Thursday, February 18, 2010
So today I wanna post a blog by my Wife....Christina! You can visit her blog at : http://acookswife.blogspot.com
She is starting to get some traffic at her site...so I thought I would help the cause and post a link here. Everyone check it out :)
Have women changed the face of professional cooking?
Traditionally all through time a womans stereotypical place has always been in the kitchen, the home kitchen that is. Actually I take that back it wasn't so much a stereotype as it just was what it was. I actually think traditionally that is where most women wanted to be, taking care of the home and spending time with the children. Whether thats because of the maternal instinct or because that is what they felt society expected of them, I don't know. But oh how the times have changed, we see more and more men staying at home being the caretaker and more women being the career focused, financial provider.
So why are there less women than men in this industry, well it seems that whoever they are, are right, it is a very labor intensive job. A lot of long hours and hard work go into being a professional chef. A lot of women have big dreams of being very successful in there careers and a lot of those women want to have families as well, thats a lot to juggle at the same time. This industry makes it exceptionally difficult, not that it can't be done. Its not your typical 9-5 Monday to Friday job, your working when others are not. Your shift can begin at any time of day, early in the morning or very late at night and the hours are unpredictable, you could be slow one minute and in the juice the next! I know there are other jobs out there like this but I am not talking about other jobs, I am talking about the professional cook. So for this reason I think that is why you don't see many women in the kitchen, its very difficult to have a family life. I know I am rarely home, during normal hours, thank god my Husband is a cook too. It would be very difficult to try and raise a family, the thought hasn't even crossed my mind, I don't know where I would fit it in, I wouldn't even be able to take care of a dog properly.
In fact in my whole career as a cook I have only known three women to have children. Two of whom I work with currently.. all of them have children that are teenagers or young adults. All three were cooks before they had children but took time off to raise there family then went back to work when there children where old enough to take care of themselves. Most of the women I have worked with including myself are not willing to give up doing what we love so much to do that, its hard enough to find a social life outside the kitchen and actually meet a lifelong partner let alone start a family.
Even with more women entering into this career, it is still very much a male dominated industry, and I don't actually mind that, most of us don't. I think we actually enjoy just being one of the guys, we can be as rude and crude as they are (not saying everyone is rude and crude). I can't even remember how many times I've said, "Why is so and so busting my balls?", or "Watch your nuts." when I swing open the door of a low boy, whether its a girl or guy... yes I know its not very lady like. We are all treated the same I am expected to do the same job as everyone else in the kitchen, heavy lifting and all. If someone tried to stop me from doing something just because I am female I think I would be quite insulted, but sometimes the guys are just trying to be nice. I have heard many times throughout my career, "I know.. its because I'm a girl", when something doesn't work out the way they had expected it too. But I don't find that statement true at all, its just an excuse to make themselves feel better. Or at least I don't believe its true in any of the places of worked, not to say it doesn't happen in other kitchens. The kitchens I have worked in seem pretty open to women in the kitchen and most of the guys probably don't see it as women vs men but more of cook vs cook, you are either a good one or bad one, or just a little green.