It’s happened to everyone. You’re sitting in your kitchen, trying to figure out what dish to bring to the company picnic, and you decide that pie is going to be the food of choice. Except, as you fire up the oven, you realize there’s a major flaw in your plan: You’re totally not a mom, and only mothers operate kitchen equipment. You give it a try, but suddenly, there’s an explosion when you reach for the baking soda, and a hole goes tearing through the fabric of time and space, sucking you and the whole family in with it.
Right. That never happens. Because lots of people, from all walks of life, like baking the crap out of a pie. I—in all my childless, unmarried glory—would love to bake up a batch of diabetic apple goodness any day of the week.
You would think we had long since abandoned the image of the quintessential ’50s, Stepford mom chain smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes while she tended to her Xanax habit and the meatloaf in the oven, as a couple of ragamuffins gathered around the picture box just in time for the Perry Como show, but we really haven’t.
So what the hell am I talking about?
Well, patient reader, I am talking about the Idler’s Mom & Apple Pie contest happening on April 20 and 27 in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
Now, before you get fired up, let me tell you that I’d like to believe I am not in the business of taking jabs at innocent, pie-baking folks just out to have a good time.
But when I received the press release for this event, I felt compelled to make a statement on feminism, the modern woman, the modern man, and—most importantly—pie.
Don Idler said of the competition: “… Most of us have a memory of delicious smells coming from the kitchen during the holidays or when Mom bakes something sweet for the family to share. Mom and Apple Pie is about capturing family and home.”
Sounds sweet, right? And in many ways it is. And maybe I’m just a nitpicky, angry feminist taking a cheap shot at a bunch of sweet pie-bakers.
I would hope Idler’s would gladly accept a single dude in his 20s into the contest—or maybe not, but the point is talented folks may feel shot down simply because they don’t fit the description of “mom” or “woman.”
It’s moments like this that remind me how much work we have ahead of us. I’d hope that if I choose to be a mother some day, no one will relegate me to a pie-baking robot who does the sugary bidding of whatever brat or demanding spouse happens to wander near the kitchen, simply because I am a woman.
Can’t we all just get along and bake pies? Why the need for gender segregation? Let’s get with the times, people. And bake some pies.
Calendar Editor Maeva Considine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org