I’ve always secretly wanted to be able to bake. I say “secretly”, because there’s something about baking that offends my slightly rubbish feminist sensibilities; it seems like the kind of thing that keeps little wifey entertained whilst hubby is out at work, and that makes me not want to do it in principle.
My logic has been that I already knit and sew, so if I start baking sponge cakes as well then I’m basically turning myself into a 1950s housewife and that is not what I went to university twice for. So yes, I’ve been looking at the bakewares section of John Lewis and trying to fight the urge to anti-feminist timewarp myself.
And I’ve also been realising that this is slightly ridiculous; a carrot cake is not going to undo my belief in equality, or undermine my status as Modern Working Woman (although this is maybe because I would never bake carrot cake). It is just a cake. Not a feminist statement. It is JUST A CAKE.
But unfortunately, I can’t quite bring myself to believe this. When my first attempt at baking resulted in an absolute monstrosity of buttery, wonky, disgusting mess which was supposed to be a lemon drizzle cake but was entirely unrecognisable I thought that it must be because I was betraying the sisterhood through the medium of silicone bakeware. I was convinced it was the universe’s way of punshing me for being really duff. And I’m not quite sure why.
Maybe it’s because I spent large chunks of my life at university lying hungover on my housemate’s bed reading the notes on Betty Friedan and Judith Butler and Andrea Dworkin that she had pinned to her ceiling. Maybe it’s because my Farthing Wood Friend likes to annoy me by calling me “little wifey” whenever I do anything vaguely domesticated. Maybe it’s because I went to an all-girls’ school that like to tell me that I did not have to spend my life in the kitchen and that I could do WHATEVER I WANT.
But what I want to do is bake scones whilst wearing a nice apron.
So I’ve tried to convince myself that maybe this weird baking guilt is actually the patriarchy’s way of totally mind-fucking me by getting me to question whether I want to do what I want to do because I want to do it, or because the patriarchy wants me to believe that I want to do it. Maybe it’s just a bastard sneaky way of keeping me down by making me so entirely baffled about whether or not I’m being a good feminist that I just end up cowering in the corner in case I accidentally do something wrong. Maybe I should just BAKE THE BLOODY SCONES.
So I have. And they were good. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s resolved the issue.