Barbeque Rules

 

We are about to enter the barbeque season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity.

 

When a man volunteers to do the barbeque, the following chain of events is set into motion:

 

Routine:

 

1) The woman buys the food.

 

 2)      The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.

 

 3)      The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it in a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the barbeque – beer in hand.

 

 4)      The woman remains outside the compulsory 3 metre exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

 

HERE COMES THE IMPORTANT PART:

 

 5)      The man places the meat on the grill.

 

More routine:

 

6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

 

7)      The woman comes out to tell the man the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she can bring him another beer while he flips the meat.

 

IMPORTANT AGAIN:

 

8)    The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.

 

More routine:

 

9)      The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

 

10)  After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

 

AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL:

 

11)   Everyone praises the man and thanks HIM for his cooking efforts.

 

12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed her "night off". Upon seeing her annoyed reaction he concludes that there's just no pleasing some women…

 

(I received this as an email today, but can't name the original source of this insightful piece of social commentary)

Comments

Janet Woodlock said…
I posted this email but neglected to ask the feedback question! (Sorry, I'm new at this!)

Which is... How do traditional roles impact the life of your local church or ministry? Do traditional roles impact your family life? How about your workplace?
Anonymous said…
I may get thrown to the lions here but I am actually more annoyed at the moment at women hugging their traditional roles tightly to their chest - it's not even their men who force them on.
Example. I am a 20 something wife and my husband is often lementing that none of his friends can hang out because they have to get a leave pass from their wives and they can't. I'm talking about a fantastic group of guys who have been each other's best men at weddings, supported each other through disability, fatherhood, marital discord and dealing with ill/aging parents. They are all working out how to be good men of God and their wives will not let them out to spend time with some male comrades. I shoo my husband out the door, as far as I'm concerned these men are the ones who are going to support, love and hold my husband accountable in life in a way few guys experience. I say "Go you big red fire engine"... ok I'll admit not all guys are this luck and not all wives enjoy this level of faith in their husbands friends, but if you do hold your husband by the short and culies can I just say, not all non family activities are necessarily bad for said family? Men are actually better men when they get to do man stuff.
Janet Woodlock said…
I don't think this is "traditional" in my understanding. I had the impression back in the "good old days" that men hung out with their mates at the pub (or the races, or at the Freemasons, or at the footy club etc.) if they felt like it and the women put up with it... whether they liked it or not. Women were often relatively powerless in a marriage both financially and in other ways.

It sounds like in the relationships you describe the women are behaving like the traditional male chauvanist pig... "you can't do this or this or that because I'm in control of you". It's like the pendulum has swung too far in an unhealthy direction.

I am personally big on the idea that the Christian life is about liberty, freedom from the law, mutual service, laying down your life for the other as Christ did. When people start attempting to control the life of another, the either generate conflict or passivity that robs the life of their partner. Is that what they really want?

There does seem to be a power shift in some relationships away from geniune equality in power (we give each other relative liberty to pursue interests and outside friendships, while negotiating to make family life and intimacy workable)... instead of equality there is domination. This is sad... it is not a reflection of the kingdom values of service, prefering the needs of another, and equality.

I don't know whether these "controlling wives" are within your circle of influence, but frankly, I think that kind of behaviour requires prophetic challenge.
Rebecca said…
oh...wow...big questions there Janet!!

First for Anonymous' comment - I agree with Janet's comment completely. It sounds like those women are being controlling, and need to learn to appreciate the importance of having an independent life, one that involves people and things other than your spouse. Aside from anything else, a degree of independence from each other keeps things interesting!!

On the bigger questions Janet has posted...my husband wasn't raised to fill a "traditional" role, and nor was I. He cooks, cleans, etc every bit as much as I do. As far as the old woman inside, man outside rule goes, we break it completely - I'm the one outside planting vegies and doing the compost while he's inside cleaning the bathroom and cooking dinner!!

If we have children, there's every chance that he'll be the one that stays at home - my work is much more central to my identity than his work is to his identity, he'd be in his element running a business from home (he thinks he can do that with small children - shhh!!!)

Traditional roles definitely DO impact on our lives though. I am often fascinated, sometimes frustrated and saddened, by the degree to which people take the p*** out of me in ways that highlights the persistence of certain gender norms. Jokes about women who are stubborn and opinionated abound - how often do you hear a guy being joked about for the same reason? When we got engaged, we lived in different states - people's assumptions or questions about what we were going to do (because one of us had to change jobs) were fascinating - I was really surprised by the assumptions that some of my younger, supposedly "feminist" female friends had. It was made very clear to me by several that they felt that *I* should be the one to give up my job and move...

I could write heaps more as I've mused on these issues a lot, but I'll leave it there for now!
Janet Woodlock said…
I've had another thought... maybe this group could organise a marriage enrichment weekend, and market this in romantic terms... building intimacy and all that jazz. But a good facilitator should bring out issues of the balance of time together and time alone, power balance in a relationship, etc. etc. (I'm just being sneakily subversive here.)

It's great Rebecca that you and your husband follow your interests, gifts, inclinations etc. and not some societal script. But stereotypes can be very persistent, and some Christian groups try to promote such stereotyping too...
Rebecca said…
janet - yes, that's what I was saying in my last paragraph!! I think that gender norms are PARTICULARLY strong within the church - and I don't just mean the roles for spouses, I mean the roles for women and men generally. I find relating to older men in the church far more difficult than I find it in a professional environment - more than that I won't say here!!
Janet Woodlock said…
I find this bizarre if I stop to think about it... Jesus was absolutely revolutionary for his time in the way he related to women, in his praise of faithful women, in his acceptance of a Samaritan woman, a Canaanite woman... etc. etc. "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, slave nor free... you are all one in Christ Jesus." The gospel was profoundly revolutionary... and I don't understand how those who claim to follow Jesus can be SOOOOO conservative. (not only on the roles of women, but on other issues too.)

It's almost like our paradigm of Jesus is a powerful CEO in a business suit, not a young radical prophet with nowhere to lay his head and no possessions, the friend of tax collectors and sinners?

Maybe this is another post altogether... how did our "imagined Jesus" get to be a conservative friend of the establishment?

If you can work this out, let me know!

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