Side effects of a candid conversation with mother about how proud she is to have a son who learned to cook out of his own free will:
I would love to love a man who can cook and who is willing to cook when needed.
No, wait, before you judge me, hang on. Turn me into a tree for a minute, and read along. J
Don't equate this with loving to have someone submissive or a stay at home person because it is not that, but someone who is humble and secure enough to realize that cooking, like earning money, is a basic skill that everyone in today's day and age ought to have, irrespective of whether they live with family or friends or by themselves. There are few things more aphrodisiacal than having someone who knows when to lead and when to let another lead without feeling awkward about it – and this goes both ways. It is about having the courage not just to care in the heart but to actually get up and do something about it when required (and once in a while, even when not required). Sometimes that could even mean a pack of instant noodles. The practicality to understand that manliness (or womanliness) is not, and should not be defined by one's role in society or by the four walls of the house.
Life is so much more than living up to stereotypes. it is about being true to ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and most importantly, where we want to end up. Practicality is much more than conforming to norms; it is about living in the here and now, acknowledging that reality, and molding ourselves to make us and those with us happier. And respect is beyond chivalry; it is about having the courage to be truthful, honest, trustful and trustworthy, and the will to fight together when we ourselves may be free falling.
The girl should cook, the boy should drive, no one made these "rules." There is no such law. People should follow what works best for them; for some it is convention, for others, the opposite. No point following something blindly just because we saw it happening that way for eons or because it sounds convenient. In my short life so far and many years of discovering the beautiful creation called man, I have come to realize that on most occasions we do not know ourselves well enough. We create rigid, larger than life expectations of what we want without assessing whether we can mold ourselves to be able to accept the tag-alongs of what we expect. Or we know ourselves but refuse to accept what we see in the mirror. In today’s times where almost everybody thinks they are a somebody, want to show the world they have a somebody (and then go home and turn that person into a nobody), this rigidity, fickle-mindedness and refusal to accept realities may very well become a recipe for disaster and grief. In fact, the very concept of comparing men and women seems lackluster. Neither is inferior nor superior; rather, it sounds like equating apples to oranges. Both are separate and perfect entities in themselves. The magic of the great Creator lies in that He made us perfect in our imperfections, and independent in our codependence on each other.