I begin my argument with reference to the above article which I was going through today. I have been reading through the comments below, and I really feel that each of them is telling the truth. The article I don't think intends to humiliate women who are good cooks, however, consequentially it does so. In today's era, we cannot write with one-biased attitude. A glorification of an office-going women as against a cook in the kitchen, will no longer be considered highly feminist and empowering. Cooking is an art, and those women or men who love to do it are great 'artists', (no wonder chefs are one of the highest paid professionals) and when you include this art in making a good home, it is equally worthy of making money for survival. Hence a woman who is making aloo-mutter is not wasting her life in the sweats of kitchen, she is actually mastering a great art. And of course, the feeling of getting appreciated by your family is a great experience. But yes, it is true that society has never appreciated the efforts of a good housewife, but have urged her to be one, by mastering domesticity, and the above article is doing nothing better than our society. I agree with the article on one point; if you do not want to learn something, societal call shouldn't force you for it; not everybody should learn everything. Very true. However, be it a man or a woman, everybody should have their hands on household necessities, because you never know when you need to do it yourself. And homemade food is always healthier and tastier (if well made) than outside food, if husband or wife can cook, hence it is always better to learn something new (even American nutritional departments advice taking homemade food, if you have an option). But again it is a matter of choice. If you want to learn cooking and household works, you will be independent of your maid-concept, if you don't want to learn, you don't like it, then you should not do it.
But one question to the writer of the above linked article: Will you accept a husband who is not professionally successful and doesn't even want to be so???
Watched Ki & Ka by R. Balki, at AMC Methuen 20, USA, yesterday, and really liked the concept of putting equivalent emphasis and importance to each role, that of a breadwinner and a homemaker. Kareena and Arjun played their roles with exceptional individualism; There is nothing wrong if a woman is ambitious, there is nothing wrong if a woman chooses his career over child bearing as a married lady, there is no harm if a woman chooses to be successful in corporate field and a man in the house. However, the unusual factor was not that a husband is doing household work; there are various unusual factors in the movie which helps correct our prejorative notions on a man's role and a woman's role in a household.
1. Arjun Kapoor disdains the idea that if a woman is not ambitious and chooses to be a housewife means "woh ghar pe baithi hai", no, she is not sitting at home, in fact, giving more of physical labour to make a home worth living for a normal man.
2. The husband doesn't feel he does something great by supporting his wife. He wants to be free of competition, and hence loves his job as a cook and homemaker.
3. The tussle is not between man and woman; the conflict is between the breadwinner and the financially dependent homemaker. Socially, whoever earns the money in the family, is the hero, and enjoys the limelight, no-one appreciates the efforts of the home-maker, (the above referred article is no-way different from our general propaganda) Ki & Ka navigates this simple, but apparently invisible fact and also takes a step ahead to correct it, by giving importance to the house husband as well, thus, also exposing the reality that breadwinner does feel jealous of his/her dependent homemaker, though it is not right to be so, independent of gender.
4. Also breaks the stereotype that there can be a working woman, but no non-working man. It is worth appreciating how Kia sets an assertive and appreciative example by accepting a man and loving him for what he is, irrespective of his money or social status.
Coming back to the referred article. As I said, it is always good to have some experience with household work for your self safety, irrespective of gender. Foreign do not encourage maids or labour of that kind, and there are places like Norway, Nordic where you do not get ready-made foods as well so easily. Then?However, I cook, I write good articles, I read books on various subjects including religious literacy, I work professionally as a writer, proof reader and reviewer, and I believe being an expert in Chinese and Italian cuisines doesn't diminish my wisdom, as I continue to have healthy political, social and literary arguments with my husband. It is not obvious that everybody should know everything, but it is obvious that you need food to live, and clean the bed and the house to survive, and you cannot deny it, so no comparison with learning household works and other skills like MBA, dance or photography.