Men (in the most general of terms) have been wandering into the kitchen, with a sense of distinct purpose and not just to raid the fridge, for at least a decade or more. What used to be a characteristically feminine arena, with technology and gadgetry marketed to simplify and ease the drudgery of cooking, is now a masculine proving ground with all manner of gear, gadgets, and hardware (Case in point: I have a friend who recently used a bone saw in his kitchen to do some unspeakable act to dinner). Cooking shows, which also used to be dominated by chatty hostesses offering daytime companionship and a plethora of time-saving kitchen tips and tricks have been replaced by firebrand chefs/hosts with Hummer-sized egos, creating and prompting culinary challenges more than promoting ease of use. The kitchen is now officially a battleground for the hearts and minds of American men, offering adventure, achievement, and triumph, as well as dinner for the hungry masses.
Say what you will about this trend/development, but I would like to think that it is an improvement upon the days where most men wouldn't darken the kitchen door except to pass through to gain quick access to the garage. In the last 40 years, the average amount of time American married men spend cooking has tripled, from seven minutes a day to 22, according to time-use surveys. I happen to be one of these enterprising home chefs, although to a far lesser degree than many, and have inadvertently shoved my wife out of the kitchen door and established it as unmistakably my domain. This was not my intention, and has rendered me as the sole cook for the entire family, without exception.
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