I hate cooking.
I. HATE. COOKING.
You know it never came naturally to me. I’ve always had to write down your recipes because I never really understood the entire concept of cooking. At first, I worried that maybe there was something wrong with me, I mean, every ‘normal’ girl should know how to cook, right? Well not anymore. Now I realize that not every female is born with the cooking gene and it is okay for one to be a girl and not like cooking or even not know how to cook. Surely there’s more to me than knocking up a good meal, and cleaning up afterwards. Oh by the way, I absolutely hate doing the dishes.
I know you would like for me to be just like you–the good wife. I grew up wanting the same thing without knowing why; not until recently did I start to question it, after my eyes opened to the harsh realities of being a ‘good’ wife. I see how eager you are to please Dad (his sense of entitlement infuriates me). I feel like you’ve been stripped of your sense of individuality and I’m scared of the same thing happening to me–when and if I ever get married.
You easily frustrate me with all your talk of what a girl should do and what not to do, what she should wear and what not to wear, how she should walk, talk, and how not … the list is endless! Why, I have to ask, is it unspeakable for a woman to say she doesn’t like to cook? Why does society frown at any man who indicates interests in cooking? And as for society, does she realize that she is ruining lives, killing dreams?
Did I ever tell you, Mother, I am glad to be born in the twenty-first century; because I suspect that dad might not have allowed me the privilege of schooling had I been born earlier. He would have surely condemned me to the kitchen, and you would have said nothing to change his mind. I will not end up in any man’s kitchen; there are things to do and places to go, a whole world out there waiting to be explored!
For the other mothers reading this, please give your daughters wings. Do not forget that their humanity comes first, before their gender, and that alone entitles them to live their lives the way they want. A woman’s place is not behind her husband but anywhere she wants it to be. Don’t tell me what ‘the culture’ says; culture doesn’t make us. We make culture.
I don’t want to be like you, Mother. I’d like to be myself—an improved version of you and of all the mothers worldwide who have failed their daughters and in doing so, failed themselves. I love you, Mother, I really do, but I don’t want to be like you. Ever.
By Obayanju Morinsola, a very opinionated young girl who strongly believes that there is more to being female than “cooking, cleaning and making babies.”
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