As a marketer, I’m always talking about the great programs, activities and challenges that Girl Guides undertake in the hopes of counteracting the stereotype that Guiding is just about cookies, camping and crafts.
But I’m also a baker, a serious cake carving, fondant covering and recipe testing home baker. My quest to create the perfect mandarin orange crème brûlée is unending. So when I read the following quote by British cookbook author Nigella Lawson’s it got me thinking, can cooking, baking and crafts – so called “girly” activities that Guiding is sometimes criticized for – be empowering activities?
“Baking is the less applauded of the cooking arts, whereas restaurants are a male province to be celebrated. There’s something intrinsically misogynistic about decrying a tradition because it has always been female. I’m not being entirely facetious when I say it’s a feminist tract. For me cooking is an act of independence. I don’t feel entirely comfortable handing over the means of sustenance and survival to someone else. It’s empowering.” Empowerment through cupcakes!”
– British cookbook author Nigella Lawson, speaking at the
Hay Festival in Wales.
Journalist, Lagusta Yearwood of the Guardian newspaper thinks so saying
“If we are working toward a society in which women are valued equally with men, it’s not enough to champion what I (here in New York) call the “Hillary Clinton route”: women accessing careers that have historically been the provenance of men. Of course, this needs to be done – there are glass ceilings to smash and equal wages to fight for aplenty – but we need to do the opposite, too: we need to champion what has traditionally been devalued as “women’s work” and respect it for what it is – work. And valuable.”
This year units across the country have taken up the challenge of our National Service Project: Empowering Girls by contributing to their communities in myriad of ways but so far no baking. Anyone out there up for the challenge of empowerment through cupcakes?
By Nisha, GGC Staff
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