if it weren’t thought out, and therefore the requesting person wasn’t smart enough to form a complete thought. I ignored a lot of people as a child. LOL.

          2. LOL – it sounds like you were a very wise kiddo, J! I can totally relate to your comment about not understanding why girls would want to act dumb for any reason (especially to attract guys?), or what a guy would find so intriguing about a brainless girl. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t start dating until later in life! And, I see what you mean about the “like a girl” question – what do you mean, “like a girl”??? It seems like such an incomplete question, like there needs to be more context. And even then, it’s a pretty silly question simply because you can’t capture everything about an entire gender in order to answer it!

            Thanks for the fun convo! 🙂
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  4. SO true. Some of the best chefs in the world are men. My sister and her husband are working hard to make sure their children aren’t raised with those stereotypes, but my niece still loves girly stuff. She wants to wear dresses and princess stuff and look pretty. My nephew likes cars…but every time my niece gets her fingernails painted, he wants his painted, too, and they don’t stop him!
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