Tell me about some of the other customs or experiences in your Culinary Arts Program:
“Another thing that caught me off guard was that the chefs used “Suzie Homemaker” as an insult. One time the chef saw me holding my knife as I was slicing pears and he shouted, “Rebecca, you look like a Suzy Homemaker holding your knife like that! You don’t look like a chef! Why aren’t you holding your knife the way I showed you?” and then shook his head at me. Another time we used pastry bags with interchangeable, decorative tips while learning different techniques to frost cakes. He scoffed and looked at me and said, “You probably have one of these don’t you? All Suzy Homemakers do.” I had to confess that I didn’t. The assumption is that amateurs often try to learn pasty skills at home and that we would be unsuccessful at it. Often times he ridiculed non-professionals who make themselves out to be experts by making Youtube tutorials or even publishing books that use wrong techniques. Before now, I thought the title Suzy Homemaker referred to somebody who was skilled and now I’ve learned a new use of the term.”
“Suzie Homemaker’ was a line of toys released in the 1960’s and is the derivation for the now commonly used term. The line of toys included dolls and other faux appliances. As such, it has been linked to domestic roles traditionally played by women. The participant, my mother, and I had similar a understandings of the meaning to be positive and descriptive of a female who was a good cook, kept a clean organized home and supported the needs of her family in the domestic sphere. Upon doing some research, I learned that the term has been adopted by feminists as a means of scorning women who still conform to these gender roles.
My mother was exposed to a new meaning for the term; in the culinary world it is used as an insult to ridicule amateurs. Depending on the context of the term, it can have different meanings.