Originally Posted by Mayhem
Being a female in a (usually) male dominated kitchen definitely has it's ups and downs. Having to explain- with very carefully chosen words- to male co-workers that, no, please don't hold that walk-in door open for me when I have a free hand, because I've got it. Or, when I fix things, ya know, with tools and stuff, or open buckets for a newbie, the immediate rag fest on whatever said male for having a woman do it. Sure, I can absolutely take whatever quips are thrown at me and return them, and make everyone crack up- because I have to. Don't get me wrong, I can and have thrown down countless sixteens, back to back, and I do not, in any measure, think my work is lesser than my counterparts. In fact, it's better. Because it has to be. Well, that, and I'm pretty fu*king good at food.
My question, to the wonderful forum I've found here, is this: Does it ever stop? Is there, at any point, any true acceptance from the male contingent?
Hi fellow female cook :)
The guys you work with sound immature, which is unfortunately common in kitchens (some exceptions of course).
But it is my belief that it stops only when you stop putting so much emphasis on it. I know it's very difficult to think this way because we are indeed in a male dominated industry after all, but at least try to behave as if sex isn't an issue. That's how I've handled it throughout the years. When guys make stupid jokes, I behave as if I didn't hear anything, even if they casually toss it my way to see if they can get a smile out of me, and I certainly don't laugh or partake in any of the sexist bantering that goes on in the kitchen. I've refused to be "one of the guys" to fit in. I am me, and I don't want to be them. Dear God, I don't want to be them...
I honestly believe you can create a niche that's unique to yourself being a female chef/cook that doesn't require being one of the guys that will earn you respect. It's my belief that when a female cook attempts to be one of the guys she's lowering and not honoring her true self, unless of course she's a tomboy and enjoys being one of the guys, which is totally fine too. I just don't believe we have to change who we are, especially if that means being something lesser to fit in. Not with slobs like that. If I'm going to change myself, I'm going to try to imitate a mentor, someone I admire, not some greasy line cook or chef who "rags" on women.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I've worked with some doozies, so there is definitely an undertone of bitterness in my advice. lol
Well, I hope I didn't offend anyone.