William Baston is a 6-year-old boy whose favorite toy is his play kitchen, according to an AP story on CNN's website today. When his mother, Mary, bought him a kitchen set before he could walk, his father, Alan, "rolled his eyes". "I said, 'What are you thinking? Look at all the male chefs,'" Mary explains. Alan, who enjoys cooking, came around quickly when he saw how much fun his son had with the kitchen. So yeah, more men cook and do housework than ever, and according to Robert J. Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, TV shows like Iron Chef, Emeril Live and The Restaurant have "defeminized the kitchen." You mean little boys won't turn into girls if they pretend to fry an egg? Phew!
Here's a question: How come if boys play at "cooking," the word "chef" immediately gets thrown around? Not "short order cook" or "self-sufficient" or even "dad." Meanwhile, little girls are are not "chefs" if they cook, but they are encouraged to do the laundry, arrange furniture and have "room to grow" — as long as that room has an oven in it.