It's a Man's Man's Man's Man's Job

One of my favorite things about my copy of Life Magazine’s Picture Cookbook (1958) is how outrageously sexist it is. For instance, did you know:


If you can't read the tiny print:

"Whenever the menu calls for a delicate dish or a fancy pie, most men are more than happy to let their wives take care of the cooking. When it's a matter of steak, this tolerant attitude is replaced by an unassailable belief in masculine know-how. Steak is a man's job."

Ladies, you are fine with your fancy pies, but a big slab of juicy meat can only come from a man. If you had any doubts, just look at this candid, unstaged photograph of steaks being grilled in the wild.


Note the woman's submissive interest in the fire being tended by the man. See her pet steaks cavorting about her skirts, waiting for their turn on the grill. I have to assume that the two men in the background not cooking steak are of ambiguous sexuality.

However, all you fancy pie owners, do not despair. There is one area that is the unquestioned Domain of the Woman: the kitchen. As a later article reads:

"Almost all U.S. kitchens are designed by men. That housewives are not entirely happy with man’s conception of woman’s domain was made clear at a U.S. housing administration forum at which women explained what they think ails modern houses. Having considered their complaints, one of the country’s few successful women architects, Margaret King Hunter of Hanover, N.H., planned an interior to suit her own needs.

"Her design so impressed General Electric Company executives that they built it. Mrs. Hunter’s kitchen does away with walls and is stationed in the middle of the living space. Motor-driven shades lower to enclose kitchen or screen any side. A ventilating fan is in plastic skylight over kitchen. Here Mrs. Hunter stands in the hub of her house while son Christopher and friends have supper. Dining area is in foreground, living room at right."


If anything, it makes me think that the kitchen on The Brady Bunch was kind of progressive since it was the center of the house (TV room to the left, living room to the right) and had the same kind of open plan. Also, I would love to know if the U.S. Housing Administration still holds forums where it asks housewives what's wrong with their homes. Maybe they meet in an auditorium designed by one of the large number of unsuccessful women architects that the caption implies?

So, just in case you had any doubts:

Steak = man's job

Kitchen = women's domain

Architecture = difficult for women

Running GE = easy for men

Fancy pies = woman

Steak = man

Delicate dish = woman

Steak = man

Later, there will be a quiz.