Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Home Economics and The Strawberry Shortcake Collection.

Once again we get the push for cooking to be taught in school as the same prerequisite as Maths and English, once again is the cry to build teaching kitchens, once again are the calls for more staff to be trained for this task, and once again in a few months time it'll be shelved as too expensive with too few staff to teach and with little interest from the pupils. Then we can't start the ball rolling all over again with another government/cabinet/PM.

Of course cooking is not biased and should be taught to both boys and girls, to that end we have "The Strawberry Shortcake Collection" a fortnightly magazine easily spotted in eye-catching pink. The advert on TV features a young girl poring through the magazine before cutting to a kitchen where three young girls cut pastry while a young women in the background looks on in amazement. "Have fun with your friends playing and cooking" says the voice over before concluding with "Learn to cook just like mum".

Now the advert's been changed to remove both voiceovers. It may be that someone pointed out how sexist they were, it may be that supposedly for this generation being taught how to "cook just like mum" would entail them simply printing out various microwave instruction books; but I'm guessing both lines have been cut to make the advert shorter and thus cheaper to air.

Seriously though how the hell did this even get to the publishing stage. Next from the publishers "Sprinters Monthly" with a voiceover saying that you can "Learn to sprint just like a black man" found at every good newsagents sitting on the shelf next to "KKK Quarterly" and "A Women's Place is in the Kitchen".


Dan H said...

Are you trying to say a woman's place isn't in the kitchen? You'll be giving them the vote next. (As sarcasm doesn't carry across blog comments, I should point out that I do really mean this.)

My youngest brother does cookery (under whatever name) in school; my old school didn't offer it until it started accepting girls, which says it all, really.

The microwave in my kitchen gets little use. The only ready meals I eat with any frequency are lasagne, cottage pie, and shepherds' pie, because otherwise they all take preparation time entirely disproportionate to how nice they are. But the ready variety all go manky in the microwave, so I oven them to death (or crunchiness, whichever comes first). OTOH, for tea last night I had pan-fried smoked trout with sage and rösti, the preparation time of which turned out to be quite proportionate to how tasty it turned out.

Remember when they used to say that in the future we'd all be eating pills instead of food? I bet that's why they stopped teaching cookery in the first place.

FlipC said...

It was just the reinforcement that cooking is for girls. Perhaps they should bring out a Jamie Oliver "Pukka Fortnightly"?

As for Home Economics I did it at one of my schools, but can't recall which. It was just the same as in the BBC report -
"What are you doing?"
"We're making bread" chimes back every class in the country for the last fifteen years. Gee that's useful.

"Remember when they used to say that in the future we'd all be eating pills instead of food?"

You're right 'There's no point teaching children how to cook because in the future all food will come in a ready to eat form that may only require basic heating and/or preparation.' Wow they were really off the mark weren't they :-P

Tav said...

It was probably Tomorrow's World that said we would be taking pills for food in the year 2006. :-) Where are my hover boots!

FlipC said...

They're all locked up in a big warehouse with the mini-helicopters, and jet-packs. It's all a conspiracy by the ever-controlling Illuminati to limit and push humanity along the path they've chosen for us. Heck they've only just allowed us "Heelies".