Humor is a potent tool that helps people to speak about important things in an unserious manner. Dave Barry, in his essay “Lost in the Kitchen,” laughs at typical stereotypes lined with men and female behaviors and traditional occupations. The whole story starts with the phrase that sets a tone “Men are still basically scum when it comes to helping out in the kitchen” (Barry 1). Using the word “still,” Barry shows that regardless of radical changes in relations between sexes, liberation, emancipation, and reconsideration of gender roles, males still cannot handle activities that have always been considered feminine ones. Moreover, they realize this weakness as they cannot avoid “feeling like the scum we are” (Barry 1). This helplessness mainly comes from the fact that “most males rarely prepare food for others” (Barry 2). In such a way, there are still stereotypes influencing relations between males and females, and they are still relevant.
However, regardless of the fact that the differences between sexes are critical, they manage to live together and be happy. Barry ends his essay with another joke, saying that before emancipation, women had to take care of the kitchen and men had to ensure cars work; now, “men no longer feel obligated to take care of the cars” (Barry 2). It means that for women, new duties combined with other ones emerged. At the same time, compromises and the readiness to help each other are the basis for successful cooperation between men and women, and a man can feel safe and protected when his wife “makes waffles” (Barry 2). Relations are complex, and liberation promoted radical changes in people’s lives, but it is vital to struggle with stereotypes and view them with humor.
Barry, Dave. “Lost in the Kitchen.” SAUSD. n.d. Web.