Father’s Day is coming up, and it is time you started thinking about something special. Considering the time of year it is, you are likely to have already encountered plenty of fun outdoor toys, many of which have something to do with outdoor cooking. There are novelty aprons, brushes, tongs, and more. Plus, it is easier than ever to come up with ideas for an outdoor feast. The outdoor kitchen is one place where almost all men love to take the reins. The vast majority of us, after all, see cooking on an open flame as manly and masculine. But where does this gender division come from?
Why Men Love to Cook Outdoors
All over the world, there seem to be clear gender divisions when it comes to cooking. Mainly, the woman does the vast majority of it. Outdoor cooking and grilling, by contrast, appear to be more masculine things. In fact, it is only in places like Mexico, Serbia, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia, where it is common to see female grillers selling street food. However, this is not due to gender divisions, but rather that it is a cheap business to set up.
So is it a territorial issue? If you have any of the outdoor cooking products listed on electricsmokecenter.com, it is likely that it is the man in your household who uses it most. In fact, it seems that women are not even supposed to become involved in it, just as men often shouldn’t get involved in indoor cooking. It just leads to arguments!
In 2010, this issue was observed in an article in Forbes magazine. In it, Meghan Casserly suggested that the dangerous element of outdoor cooking (sharp tools and fire) play an important part in this, as does the fact that men feel like they are in their element and can hang out with other men. However, it appears that this is not due to our cavemen ancestors. Rather, it is very much a 20th-century concept. Over the past 100 years or so, there has been an expectation that fathers become active players in their families, spending time with their children and not just in the bar with other men. In the 1950s, men were attracted to this when the first backyard grill was developed, turning it into the perfect garden get together. The rest, as they say, is history.
Richard Wrangham wrote the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Makes Us Human, in which he discusses that men and women look for different foods and have done so since cavemen times. Women are the gatherers, foraging and creating elaborate dishes. Men, meanwhile, are the hunters, finding hard to come by but very easy to cook food. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest men would cook meat on the fire during ceremonies that women were not allowed to take part in. There seems to be a consistent, historical idea that domestic cooking is something women do. Cooking with grills and open fires, by contrast, is very much a male thing.