Why Men in India don’t Cook?


I can’t talk about men in other parts of the world, but I can surely talk about India. Now, many men in India who “love” cooking may refute my argument that “men in India don’t cook”. So, allow me to clarify myself at the very outset.

If you “love” cooking, good! Good for you! But, in my post, I am talking about the fact that men in India do not cook as a “regular chore” – contrary to what women do.

Hilarious it is! A tradition that is age-old and rudimentary, in which a woman’s duty is to cook for the family – come what may; in some families, even if she is unwell. Contrary to this scenario, there are families where if the woman of the house is somehow not capable of cooking, due to ill-health or whatever, food is ordered from outside (a restaurant or so), but MEN of the house will NEVER cook.

In earlier times, women were confined to the four walls of the house, and her only job was to take care of the household – cooking, washing, etc. While, men went out to earn the daily bread.

Today the times have changed – women are equally competent as men – they are working as teachers, doctors, engineers, IT professionals and so on. But one thing that has NOT changed is the culture of keeping women in the kitchen – cook…cook…come what may.

There are some kind men who boast of the fact that they sit in front of the TV and do some cutting and chopping for the wife or mother. While some, just watch TV, or stay busy on social networking sites, while the woman slogs in the kitchen, after a hard day at work.

Is it fair?

If the man is earning, so is the woman! If the man pays for the household bills and invoices, so does the woman. They take decisions together. Man and woman today are the like the two wheels of a bicycle in every respect. But why does a man stay away from this responsibility?

Answer is simple!

In India, if there is a family where there is a husband and a wife, with two children – a girl and a boy. There is a general practice of making the girl learn household works – cooking, cleaning, washing etc. While the boy, plays in the neighborhood – merry and gay. Interestingly, the expectation of good grades and a soaring career remains equal from both. Just imagine! What an irony! The society – in this scenario the immediate family of the girl – expects SO MUCH from a girl. But from a boy the expectation is clean and simple – eat well, play well, study well, and make a career. Ridiculous!

Cooking and household chores should be a combined responsibility of a man and a woman – why should woman have to manage kitchen everyday? Can’t the typical Indian men come out of this age-old mentality that “cooking is woman’s domain”?

It is no shame for a man to be in a kitchen. It is more humane and kind of you if you take charge of cooking and relieve your wife or mother on alternate days.

Be thoughtful. A man is a true man if he understands his responsibility stop thinking you are a superior breed. You are not!

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10 thoughts on “Why Men in India don’t Cook?

  1. Well we have more or less the same traditions here in Pakistan..where no matter what, women cooks and man needs everything perfect ! I mean my own father has never even entered the kitchen ever…. Yes I know this is not fair…. But we can’t change the traditions by ourselves unless our ‘Moms’ are willing to change them 🙂 Loved reading your write-up !

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s a beautiful feeling to hear from our friends across borders. Sincere thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that’s the culture, but I disagree that it can’t be modified, if not changed. For example, in my home, my husband and I spend equal amount of time in kitchen – together. We both work through the day and cook together at night. It’s fun!

      Honestly, that’s not how he and I have seen things to be in our homes – it’s just the contrast. But I have put my thoughts across and he respected. So, if I ever have a son – he will grow up seeing his father helping his mother in kitchen. I am sure, he will carry the culture forward.

  2. I agree with you but afraid to accept it as I also fall in the category of men you just described who don’t cook….maybe its the conditioning, maybe it is the mind set…and just plain old skill….to tell you the truth its pure laziness and the fact that you have someone who can do it for you prevents us from doing what we should be doing…..

  3. Wonderful article! Monika as you have mentioned that you and your husband cook together is real fun. Things are same in my life too…..my hubby loves cooking and help me in cooking alternatively (I am working at present) and mostly on weekends I remain free from the kitchen responsibility as he takes care of meals. I really believe our generation can bring this change and “cooking is woman’s domain” this mindset will definitely change for sure 🙂

  4. Not just in India. I have been across Europe and everywhere I went, women cook. Even working women cook at home. Although my sample size will be limited to about a 100 families, but they are spread across 11 countries, so I am taking a risk. My observation is.Indian women really do not do any great favor to us by cooking at home. 🙂

    Interestingly, in my discussion about this observation of women cooking at home, women in Europe had a strange point of view. Most of them had to say this – since sex is easily available across Europe, this is not something that will help women hold on to their men. On the contrary, a woman who knows how to cook good food, has a big advantage up her sleeves to keep the family together.

    That kind of provided a confirmation bias for another of my opinion – men prefer good food over good sex.

    There is an alternate point of view that I would like to put forward, I believe I will get some brick bats for it – since most working women do not contribute financially at home – so how can they contribute? By contributing physical labour. Men contribute financially, so they do not need to do any household chores. The way, you get paid for working in office, similarly, home bliss also requires two type of contributions – physical and financial. If women do not wish to do cooking/household chores, then contribute financially and get maids for doing the household works. And if your man does not contribute financially or physically, just kick him out of the house. Period.

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