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Playing With / Feminine Women Can Cook

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Basic Trope: Being able to cook is a sign of femininity.

  • Straight: Team Mom Melody can cook, whereas Action Girl Marcy is a Lethal Chef.
  • Exaggerated: Melody is a Supreme Chef, and Marcy wrecks the kitchen when she so much as tries to boil an egg.
  • Downplayed: Melody doesn't put much effort into her cooking, but she knows how to make decent meals without too much fuss. Marcy cares little about cooking, and her mishaps are more due to negligence than actively doing things wrong. Neither of them consider their cooking skills to have much impact on their femininity - cooking is just something you have to do if you don't want to starve.
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  • Justified: Melody was raised to be traditionally feminine and know how to cook. Marcy wasn't.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted: Real Men Cook
  • Subverted:
    • Melody's cooking looks good, but as soon as the rest of The Team tastes it, they puke.
    • Marcy is offended when Jim asks if she can cook and takes to the kitchen in a whirlwind of steel and flame, leaving the place looking like a battlefield in her wake...She emerges with a mind-blowing array of appetizers. They smell delicious, and Marcy seems very pleased with herself.
    • Melody is wealthy, and so is able (and, indeed, encouraged) to hire a cook or chef to cook for her.
  • Double Subverted:
    • That's because Marcy helped out.
    • Marcy's cooking looks and smells good, but tastes horrible.
    • She is still expected to know how to cook, so that she can instruct whoever she's hired. And if she wasn't so wealthy, or went from Riches to Rags, she would be expected to be the one primarily responsible for cooking.
    • Or, she's only wealthy enough to hire the private chef for special occasions, or only for one or two meals per week. The rest of the time, she's on her own.
    • Melody's chef doubles as her culinary instructor, part of the extensive social training regimen Melody's parents have set up for her.
  • Parodied:
    • One of the greatest chefs in the world, J.F. Kindling, is described by the press as feminine, polite, and sweeter than any food. When the main characters meet him, they learn that J.F. Kindling is male.
    • Marcy discovers that she can cook just fine if she wears a housedress and frilly apron, while Melody loses her cooking skills if she wears trousers or uses masculine language.
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  • Zig Zagged: Melody is the best cook they know of. One day it turns out she is at heart a tomboy, but keeps up feminine stereotypes so that other people would trust her to make their food. Her friends tell her to be herself, and she abandons her Girly Girl mask only to notice that she now feels like a stranger in her own kitchen. Her therapist suggests she has unconsciously conditioned herself to relate cooking with her femininity role. In the end she solves the problem by wearing a frilly apron to the kitchen, while not hiding her true character anymore.
  • Averted: A woman's cooking skills has nothing with how feminine (or unfeminine) she is.
  • Enforced:
    • "We've got to show Melody's the motherly type. Let's make her the Team Chef. While we're at it, we should have Marcy burn water for contrast."
    • All food production and cooking is controlled by an huge monopoly organisation employing only women and enforcing a strict femininity agenda for the sake of their brand.
  • Lampshaded: "I just know this'll be delicious! Femininity in a chef enhances the taste of food more than any spice!"
  • Invoked: Marcy borrows Melody's clothing in the hopes it will make her a better chef.
  • Exploited: All the best agents of the Secret Police are female cooks. Who is better placed to spy on people without being noticed?
  • Defied:
    • Melody rarely cooks, because she doesn't feel she needs to be a good cook to be feminine.
    • Marcy learns to cook, not to be more feminine, but because she doesn't want to live on microwave meals.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: A "Billy Elliot" Plot ensues between Melody and her mother, Josephine, a woman with staunch 50's ideals of femininity, and forces her to cook and keep house. Melody either does this but with an enormous hatred boiling inside her or deliberately chooses to fail at cooking to tick her mom off. This causes a huge gap to come between them, leading to domestic violence and Melody running away, possibly pretending to be a boy.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Melody runs away from home and is adopted by her uncle, who supports her and helps her follow her dreams. After starting to live on her own, she returns home to call out Josephine for her mistreatment of her. Josephine, happy to see her daughter again and somewhat influenced by feminist thoughts, tearfully apologizes to Melody. Melody, realizing that Josephine's intentions were good, forgives her and admits that some cooking would have been useful because she can't afford to go to reataurants all the time and her uncle is as much of a Lethal Chef as she is. Josephine immediately agrees to teach her. The cooking, which Melody now enjoys because it's no longer forced, showns their reconciliation.
    • A "Billy Elliot" Plot ensues between Melody and her mother Josephine, a woman with staunch 50's ideals of femininity. However, Josephine believes in encouragement and not force, causing Melody to like cooking and keeping house. Josephine teaches Melody well. Melody goes on to become not only a good chef, but also very tidy and artistic. She makes a healthy income through the various arts she has dabbled in, including cake decorating.
    • Josephine starts accepting that Melody doesn't like "feminine" hobbies and works.
    • Melody's father supports Melody and yells at Josephine for not allowing her daughter to be herself and follow her own interests.

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