“I CAN cook – but I choose not to”. Gen Y fights back

So you can’t cook and sew but can you travel the world, maintain several close relationships and hold down a dream job? Gen Y writer Beth Noble wants to set a few facts straight after it was reported that so many women of her generation were unable to cook and sew (we discussed it here).  She writes

I would like to respond to the article that left myself, and many girls in their 20’s and 30’s, red faced and wondering if it really is such a bad thing we can’t cook.

And first of all, I can cook; I just choose not to cook. I did the article believing it was an empowerment piece on modern day women living life and not feeling the pressure to be a domestic goddess. Sadly I sound like a lazy, dumb blonde who never bothered to boil an egg.


I am not a feminist by anyone’s standards. Up until I left school, I firmly believed I would get married and raise a family (with a cooked dinner on the table every night). Basically I dreamed of walking in the footsteps of my mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want those things eventually. I just realise being domesticated is something that can happen when it’s ready to happen. There’s no rush.

Somehow, it seems unnatural that I am 24, single, and apparently can’t cook. The article leaves out the fact that I am happy, enjoying my life, and spending most of my time either working for a charity, or raising money for education in Uganda, and anti-human trafficking campaigns. It’s true, I do burn toast, but when was the last time you burnt your toast? I bet you’ve at least done it once in 2011. And don’t put it down to me being a blonde.

Apparently I also believe that it is “dire” I haven’t put in the effort to learn to cook. Actually, I look forward to taking some lessons from my grandma when the time comes for me to spend more time in the kitchen and less time chasing my current dreams. I’m pretty confident in my salmon and avocado sushi rolls at the moment.

Yes, I would prefer to go to a yoga class at the end of a long day then to cook a roast. But, in an age where food prices are rising, it is often cheaper to eat out for under $20, than go to the supermarket and cook it yourself. Especially if you’re opting for the healthy and organic side of the supermarket.

When I was studying I worked as a nanny. Bathing babies, cleaning the house, cooking the meals became my life every afternoon. I quit after a few years, because I figured, if that is going to be my reality one day, for at least 20 years, why should I be doing it in my 20’s?

If baking a tea cake instead of doing a Zumba class is your thing, enjoy it! Or if you’ve got an empty fridge and the dressmaker is hemming up your pants, but you’re following your heart, why stop? Our abilities (or inabilities) in the kitchen shouldn’t define a generation of women who have been told they can be who they want to be.

I can’t cook a roast and hem a skirt at the same time. But I can manage to have a career, keep a wide circle of friends, travel and study. So maybe the kitchen light doesn’t go on as much as it would have 50 years ago, but that’s why we all moved out of 1955 and into 2011. Power to the Modern Day Women who believe we can have it all.

And for the record, I’ve never cooked a ready meal!

Are there things in your life that you choose NOT to do?  Are there chores around the house that you actually prefer to outsource although you can do them very capably yourself?