Why doesn’t gender equity apply to barbecuing?
I always have found it amusing that men, many of whom would only cook in the kitchen if they were handcuffed to the stove, are the king of the grill.
Broad generalizations, of course, are not rooted in specific data.
Truth be told, I simply didn’t have the time nor the patience to survey every family in America to see if the man of the house or the woman of the house was standing behind the grill.
So please allow me the liberty of assuming barbecuing remains a male stronghold honoring the time-honored tradition of the alpha male wielding a set of tongs and manning the grill station.
It’s all about the meat, which is why men seldom make a soufflé.
You don’t have to have doctorates in history and sociology to figure out why.
Men grill because they are the descendants of cavemen who hunted for meat and then cooked it while the women were busy looking after offspring who rarely sat still for hours while transfixed by their smartphones.
Control of the food and the fire was all about male prestige and dominance.
The mythology of meat is well marbled with machismo.
But cut me a break. Thousands of years have passed since men had to kill game, make a fire, cook it and eat it.
So why do men continue to claim the sacred barbecue fire-space as a male-owned sanctuary?
It’s because the macho overtone of grilling is an eternal flame.
Barbecuing is about male bonding. Men like to stand around in groups while grilling and brag about their BBQ cooking skills, what kind of grill they prefer and what a mean burger or steak they’re capable of cooking up on it.
Granted, there always are exceptions.
Me. I consider myself as macho as the next guy.
In fact, how many guys have ever sparred with Muhammad Ali?
I have — although the playful heavyweight champ wasn’t exactly trying to take my head off during our sparring session when I was a young sports columnist covering his Deer Lake training camp.
I fire up the grill but my wife does the grilling.
If any guy has a problem with that, put up your dukes.