Since feminists are obsessed with invading all male spaces, it isn’t surprising that men grilling is a source of feminist envy. Back in 2015 Jacob Brogan confessed his manly transgression at Slate:
I’m a feminist. I’m a dude. And I hate that I love to grill.
I hate how much I love to grill. It’s not that I’m inclined to vegetarianism or that I otherwise object to the practice itself. But I’m uncomfortable with the pleasure I take in something so conventionally masculine. Looming over the coals, tongs in hand, I feel estranged from myself, recast in the role of suburban dad. At such moments, I get the sense that I’ve fallen into a societal trap, one that reaffirms gender roles I’ve spent years trying to undo. The whole business feels retrograde, a relic of some earlier, less inclusive era.
Brogan describes finding an old photo of him grilling in grad school. He explains that after looking at the old photo he realized that he fell into the trap every feminist fears of enjoying an act of service for others even though he assured himself at the time that he was only doing it ironically:
Though my eyes are downcast in the image, I’m not sad. Instead, I’m studying the burgers in front of me, and I’m happy.
This picture captures so much of what delights me about grilling and so much of what embarrasses me about that delight. On the one hand, there’s the peculiar alchemy of sun and smoke that makes summer days sprawl. On the other hand, it bears the stain of unintentional masculine cliché. Gathered around the coals with beers slung low, we’re all but enacting a myth of the American man, telling a story in postures and poses…
It’s not that I think we’re doing anything consciously sexist. Friends who were there that day remind me that we were actively making light of cookout customs even as we were participating in them. I suspect that everyone in the photograph identifies as a feminist. Yet the three of us look suspiciously like characters in a commercial, one where masculinity itself seems to be for sale.
Brogan isn’t alone in his male feminist angst about men grilling. Mike Power laments at The Guardian that grilling is a way for men to be men and care for others in Why do normal men turn sexist when they get in front of a barbecue?
…the mythology of meat is well marbled with machismo. But, as several thousand years have passed since men had to kill our protein, make a fire, cook it and eat it, why is barbecuing seen as something women don’t or can’t – or, more accurately, shouldn’t – do? How – and why – do men continue to claim this sacred fire-space as a male-owned sanctuary where women are not permitted?
…it’s time to call time on the blokey barbecue huddle, that sizzling scrum, this grim last resort of acceptable sexism. Women of the world, unite. Burn their aprons, light the flames and cook. And men, drop the Bear Grylls pretensions and make a bloody salad.
Likewise, The Metro asks Why do barbecues bring out our inner sexists?
It’s a siren call from evolution, a chance to pretend to be a cave man, a way of reconnecting with all that manly hunter-gatherer power that gets sacrificed because you spend your days pushing papers around a desk rather than spearing a woolly mammoth.
But it’s a bit of an indulgence of masculinity, isn’t it?
The worst part is that men enjoy their act of service while women are forced to resent their own!
At every barbecue I’ve ever been to, it’s ended with the women clearing the plates, doing the washing up, making the salads, topping up the glasses and keeping the whole operation running, while the man cooks the meat, which is clearly the easier and more enjoyable job.
Obviously it is time for women to mark this last remaining space as feminine. But who will empower women to grill?
The feminist goal of course is not for women to grill for the reason men grill, as a way to serve and nourish their families. The goal is to empower women to grill, so they can empower other women to grill, etc. This is the patriarchy brilliantly keeping feminists out. No matter how hard they try, they can’t do something simple, something effortless for men. They can’t grill with the aim of caring for others. If they can’t have what men have, then they have to tear it all down.
- It tastes better that way.
- Must a father teach his son to fix things?
- Feminist: Men don’t complain enough when taking over tasks from women.
H/T Keith Waffle