Skepchick Quickies 9.29


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. One of the principles of Equally Shared Parenting is that dads aren’t allowed to hide behind “Derp! I’m so stupid in the kitchen! Derp!” and mom’s aren’t allowed to … well … do any of the put-down stuff they do in that Ragu video, basically.

    What you’re doing there is telling men that it isn’t manly to enjoy cooking a dinner, with your wife, for your family. If you’re good at cooking or – perish the thought – take joy in it, you must be some kind of pansy. Now go watch some TV, drink beer and grunt vaguely if your wife asks you what you’d like for dinner.

    How pathetically disabling.

    1. What confuses the hell out of me about the “men can’t cook” stereotype is that it’s exactly the opposite in the professional world. Chef has been up there with race car driver and firefighter as an exclusively male job for literally centuries.

      1. I’m assuming there’s some commercial value in convincing men they can’t cook. It keeps them out of the kitchen and out of the way of kitchen-related purchasing decisions? It would make sense to reduce the number of people who have a say in such decisions.

        They don’t do this for kicks. There’s a money-making method to their madness.

  2. As the primary household cook and one who is capable of making his own gravy/sauce, I say unto Ragu (and/or their ad firm) Bah! And your product tastes like tomato water cut with a cup of sugar.

  3. Ragu is doing us a wonderful service by showing us how sexism hurts everyone. For every commercial that shows a woman being a shallow harpy ballbuster, there’s a commercial that shows a man being a hapless accident-prone overgrown child for whom basic household tasks might as well be magic.

    If we want men to be good dads, it might help if the media didn’t portray men as fundamentally incapable of even taking care of themselves. I don’t have kids, but I can cook and clean and iron and sew… AND fix things and mow and perform maintenance around the house. What am I supposed to do if my wife dies or divorces me, move in with my mommy until I find a new wife/caretaker?

    1. I just don’t understand how men can stand to be portrayed as pathetic, bumbling, man-children. It sure drives me crazy and I’m not even a man!

      Fortunately, Sarah Haskins took on this topic in a hilarious way:

      1. Kramden -> Flintstone -> Simpson -> Tim the Tool Man

        It’s hard to find good role models, really. :-)

        I liked the guy from “My So Called Life”. There was a husband with his head on straight.

      2. Well, it took me years to go from “That ballbusting bitch wife” to “… hey! Wait a minute! Why is that guy so dumb? No wonder she seems so mean, her husband is a barely functional imbecile!”

        I blame Bill Cosby. Seriously.

      3. One time two different men asked me to find something in a grocery store within a week, although this rarely happens to me. I politely helped them as best I could even though I don’t work in the grocery store. But I brought it up among a group of friends just because it was an odd coincidence. So one of the men that was new to my group “joked” that it was because men are just so terrible at grocery shopping and just couldn’t do it without help. So I told him that he went to college and managed to hold down a full-time job, so I didn’t believe that he was just too goshdarn inept to read a the aisle signs (with the implication that he was feigning helplessness to get out of doing work). Even though his two children were well into high school, his wife couldn’t get even a part-time job because she literally had to do every household task, including money management which is a stereotypically male thing to do. He literally got an allowance from her. So my point here is that some men will act like incompetent oafs to avoid having to do any work. It’s passive-aggressive crap that I used when I was 5 years old, but they’ve never grown out of it. Some people would rather be perceived as incompetent than end up with some responsibility.

  4. HIV vaccines have been in the works for many years now, but it’s only recently that we’re starting to see effectiveness in human trials. This represents massive progress, of course.

    While a vaccine isn’t equivalent to a cure, it may still help control the virus even in those already infected.

  5. I’m one of those women who probably don’t help. I’m a terrible perfectionist. I can’t help it. It’s not just in household stuff, it’s in other stuff as well. I try NOT to be, but sometimes I have this obsessive compulsion to do things like re-hang up the clothes that he did, or re-fold something. Ugh.

    1. My rule on that is if you’re the picky one, then you do it and don’t whine about the other person not helping. And if you’re a perfectionist about everything, you don’t get to blame your spouse for leaving all the work for you while they sit down and watch TV.

      That also means that if you’re the big man who wears the pants in a hetero relationship and you think that some job is woman’s work, and your wife/girlfriend doesn’t do it the way you like, “woman’s work” just became “YOUR work”. Suck it up sport, you can handle it like a man, right?

      1. Yeah, luckily he’s a good sort. We seem to manage it by me trying to dial it down, and him not saying anything if I re-fold something. It sort of seems to work. And in any case, it’s me being an anal-pants, not him being (or being treated like) a man-child. That ragu ad is an awful piece of shit.

  6. Fantastic news about the AIDS vaccine!

    I do have some questions, though. Have and other AIDS vaccines gotten as far as Phase I trials, but failed to pan out, or is this the first?

    Also, it sounds like they are testing the volunteers for response or antibodies to HIV proteins to determine if the immunity is sticking (with good results so far.) Does this mean that it would definitely cause at least some degree of protection, or could HIV still propagate in people despite this response? (Will it take Phase II or Phase III studies to show this response has a preventive effect?)

  7. That Ragu ad is stupid. When my parents met my dad was working in an Italian restaurant. Where he cooked. Growing up, everyone looked forward to my dad making dinner. If my mom was cooking anything more complicated than Mac & Cheese? RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

    And Ragu is puréed tomato poop. I actually like my spaghetti to have FLAVOR, thank you.

  8. My beloved is an excellent cook. Much better than me. Plus, he works freelance (which in this economy often means part-time), while I have a job with long days and a significant commute.

    Which means? He cooks. I eat, and enjoy. Sometimes we cook together, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I made a meal for the both of us all by myself.

    Several years ago (before I met him), there was a Lipton Sidekicks ad that was similar in spirit to the Ragu ad. He called the company to complain.

    He never saw the ad again after that.

    To this day, he gets a kick out of telling people that he, personally, got that ad pulled. :)

  9. Hello,

    In regard to the Ragu thing, it seems like 40-50 years ago a large number of the advertisements were based around the concept of ‘laugh at the stupid woman!’

    Today, these ads are based on the concept of ‘laugh at the stupid man’.

    Yep, it has taken nearly half a century for the advertising industry to switch genders and run the same type of coprolitic advertisements they have been running since tv began. And people complain that Hollywood has no originality…

    1. They just tried to co-opt feminism by making seem empowering to use their product. 50 years ago it was about shaming you into feeling insufficient if you didn’t use the product. You can see the same principle at work in those racist douche advertisements from a few months back.

  10. I do have to confess that I’m a guy who can’t cook. The worst part is I have a weak sense of smell and have trouble telling what’s gone off. Good thing I have a strong stomach.

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