to take the mick out of male colleagues who bring in shared food that their WIVES have made

(720 Posts)
morningpaper Sun 14-Dec-08 22:34:47

this makes me both scornful and slightly depressed and I resort to extreme sarcasm

Only last week I was nibbling lemon cake from a colleagues WIFE.

What IS that ABOUT?


lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 22:37:28

not sure I get this, sounds kind of nice to me.......

wheresthehamster Sun 14-Dec-08 22:38:52

Is this in response to the other thread? grin
If so, that was my first reaction as well!

morningpaper Sun 14-Dec-08 22:39:03

It is either (a) the fact that Colleague is asked to bring in cake and then GETS HIS WIFE TO MAKE IT or (b) the idea that there are women who think "Oooh I'll make a cake for DH's colleagues!"

It is probably in the Ironing Shirts category of wifely horrors in my head...

morningpaper Sun 14-Dec-08 22:39:26

I did SEE the other thread but this was a more general comment grin

moondog Sun 14-Dec-08 22:41:01

I once did an entire three course meal for about 30 of dh's colleagues. In their office.
I was glad nad proud to do it. He doesn't cook but neither do I sort out finances/garden/erect sheds and trampolines/install computers.

BoccaDellaNativita Sun 14-Dec-08 22:41:30

Errr, years ago my husband used to make the cakes that I took into the office. And I have never ironed his shirts. grin blush shock

MP - I have to confess that when I have overcated for a weekend thang, I have been known to send the leftovers with my DH on Monday morning (he drives, and I wasn't sure that a banoffee would survive the commute to the city wink)

ReinDIORdroppings Sun 14-Dec-08 22:42:36

Message withdrawn

(and now I want to know what the other thread was please)

and 'overcated' is obviously over-catered, blush

unknownrebelbang Sun 14-Dec-08 22:44:29

The only home cooking we have in our office is bought in by our boss.

Tis lush.

The boss is a woman, but she has her husband cooking tea for her most evenings, which I guess gives her the time to bake.

unknownrebelbang Sun 14-Dec-08 22:44:54

What other thread are you referring to, though?

ComeOVeneer Sun 14-Dec-08 22:45:28

MP I regularly send dh in with cakes. In my defence I do it for 3 reasons.

1. To try out new recipes of cake and icing combinations
2. Because it helps me practice my cakes and decorating technique without turning into a fat heifer
3. It drums up business.

lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 22:45:47

I would make a cake for DH to take into work if he wanted one, but only because I make better cakes than he does. In the same way that he does some other things better than I do. Am not a Stepford wife, am not downtrodden. In fact work longer hours and earn more than he does. So what exactly is your point, morningpaper???

BucksFizz Sun 14-Dec-08 22:46:39

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BucksFizz Sun 14-Dec-08 22:52:05

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BucksFizz Sun 14-Dec-08 22:53:17

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moondog Sun 14-Dec-08 22:54:27

BF, I get you. Totally.
It's a lovely thing to cook for people who appreciate it. smile

lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 22:55:35

BucksFizz, not sure what has got into MP, I read your thread and thought "how lovely". I think we should ask her to think about her OP and come back and explain why she was being so sarcastic about it.

I have made cakes for dp to take into work before. they all loved them :D

i notice MP isn't averse to eating said cake though

TheFallenMadonna Sun 14-Dec-08 22:58:20

Meh. I make the cakes, DH mends the cars. Were we to swap, neither of us would be happy, or fed, or mobile.

Do you really resort to extremem sarcasm? How rude. You'd not get a slice...

ReinDIORdroppings Sun 14-Dec-08 22:58:52

Message withdrawn

TisTheSeasonToBeSolo Sun 14-Dec-08 23:02:23

BucksFizz, just looked at your other thread and thought I'd throw you an idea which is easy and delicious too! Bake some vol au vent cases, making sure that you only get them light brown, press the centres in and fill with sweet mincemeat, pop back in the warm but switched off oven for a few minutes to allow the filling to melt(the fats). Send them in with a pot of thick cream. Wonderful and simple to do.

lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 23:04:11

<<< notes mincemeat vol-au-vents suggestion for Christmas morning, with thanks!!!>>>>

Quattrocento Sun 14-Dec-08 23:08:14


It depends who does the cooking doesn't it? I like cooking therefore I do most of it in our house (apart from breakfast). And I have cooked cakes and scones and stuff for DH/DCs to take in when required. I've also bought stuff when I haven't had time to bake.

BucksFizz Sun 14-Dec-08 23:08:26

Message deleted

Gorionine Sun 14-Dec-08 23:11:51

I have baked things for Dh to share at work with collegues, I do not see what is wrong with that, why the sarcasm?

lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 23:13:32

you are not a total dweeb (unless your DP is treating you like a door stop but I suspect not). Sounds to me like you are just someone doing a favour for their loved one. Anyone who can't understand this needs pity and support.

ComeOVeneer Sun 14-Dec-08 23:14:47

Actually I am really quite surprised you started this thread after having seen the other one. It does seem uncharacteristically mean spirited.

lilolilbethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 23:16:44

I agree, didn't have MP down as being so nasty. Please come back to this thread MP....

TisTheSeasonToBeSolo Sun 14-Dec-08 23:26:19

I used to bake(from scratch>>>> <proud>)bacon, egg and tomato flans for my exh to take to work to share with his colleagues in the 80's. It was a very small office of 3 staff and they'd put their order in because they were so scrummy!

Glad to pass on my vol au vent idea! been doing them for years and years! bloody gorgeous they are grin.

dizzyjingles Sun 14-Dec-08 23:26:31

I do this a lot too for all the same reasons as ComeOVeneer (although not to similar standars blush)

I've to do the deserts for Christmas dinner this year and I've been practisting and sending stuff in with him

I also had to do the cakes for my aunts 60th birthday last weekend and was sending in all the trial runs

when the cakes stopped going in they thought we'd had a row grin

and I do't iron and he does more than his fair share of housework and looking after the kids and am certainly FAR from anykind of stepford wife

and by the way the main reason is that if I'm baking/ cooking I don't need to be doing fecking housework which I hate grinwink

MinesApint Sun 14-Dec-08 23:29:03

Bit of an odd reaction mp...and the problem is?

QueenTinselShadow Sun 14-Dec-08 23:32:09


This is a bit spitefull MP....

Tortington Sun 14-Dec-08 23:42:11

uh -oh kinda get where you are coming from MP! but i care not to think that the self proclaimed domestic godesses really exist, and that rather, the wife works full time - and got cunnilingus last night and her rely was a nice thank=you cake.

beanieb Sun 14-Dec-08 23:43:49

Oh - I have seen the other thread now!

dilemma456 Mon 15-Dec-08 06:22:04

Message withdrawn

Dreyfus Mon 15-Dec-08 06:59:53

I often make cakes for DG to take into the office. I love doing it and he would buy them from M and S. I get a happy hour in the kitchen, DH feels I did a nice thing for him and we save money.

I never thought there were people out there who would sneer at it - God, MN is depressing sometimes - I doubt 'feminism' was ever meant to mean one member of a couple can't ever willingly do a randomly supposed gender-stereotyped activity without one of the sisterhood pouring 'scorn and sarcasm' on it.

VivaLaPotPourri Mon 15-Dec-08 07:06:46

Eh? Under normal non depressed circumstances I make DH sandwiches and iron his shirts. And sometimes if the builders are in he makes DS and I a packed lunch grin (no access to kitchen). I don't find it odd at all... <<Missing something>>

laweaselmys Mon 15-Dec-08 07:10:26

I've made DP cookies to take in on his birthday before. I was feeling nice - and the poor boy cooks me dinner every single day, seems like the least I can do!

BouncingTinsel Mon 15-Dec-08 07:11:40

I am shock at MorningPaper, doing one of the major MN no-nons - starting a thread about a thread.

I can only assume she was pissed as a fart when she did it as she is not normally this mean sad

BTW I make DH's sandwiches, he normally does the ironing but I've taken it over as I off sick from work. But I am a rubbish baker and so is her lol. So we wouldn't take a home made cake in we'd buy them!

I am going to attempt to make some cranberry and white chocolate shortbread to take in to ds's nursery this week.

<<Hopes she doesn't poison a load of kiddies>>

ABudafulSightWereHappyTonight Mon 15-Dec-08 07:19:34

From Dreyfus 'I doubt 'feminism' was ever meant to mean one member of a couple can't ever willingly do a randomly supposed gender-stereotyped activity without one of the sisterhood pouring 'scorn and sarcasm' on it.' HEAR HEAR!!!!

MP - you are being a grumpy old meanie!!! What is wrong with it? It's Christmas! Season of good will to all.

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 08:02:51

Most of my colleagues do this.

Bienchen Mon 15-Dec-08 08:05:20

MP - had a bad weekend?

Amapoleon Mon 15-Dec-08 08:07:13

I thik she has burnt the mince pies and has popped round to Greggs! wink

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 08:27:28

Goodness ME, what a lot of raw emotion about baked goods.

AND I WENT TO BED! I can't stay up all night in case you reply. grin

This is NOT a thread about a thread, it is a thread about the phenomena of Wifely-Baking. Just because another thread reminded me of it does not mean it was a thread-about-a-thread. hmm I think you all know this but are trying to deflect my attention away from your floury pinnies.

SO back to the OP - I still don't get this. I I understand that one might bake a little treat for one's partner, but why on earth would you sufficiently care that Kevin from Accounts has a snack of tasty home-baked goodness (which takes two hours out of your day) to save your husband the 3 minutes that it takes to nip into Tescos and buy a snack there? Yes of course it's NICE but it would be nice if I popped across the road to my neighbour who I occasionally nod to, and presented them with some warm baked muffins.

I understand baking stuff being a lovely kind gesture to People You Love, but for people that you neither work with, or know? That is just extraordinary. AND this is just Wifework, plain and simple. I would not dream of coming home and saying "Oooh husband, I need to take some cakes to work, do you mind spending two hours of your rare free time slaving over the oven so I don't have to walk into Sainsbos in the morning?" Hmmm what?

Yes I admit I do eat the Wife-Cakes but if the devil himself turned up with a Garibaldi at 11 a.m. I would be helpless to resist.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 08:30:14

Oh and male colleagues who bring in Marital Sandwiches get a lot more grief

"What's for lunch? You don't know? You DON'T KNOW? Did she help you get dressed as well?"

I do work with a few divorced women so perhaps levels of cynicism are slightly higher than normal...

Miggsie Mon 15-Dec-08 08:38:12

I bake tons of mince pies at Xmas and DH always takes them into work and to his friend's houses...who are all unmarried men who are soooooooo appreciative of home baking they all think I'm great!
But yes, it is annoying that men bring wife made stuff in and women don't get that option generally.

I once said to my manager "there is no canteen in this building" and he replied "oh, that's not a problem, my wife makes me sandwiches every day." So I said "oh, do you think she could make me some too?"
He looked at me as if I had tried to piss on him.

tiredemma Mon 15-Dec-08 08:38:14

Good job DP has never asked me to cook for his colleagues, they would still be digesting their own teeth next christmas.

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 08:38:29

Morningpaper, I hear you. i remember thinking "why does your wife want to make carrot cake for the likes of me?" and that was before I had children and knew how busy I was just chauffering them to and from their appts! I thouhgt that making a cake might be a nice way to FILL the empty day! And I still didn't get it!

misdee Mon 15-Dec-08 08:39:55

i never spend 2 hours baking. i love baking. dh doesnt work atm so cant send cakes in qwith him, but have given cakes to family members befoe now.

sprogger Mon 15-Dec-08 08:43:23

I completely get where MP is coming from on this, and I'm a bit of a hardcore baking goddess. Sometimes I do send DH in with leftover baking if I've made too much during the weekend, but it wouldn't occur to me to bake specifically for his colleagues.

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 08:43:46

I like it too! but truth is, you never have all the ingredients, so you really need 20 mins to decide WHAT you're going to make, 45 mins (minimum) to get to the shop and back and get the ingredients, then you might forget ONE thing, the most vital thing, probably the EGGS, cos you thouhgt you had a box, but it turned out to be just that, a box, so all in all, really, one cake takes an afternoon! a day maybe even!?!?

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 08:44:41

Ye and much longer until you have actually washed any of the bowls up and hoovered and washed the floor (or am I just REALLY messy?)

glastocat Mon 15-Dec-08 08:49:52

My husband made Nutella doughnuts for me to take into work last week. In my defense he was making them anyway, just made a few more than originally planned.

Oh, and he's a builder, not a chef. He makes great doughnuts though! grin

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 08:49:53

I think the OP being very unreasonable, thankfully feminism means we have the CHOICE of saying bugger off to sainsburys and buy a box of mince pies or yes I have no problem making you some delicious snacks to take into work. If the wife/partner WANTS to make them (some people enjoy cooking) I really don't see what the problem is and as others say it can be a bit of give and take, for example I refuse to have anything to do with the cars, all checking of oil, water, MOT, tax is DH duty. I CAN do it but I don't want to do it therefore on the occasions I have time I will make him his packed lunch something he CAN do but frequently doesn't.
I don't do ironing. At all.

misdee Mon 15-Dec-08 08:53:23

mp, you are really messy grin

i do tend to have a well stocked cupboard and generally have all the ingrediants i need for basic baking. if i want to bake soemthing different then i add the ingrediants to the weekly shopping list earlier in the week.

LadyPenelope Mon 15-Dec-08 08:53:48

My Indian colleague's wife used to send v. yummy home made samosas in for us from time to time. I never thought of it as a problem - they were divine, she was making for him and used to send in extras for us all to enjoy from time to time. Lovely woman! So, can't think it would be any different if a colleague wife was kind enough to send in some baked stuff.

Some men do bake but my dh doesn't. He could if he tried (he makes pancakes and says it's like mixing concrete!) but he doesn't bake cakes, mince pies etc. If he was asked to bring contribution for a shared lunch, I'd probably make something providing I had time to do it ... much nicer and much cheaper. Wouldn't matter that it was for his "colleagues" - still for him in the end.

I'd do it because he'd also be happy to help me fix some nightmare on my computer, or hike half way across town to pick something up for me because he has time that day etc. etc.

I cooked dinner for him and his 10 person team last year - he paid for the stuff and I cooked it because I liked doing it. Was more fun than going out to a restaurant or bar.

hecAteAMillionMincePies Mon 15-Dec-08 08:54:23

<shrug> can't bring myself to care if other people cook food for their other half to bring to work or not. They are cooking it, they are paying for it, it's their time. It's their problem. If they are happy then why should I care? If he beats her with a whisk until she's created a taste sensation, then I'd have an opinion! otherwise....<shrug> cos one just wasn't enough grin

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 08:56:52

However on the packed lunch side I had a male colleague who lived at home still at 25 and his mother made him his lunch. That I took the piss about.

FourArms Mon 15-Dec-08 09:06:49

I quite often make DH things to take into work. He has a horribly stressful job and working environment, and if it means that they have something nice to eat during their tea break, then I don't care what anyone thinks. Luckily there are no women in DH's workplace, so there's no-one wondering what sad cow spent an hour of her own time making him a cake to take into work. hmm I don't expect that the blokes give it a second thought.

MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 09:14:57

I make cakes in a big batch at the weekend and will often send a few in for Dh and his office - because I know most of them and would like to think of them all having a treat. it doesn't take 2 hours though - 10 mins max to throw stuff in a processor with the kids helping and then bung in the oven. I make his packed lunch too - I make all 5 of them in one go, for all of us - why should he make his own if Ive already got the stuff out? It's just a practical division of labour, and he can spend some time with the kids instead - which is much nicer for them as they don't see him of rmore than 30 mins per day, and I get to shut them all out of the kitchen and drift off into my own little world.

thefortbuilder Mon 15-Dec-08 09:15:13

i think this is a bit churlish. if i'm baking a cake for a particular occasion (ds's birthday etc) and need to do a practise run dh gets the practise cakes to take in. also ds1 loves baking so dh gets them for work so i don't eat them all at home!

don't do sandwiches though or ironing shirts though

Wags Mon 15-Dec-08 09:23:02

Yes MP you ABVU. If I was the wife of the bloke who had taken the cakes in and I found out I would bloody well tell him to not cut you a slice and let you piss off to Sainsbos to get your own, so ner de ner grin. Seriously though I would have no time to do it at the moment, work part time, still have DS at home but if I did have time I probably would. Love baking and from having worked for 28 years myself, know how bloody lovely it is when someone brings a treat in to work. Really brightens up the day. Christ I am horrible enough to DH most of the time, so if it only took making a cake to cheer him and his colleagues up then so be it. Lets face it poor bloke spends a hell of a lot of time with them, there has to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

misshardbroom Mon 15-Dec-08 09:25:31

I think this post is a bit nasty and typical of the kind of thing that divides mothers who go out to work and mothers who stay at home.

I'm with BucksFizz on this - if you're at home, you can fit a spot of enjoyable baking around everything else you have to do, then what's wrong with it?

And actually, what's wrong with ironing a few shirts or making a packed lunch? There's plenty of jobs DH does which are largely for my benefit. I thought it was called 'teamwork'.

subtlemouse Mon 15-Dec-08 09:26:20

I am inspired by this thread to make cake for DH to take in today...

bloss Mon 15-Dec-08 09:26:30

Message withdrawn

shitehawk Mon 15-Dec-08 09:29:51

I bake cakes for dh to take to work.

1. I like baking, and we can't eat all of the cakes I make between the three of us.

2. Dh is the kind of manager who knows that the way to his team's heart is through their stomachs.

3. Who cares who makes the cakes? If I didn't make them, he'd buy them from Tescos. Me not baking them wouldn't mean that he would bake them instead.

4. Tis none of your beeswax anyway.

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 09:31:52

I understand your feelings exactly, morningpaper, but refrain from expressing them in the office.

For those who dont understand, it is the contrast between harrassed self, and the Domestic Goddess who sends the cakes. Baking DOES make a statement, whether its intended or not.

But I dont even try to play cake oneupmanship with my colleagues, as their wives all make totally fantastic Bavarian and Austrian cakes, that I cant even do!

I recently put together a birthday cake for dds that involved:

- a trip to teh supermarket
- half an hour to assemble

It looked brilliant, I have to say.

Oh4cryinOutLoud Mon 15-Dec-08 09:33:41

"AND this is just Wifework"

Blimey MP - my DH does loads of stuff that doesn't benefit anyone he knows personally because I ask him to!

Couple of weeks ago, he spent half a day compiling a video for a talent contest up at school because I am on the PTA & I asked him to!

If he came home from work and asked me to do something for a person he worked with because (a) I would enjoy doing it and (b) the unkown to me person would benefit, I'd do it. Just because it's baking, doesn't make it a 1950's slap in the face for equality!

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:36:31

In answer to MP's last post

I don't care if Kevin gets a homebaked snack, I enjoy baking. DH is diabetic so can't just buy any old snack, plus my stuff is tonnes better than tesco'c grin

I regularly give cakes/muffins etc to loads of my neighbours (again helps drum up trade)

I do know the people dh works with, he has been their 11 years.

Dh never asks me to make stuff for him to bring in I just do it.

OK so you don't get it, but it isn't as stepford as you make out. Although I do draw the line at ironing grin

largeginandtonic Mon 15-Dec-08 09:37:24

LOL at MP and the 'You don't know what you are having for lunch' grin

I have baked cakes and sent them in with dh, it proves my domestic goddess prowess and yes custy it will be a better cake if i have recieved some excellent cunnilingus the night before.

What do you make of cakes in return for sexual favours MP? Although other members of the office benefitting is probably not fair tbh.

moondog Mon 15-Dec-08 09:37:32

Quite. We have the uncle of a kid in our Sunday school nativity play making the crib. He won't see the play. Does that come under 'unnecessary duties' in same way that the cake does?

What happened to just doing something kind?

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:41:19

Oh and I am certain the women in dh's office don't see me in the light of "One man upmanship". They have known as a professional woman me since I worked full time supporting dh through his law exams and training contract, part-time and raising 2 small children etc. Not as some 50's throwback with a floury pinny greeting my dh at the door with a martini!

moondog Mon 15-Dec-08 09:42:54

Yes CoV, you alwaysd come across as a very nice example of a smart professional woman who still gets great joy and satisfaction from looking after her family.

I think it's great.

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 09:43:55

That's how the used to see you!! You just erased 15 yrs groundwork when you sent in cupcakes wink

largeginandtonic Mon 15-Dec-08 09:44:36

I have a floury pinny COV but dh wears it too grin

He cooks far better than me i am just the better cake baker.

I have always quite fancied the 50's at least i could do what i do and not feel like i have to do everything else as well.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 09:45:49


When I worked in an office and before I had a family I occasionally made a cake for my colleagues - I would have a baking urge and the only way to fulfil it and not chuck the contents in the bin was to take the cake into work. It was generally very appreciated smile.

But bake a cake for DP to take to work? He would be horrified. The thought has never, ever entered my head.

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:45:58

No they don't because I often send them along with a questionnaire to gain feedback when I am trying out new recipes, or icing/cake combinations for my business grin

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:46:45

Awh shucks, thanks moondog blush

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 15-Dec-08 09:47:51

Sorry but I agree totally with OP.
Why would you bake cakes for STRANGERS?
Let me guess,you like all these blokes who dh works with, passing nice comments about your food (kevin ate 6).
If dh worked with a load of women, would you be so quick to get flour on your clothes then?

Gorionine Mon 15-Dec-08 09:49:09

Nighbynight It is just jalousy then?

Oh4CryinOutLoud have you namechanged?

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 09:52:35

haha lovesdogs, that's so funny, kevin licked his lips even!! he said is she as good in the bedroom as she is in the kitchen, oooh you're a lucky man Mr OP

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 09:52:40

"If dh worked with a load of women, would you be so quick to get flour on your clothes then? "

DH does and I have sent him in with cakes before when I made enough brownies to feed the 5000 instead of us 2.

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 09:53:02

Poor Kevin, his wife fannies about in an office all day long and he never gets a cake.....

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:53:48

How is a sahm baking cakes onemanupmanship to a ft working woman? If they were both ft workers in the office and one made cakes then possibly, although it may well be the woman's hobby/relaxer in the eveing to bake, yet doesn't want to stuff her face full of cake!?

Blimey where do I stand on this one then? I work AND make cakes for my colleagues (male and female)

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 09:54:57

When then you are just showing off grin grin

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 09:55:49

If the man wants to,he can revel in the subliminal message behind the cake, my wife doesn't compete with me, she looks after me

A lot of men would never dare vocalise that, but to bring a tray of cath kidstony cup cakes into the office made by their wife could appeal to that never vocalised boast.

Doodle2U Mon 15-Dec-08 09:57:16

Gorionine - you know me so well wink

MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 09:59:44

I work too - baking isn't just for sahms. And, I know most of my husband's colleagues - but even if I didn't, I don't mind doing stuff for people I don't know.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 10:00:38

I've been thinking about this some more (yes I need to get a life but my LO is not feeling well and I have been bascially breastfeeding for the last 3 hours). The OP is not only being unreasonable she is being downright rude, if someone does something nice for someone else the correct ettiquette is to say thank you. To take the mickey out of them is to basically be rude about their choice of wife. Also some wives LIKE looking after their husband they do see it as their job in return for being able to stay home prehaps (and not all women who stay home have children) and there is nothing wrong with that, again it comes down to choice. (DH if you reading this don't get any ideas that's never going to be the way it works for us )

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 10:18:37

"their choice of wife" made me lol

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig I'm liking your political deconstruction of the cupcakes

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 10:19:06

Message deleted

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 10:22:14

Hmmm I'm not sure why it is horrible/bitchy/etc. to be baffled by wives making cakes for strangers

and to suspect that these are the TORTES OF TYRANNY

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 10:25:08

Gorionine - no, it is not just jalousy. (It has nothing whatsoever to do with windows.)

Comeoveneer - not oneupmanship between working /SAHM. Could be "I am a DG, lay off my hubbie you office crones". Could also be "My wife doesnt work, she looks after me instead". Could also be "My wife makes better cakes (= is better in bed) than yours". (Might also be "Here is a cake for you because I am full of the milk of human kindness", but I worry about the othersgrin)

It is the middle one that is the insidious one for me. there is no doubt, that a colleague who gets up, puts on his washed and ironed clothes, and eats his breakfast and departs for work while his other half runs the house, has the edge on me in the office, because by the time I get to work Ive already loaded the washign machine, made sarnies for my children, got them off to school, made up my list of things to do surreptitiously in the office (paying bills etc), and am seriously in need of a coffee and a rest.
Now that is a bit of an exaggeration because not all my colleagues have this experience, but many of them do. Their day is just free from the stresses that I have.
This only matters, because in the pay / promotion stakes, it gives them an advantage.

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 10:27:00

pmsl at the Tortes of Tyranny

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 10:27:39

Yes I could have phrased that better , I was wearing my floury covered pinny at the time instead of allowing my breasts to hang free.

There is nothing wrong about being baffled by it but that's not what you said in your OP you said "scornful and slightly depressed and I resort to extreme sarcasm". That to me is unreasonable.

I don't get the ironing thing but plenty of women do it for their partners.

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 10:28:18

morning paper - have you considered, that the Wives are not making cakes for total strangers? Their OH probably shares every detail, so they know you as inimately as if they had sat next to you for years.......

bloss Mon 15-Dec-08 10:29:38

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 10:29:44

Hmmm I think for me it makes the MAN seem FEEBLE and A BIT PATHETIC TBH, rather than saying anything about the woman

I can't bear men that whiff of being looked after


morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 10:30:26

yes bloss I think the WOHM/SAHM thing is a red kipper

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 10:31:18

Yes I would feel a bit hmm about a man who needed his wife to proof read or rewrite his work

that would be a bit weird IMO unless he is dyslexic

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 10:31:31

Its relevant because I dont have the time to faff around making cakes for my colleagues! (single mother, 4 children)

Chandon Mon 15-Dec-08 10:31:53

MP, I can actually see where you´re coming from.

Yes, I am a SAHM, but I would not DREAM of making home made cakes for DH´´s colleagues.

I might consider it if he would mend things in the house, do a bit of gardening, get a driving license, mow the lawn etc. But as I do literally EVERYTHING, I think he knows beter than to ask me to bake him cakes !!!

But then again, I would not mind other wives baking cakes for their DH´´s colleagues. Just wouldn´´t do it myself.

(but yes, I guess I am a bit resentful... blush

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 15-Dec-08 10:33:18

YABU. If you think it's so weird, why are you eating the cakes eh? Not so strong in your principles when there is cake involved are you? [sniggger] It's very rude to resort to extreme sarcasm when someone's offering you a slice of cake though.

Nighbynight Mon 15-Dec-08 10:34:51

she admitted further down the thread that by coffee time her willpower was drained though.

I am unhealthily fascinated by this question now. Will not refuse the next slice of Austrian Torte that comes my way though.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 15-Dec-08 10:36:04

Pah! Clearly she doesn't feel strongly enough about it then.

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 10:36:29

Message deleted

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 15-Dec-08 10:37:24

If I were asked to bake a cake for someone, I would. I like baking and I can bake. I can also put up a curtain pole, repaint a room, wallpaper and mow the lawn amongst other things.

nappyaddict Mon 15-Dec-08 10:41:00

I wouldn't make a cake especially for my DP (if i had one) to take into work. But I like baking. Sometimes I make cake for no apparent reason. Then if there's some left over I give it to work people, neighbours whoever. If I had a DP no doubt I would send him to work with some.

NorkyButNice Mon 15-Dec-08 10:41:41

I bake cakes at the weekend because I enjoy baking. Depending how many I've made, DH and I will split them up and take some into each office - I can assure you that I am neither down-trodden, nor tied to the kitchen sink.

As it happens, DH has never has to ask me to make a cake as I'm normally doing it anyway, but if he did ask, then as it long as it wasn't inconvenient, of course I'd do it, Just as he'd do something I'm not skilled at if I asked him to. What a strange OP.

belgo Mon 15-Dec-08 10:42:40

I always make the cakes/pies for my dh's work things. Doesn't bother me. It's not because I am better at doing it, it's because I have more time then him.

scaryteacher Mon 15-Dec-08 10:54:13

If I know that dh and his colleagues are having a really hard time at work and are pressurised out of their skulls, then I'll send in cake to cheer them up; especially as some of their families are 3 or 4 countries away, and getting back to see them can be a hassle.

I also used to bake cakes and take them into work when I taught, particularly when we were in the midst of the report season, or year 9 were being really bloody.

I have also proof read my db's MA dissertation, as I did my dh's - to correct the errors that you just don't see when you've been staring at it for hours on end; and as all intelligent people know - the spell checker doesn't check for context. After all MP - doesn't your editor correct your stuff? I spell better than my db and dh combined, and can phrase things academically, rather than using military terminology, so why not?

bloss Mon 15-Dec-08 11:18:03

Message withdrawn

ForeverOptimistic Mon 15-Dec-08 11:35:08

I can't see the problem. Dh has a colleague who brings in food prepared by his wife, I always thought it was quite sweet not something I would do although dh has taken in leftovers of cakes I have baked.

I do also proofread dh's reports and he has done the same for me in the past. We usually end up rewriting each others cv's as well.

I don't iron for dh as I am usless in that compartment but he irons for me.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 11:42:43

Morningpaper, what's your problem??
You sound seriously bitter because you can't be arsed to do nice stuff for your DH/DP.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 11:45:15

Meant to add, it's pathetic that an innocent 'seeking advice' thread has sparked a bitchfest. Sad, really.

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:02:28

MP what exactly is wrong with looking after your dp/dh a bit? DH works until 9pm at the earliest, these days for the past 3 weeks he hasn't been home before 2am. SHould I not look after him, do his laundry, cook ,clean etc for him, should I leave a list of chores for him to do when he gets in whilst I am snoring away in bed? I don't bake for total starnagers I bake for dh's colleagues I have known for over a decade, who have come to my wedding, and I to theirs. DH doesn't ask me to do it, I do it because I enjoy it, and when they are pulling their hair out trying to meet a deadline at 1am a treat like a homemade cake is very welcome.

TBH I think people really are reading too much into this. If for one moment I though homemade goodies would have any influence over dh's job prospects I would be up there on a daily basis with a basket of fresh baked muffins! grin

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:03:39

If this is a bitchfest it's a poor excuse for one on a site populated by women I am sure we could do better if we tried.

Notreallycutoutforthis Mon 15-Dec-08 12:04:55

And just how often is an AIBU entry an 'innocent 'seeking advice''?

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:06:44

MP, I wonder what your male colleagues think of you with your scornful remarks? I bet they think you're a right sour-puss!

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:09:05

Libra, I mean the OP started a bitchfest.
Notreally: The original post that the OP is ridiculing as innocent.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:09:32

I think there is a huge difference between looking after your own DP/DH (I think that looking after one another is a totally essential part of any couple relationship) by doing laundry, cooking, cleaning or whatever other domestic chore/errand where you will get some kind of return in kind, and looking after your DP/DH's colleagues.

It would demean my DP's professional persona were I to send in home made cakes - he would look ridiculous.

Notreallycutoutforthis Mon 15-Dec-08 12:10:19

Aah - comment withdrawn smile

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:10:28

Message deleted

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:12:22

Really Anna?
How strange!

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:13:15

Message deleted

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:13:28

I don't think the OP started a bitchfest anymore than anyone who posts in AIBU does.

I also don't think sending in cakes to the office actually constitutes looking after colleagues I'm pretty sure they would die of scurvy pretty soon if that was the case.

Also Anna8888 what does your DP do that demands such a professional persona that home-made cakes would be frowned apon? Genuinely interested!

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:15:15

Bucksfizz I wasn't entreating people to be more bitchy I was commenting that I didn't think that this thread had been particularly bitchy compared with what this site is truly capable of.

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:15:15

Message deleted

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:15:41

No not strange. Domestic affairs have no place at all in the office environment.

However, sometimes DP's marketing director sends products home for me to try and give my professional opinion (she knows I am very difficult when it comes to cosmetics smile).

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:16:15

Anna. I am not looking after dh's colleagues I am sending them in a treat. oh an in response to

"It would demean my DP's professional persona were I to send in home made cakes - he would look ridiculous"

My husband is an extremely sucessful insolvency lawyer and me sending in cakes occasionally to work has been met with nothing but thanks it hasn't harmed him professionally in the slightest. In fact I had an email last week from his boss saying they were missing getting my cakes as I have been so busy with paid orders, home, chairing the pta to have time to do them for a while.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:16:58

Maybe not, libra, but that's not my point.
What I mean is, I can't believe someone sending cakes into the office gets the OP so wound up that she has to feel scornful about itand be bitchy about it.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:17:25

Bucksfizz are you actually reading my posts?

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 12:18:34

rofl at the Tortes of Tyranny and the Pastry of Patriarchy.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:18:56

Well maybe it's a cultural thing. I do not (and indeed must not) "treat" my DP's colleagues or employees. That would be a major infringement of professional boundaries.

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:20:29

Well I think that is rather sad Anna, that a few homemade cakes would be such a faux pas.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:20:49

"Domestic affairs have no place at all in the office environment."
How stuffy does that make you sound, Anna?That's headmistress-speak.
Since when was sending in cakes a "domestic affair" anyway?

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:21:00

Message deleted

WeWishEWEaMerryXmas Mon 15-Dec-08 12:21:38

This thread has also inspired me to bake this evening when I get home from work! Surely not the point but it has put the idea into my head!

If there are any left I may suggest DP take some to work and I probably will too.

I think YABVU btw. Would you feel it was better if the men had baked the cakes themselves?

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:22:11

TBH I think the more sucessful workplaces are those that recognise their staff are human beings witha life and family outside of the 4 walls, and wouldn't ridicule such a practice, imo makes for happier workers.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:22:15

Well if you are not allowed to that's a different matter. However in the UK I am nor sure of any profession which wouldn't allow someone to bring in cakes from the non-gender-specific partner.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 12:23:04

Who takes cakes to work anyway? I hate all my colleagues.


Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:24:51

Well I am exceedingly grateful that homemade cakes are not part of the boss's partner/wife's remit smile.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:26:54

This is what people are trying to explain, it's not a remit, it's not a duty or a chore, it's not a have to do. It's something that they like doing. You may not understand that, it may baffle you but then women who can walk in 3 inch heels baffle me but there is nothing wrong with it it's just not my cup of tea so to speak.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:29:01

No, I know it's not a duty. But, like I say, in the culture I live in it would make my DP look very silly indeed if his DP/DW sent in cakes to his colleagues - as in, she has nothing better to do with her time than bake.

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:29:23

Ah libra I bake in 3 inch heels grin

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:30:17

I agree Libra (though I like my heels!).
I would hate to be so up my own backside that I felt demeaned by making a few cakes for my Dh's colleagues at Christmas.
I really thought women had moved on.

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 12:30:39

"as in, she has nothing better to do with her time than bake." What a load of twaddle. It takes no time at all to bake. And how pray should we be spending our time Anaa, please enlighten me?

revjustaboutdrinksmulledwine Mon 15-Dec-08 12:31:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:35:31

CoV - you are getting unnecessarily upset. If, in the culture/circles you move in, it isn't damaging in any way to your DH's career for his DW to send in cakes and you love baking, that's fine - do whatever makes all of you happy.

I quite like baking and cooking. But I do it in a domestic setting only - first of all, I really don't have the time to bake/cook for anyone else and secondly, baking for non-domestic purposes/outside a very close circle wouldn't get anyone any appreciation around here. So better not to try smile.

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:36:53

Message deleted

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 12:38:35

I am stunned that whether or not you bake treats occasionally for DH to take into work could be so contraversial. You people will argue about anything it seems. You can't all be this bored.

May I suggest that those who don't have time to bake spend less time on Mumsnet? That should help.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:39:48

And I am doing my best to explain that "my attitude to baking" for DH/DP's colleagues is inevitably coloured by how baking for them would be perceived.

Or should I be all gung-ho and go on a baking binge and send in cakes and make my DP and me look like total idiots? (and destroy my relationship with DP in the process?)

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:40:11

Anna8888 you're in France aren't you? Are there any other people on here living in France that can back up this anti-cake feeling? Who knew cakes could be so political. I am trying to envisage anyone when asked if they would like a piece of cake from a work collegue would get a look of horror across their face and rush away muttering the devil, the devil whilst crossing said person off a promotion list.

In fact can you imagine that reason for non-promotion - his wife bakes cake. I'm sure there must be an employment law to cover this.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:43:16

What Anna says sounds strange and unbelievable to me too, but I guess if it's not the accepted culture then that's the way it is.
Has anyone ever tried bringing in cakes, Anna? IF so, what has the reaction been?
Would be interesting to do it just for the reaction!

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 12:43:17

Ana, you do tickle me. What does your other half do for a living? Why would cake be so ludicrous in his professional environment? You say it is cultural thing, you aren't French and haven't always lived in France, surely you must be able to explain...

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:45:10

Message deleted

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:45:29

I have explained.

poshwellies Mon 15-Dec-08 12:45:32

"May I suggest that those who don't have time to bake spend less time on Mumsnet? That should help"

Some of us don't have the inclination,thanks.


Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:46:02

Af, georgimama, to say we're all so boring, you've been lured into the big cake debate!!
I think this debate isn't as shallow as it first appears , though. It's interesting that some women still feel demeaned and somehow doentrodden by this very simple act. It smacks of insecurity to me.

Fennel Mon 15-Dec-08 12:47:16

I'm with MP on this.

People in my workplaces who brought in cakes baked by a wife would be ridiculed, but people who bring in cakes they've made are welcomed. There's a huge difference in making your colleagues some cakes and in making them for your partner's colleagues.

But I do work in raving hotbeds of feminism, this sort of thing would be very noticed.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:48:07

I actually think that the debate is about the accepted cultural boundaries between domestic and professional life. Obviously we all need to pay heed to the boundaries of the particular culture we live in - or else our professional lives will be negatively impacted.

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:48:24

Message deleted

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 12:49:24

Message deleted

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:51:08

If that's the way it is in France, I'm very glad I don't live there.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 12:53:23

Here's one for the anti-cakes at work brigade:
My DH loves baking too and is very good at it.
So how would you lot view it if I brought into work cakes made by my DH?

Janni Mon 15-Dec-08 12:57:27

There's no liberation in feeling answerable to other rather opinionated women about how you divvy up the jobs in your marriage.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 12:57:29

I've just checked with a male friend who has worked in France
"** you have worked in France. If your wife/partner had baked a cake for you to take into the office would it be frowned apon in the office? Is there a france cultural thing that disallows you to bring in homebaked goodies into the office. I am having a discussion about this on an online forum so of course this is very important.
** response
" I've just checked with my colleague who's 100% French from France and who previously worked in France, and he confirmed that it's not something weird."

So it's ok Gateau you could still live in France if you wanted.

BucksFizz Mon 15-Dec-08 13:00:17

Message deleted

bloss Mon 15-Dec-08 13:00:18

Message withdrawn

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 13:04:07

I didn't say you were boring Gatueau, I said you were bored. I am bored, I don't mind admitting it.

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 13:06:17

Yep, I am bored - I'm at work and everything is slowing down in the run-up to Xmas.
I wouldn't DREAM of spending an iota of my time on this at home. Not that would be boring.

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 13:07:37

Very true, Janni, very true.

TheVirginGoober Mon 15-Dec-08 13:09:03

I iron shirts, bake for strangers, pick up DH's prescriptions, run all sorts of wifey errands.
What does that make me?

Gateau Mon 15-Dec-08 13:12:00

A good wife, Goober.

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 13:12:32

Completely downtrodden and a disgrace to feminism apparentl VG.
I can't talk though, I work full time and do all that stuff. And I bake. I allow DH to put oil and water in my car, deal with joint correspondence such as bills and put the bin out. I'm a hopeless case.

bratnavipoddslitecuddlytoy Mon 15-Dec-08 13:13:47

This is a fascinating thread I have to say.

I work FT, have 3 gorgeous girls and my DP is the MD of a small-ish (20-30 employees) company. I am plenty busy, but I do love to bake.

I send in cakes reasonably frequently as I will do a huge batch for both his colleagues and mine.

You see, I have the perfect life, I work FT, bake for both my colleagues and DPs because I enjoy it, therefore I am not demeaned and DPs colleagues still get their goodies MWAH HA HA HA HA HA wink

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 13:20:23

You are demeaned, bratnav, you're just so conditioned you don't even realise it.

sticksantaupyourchimney Mon 15-Dec-08 13:22:40

I got the impression from the other thread that the OP didn't like baking or wasn't good at it - there is nothing wrong with baking cakes if you like doing it, nothing wrong with sharing them with people etc. What would annoy me is a man insisting his wife, who has other things to do and doesn't care for cookery anyway, bake cakes for his colleagues when it would be easier and quicker to go and buy some.

bellaBuonNatalevita Mon 15-Dec-08 13:24:13

I do a lot of homebaking and I regularly send in stuff to my DH's work when I am trying out new recipes and I love doing it too.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 13:26:57

oooh I am enjoying the Great Cake Debate

It is most interesting

And if anyone seriously thinks this is an enormous bitchfest, I am even more baffled than at the original cake-baking-wives-phenomena. It's about CAKES. Wherever one stands on the Great Cake Debate I do feel that investing too much emotion in it is probably unwise - 'tis only AIBU wink

Perhaps we should start baking FLAPJACKS OF FEMINISM (for women only)

Coldtits Mon 15-Dec-08 13:28:36


I am so feminist I have been referred to as "That squauking lipstick lezzer in the bike jacket".

And even I would send food in if I thought people would enjoy eating it.

I LOVE cooking for an appreciative mouth. I would do it for a female flatmate too ... and EX used to do it, as he likes to cook too.

MadamAnt Mon 15-Dec-08 13:29:27

LOL at tortes of tyranny etc grin

I occasionally send Dh with (fiendishly delicious) chocolate brownies. I do it to make his male colleagues fancy me and his female colleagues fat wink

bratnavipoddslitecuddlytoy Mon 15-Dec-08 13:29:56

Oh is that what it is georgiamama, thanks for setting me straight wink

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 13:29:58

well Madamant I can admore your strategy grin

revjustaboutbelievesinsanta Mon 15-Dec-08 13:30:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ladytophamhatt Mon 15-Dec-08 13:35:20

Christ almighty, why does it matter who makes the cakes?

I'd tell them not to bloody eat them if they were that bothered.

How pathetic, I think you all need to chill out abit!

daftpunk Mon 15-Dec-08 13:35:49

you know, i'm lucky that i don't suffer from depression...but i'll know all hope is lost if i ever get depressed and scornful about a cake.

MadamAnt Mon 15-Dec-08 13:38:18

Yes MP, they are the CAKES OF CRAFTINESS

Megglevache Mon 15-Dec-08 13:39:40

I like Brownies for Bitches meself.


LOL at Tortes though.

I would make dh a cake to take to work but he would troff through it all and most probably be break dancing on arrival at his works's reception.

MerryMadMarg Mon 15-Dec-08 13:40:59

<<I thought equal opportunties meant we were no longer tied to the kitchen sink, not that we weren't allowed back into the kitchen at all>>

Well said BucksFizz.

Honestly, some seriously flawed feminist views here. The idea of feminism was to give women the freedom to do what they want, not to tell them that they weren't allowed to do anything that came even close to 'domsetic', 'feminine' 'crafty', etc.

If I want to bake a cake, I'll damn well bake a cake. Being at home, I have noone to share it with, so will send them in with DH to work. I know some of his colleagues, and others I know from DH talking to me about them (yes, how odd, we actually share things with each other!!! hmm).

I also won't get told by any cynical divorcee or militant feminist that I can't 'knit' or 'sew' or any other crafty things because its such a stereotype. I enjoy them, I'll damn well do them. To me, that's what feminism is all about, doing what I enjoy, whether its trendy or 'feminist' or not.

Seriously MP and Fennel, get over yourselves! You're what give feminism a bad name!!!!

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 13:43:46

I think you cake-bakers ought to extend the services you offer your DH's colleagues. I'm sure they'd be grateful if you asked them to send their shirts to you to replace missing buttons, for example wink

LurkerOfTheUniverse Mon 15-Dec-08 13:46:18

pmsl @ morningpaper

my dp works from home, therefore if I made a cake for his collegues I would have to
eat it

grin Hurrah grin

Lulumama Mon 15-Dec-08 13:52:16

I have been known to get the DCs to make squashed fairy cakes with lots of icky food colouring and chocolate crispy cakes to take into the office. so, i get one up on all the wifely people. i am using child labour too grin

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 14:00:38

Anna believe me, I am not in the slightest bit upset. I couldn't care less what others' attitudes about me are. Many years on MN has given me a much thicker skin!

I do however find the way you put your points across as some what patronising and with a supposed air of superiority.

Anyway I am in the middle of making sugarpaste flowers for cupcakes for a christening this weekend which will earn me £100, and I make trow in a few extra for dh wink.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 14:02:12

If I was having colleagues home after a seminar, I might well ask dh to cook us supper. He makes my private pupils a pot of tea when they turn up. So I might well bake him some cakes. But if it was mince pies, he'd have to do them as that's part of his culture, not mine. And dh does the family knitting, because I'm not much good at it.

Nothing to do with feminism or being tied to the kitchen. I much prefer home-baked myself and would hardly find it worth the bother to nip over to Sainsbury's. But I am known in the neighbourhood as a good biscuit maker. And dh is proud of his knitting. Big deal? Not.

sticksantaupyourchimney Mon 15-Dec-08 14:10:49

Oh FFS! It isn't unfeminist to bake cakes IF YOU LIKE BAKING. It is unfeminist to bake cakes because you have been ordered to, when you have other things to do and there is no need to bake cakes (if your DH wants cakes for the office he can go and buy them). And there are some men who will make a big deal out of cakes being handmade by their wives - 'Look! My wife is a Real Woman (ie knows her place and obeys me, none of this women's lib nonsense in My house I'll have you know...)

juicyjolly Mon 15-Dec-08 14:21:34

sticksant......LOL.......thanks for that!

MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 14:56:11

Anna - baking cakes is not the same as mending shirts - sorry to make SUCH an obvious point.

MP - If I heard that one of the colleagues was being sarcastic about the kindly meant gesture of cakes being shared whilst eating one, I would suggest that they weren't included them in the next plateful - just seems very rude to me.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 14:56:28

That's a fair point, Sticksanta. I may still enjoy showing off my beautifully trained Modern Man, but that is a whole lot more innocuous because it is rare for a man to be forced into stepfording, but not that uncommon for a woman.

blimey this is still going on! Bit of a storm in a bun tin now isn't it? grin

Lulumama Mon 15-Dec-08 14:58:32

is this the right thread to admit i own a darning mushroom and have used it ?


MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 15:01:53

I wish I could darn.... (sighs wistfully). My school was too busy forcing me to take Latin to let me do home ec... (sobs into her cath kidson apron)

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:07:10

If cake baking would affect your relationship... well good luck really.

Is the idea that we shouldn't bake in order to show off our feminism - or is it just that we should not admit to baking - like some guilty vice?

I bake and my DH is welcome to take them to his office if he wishes. I doubt his collegues would view me as subservient though as whenever they come here he does all the cooking.
I am a great baker. A crap cook.

Neither of these two things affects the fact that we have a very equal relationship.

I am a bit hmm that anyone would have such a fragile relationship or sense of self that it could be shattered by a few buns.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:07:36

depends what you used it for..

Lulumama Mon 15-Dec-08 15:15:54

grin @Pag...

i also did latin, and taught myself to darn. £19 for new school jumpers!! make do and mend, i say !!

We've had some good rucks on here today haven't we?

Competitive Crisping
Subservient Sponge Making

Can't wait for the next one!

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 15:34:43

What exactly is the difference between baking for your DH's colleagues and doing their mending? hmm

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:36:48

I think I am with Anna, if I presented DH with some buns for his colleagues I think he would be very embarassed

He wouldn't think it appropriate either

He would happily receive baked goods that I had made for him though

But honestly, in the free time I have, making cakes for people I don't know is extremely low down on the list. My bafflement has not been sufficiently challenged by your arguments here and I am still suspicious that these spongecakes have the whiff of subjugation

I have missed the crisp-scandal and sponge-scandal, will have to catch up grin

erm.... they can't eat shirts?

MerryMadMarg Mon 15-Dec-08 15:38:29

hmm Anna8888 - you are seriously weird.

And do you invite friends over for a Sunday mendfest instead of a Sunday lunch?

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:38:50


well simply Anna I bake but I don't mend.

Is that too difficult for you?

Dh on the other hand is a whizz at sewing on buttons.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 15:40:41

Mending somebody's shirt (unless professionally employed to do so) to me is a fairly intimate thing; I wouldn't be doing that for dh's colleagues (or even for dh!). Cake baking is just one of those reckless bits of hospitality that you might perform to a comparative stranger because they mean very little. I wouldn't tell dh that he could make his own biscuit because I was eating all of mine. But I probably would tell him to see to his own shirts.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 15:41:54

Would also bake cakes for the school cake stalls- but I offer to sew buttons on the headteacher's shirt? I don't think so.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:42:16

I think that baking is quite an intimate gesture suggestive of dependency and nurturing

as it mending shirts to an extent

largely, both are something you do to people that you are fond of, perhaps?

Swedes Mon 15-Dec-08 15:42:34

Sharing food is sociable. Sharing washing or mending is not terribly sociable. It's not tricky.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:43:39

actually I often give fudge to people who visit at christmas.
I must remind anyone popping round to bring something that needs mending with them.
Because that is really the same isn't it

And after the turkey we can forgo the christmas pudding and guest can quietly watch me knit.

I think I am starting to get this..

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 15:44:33

Really, MP? So when we all (Mums and Dads) bake for the local cake stalls/charity do/NCT morning, are we being dependent and intimate? I thought it was just sociable.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:45:48

well cory those are largely for charity/to share with people you know

not to share for free with people you don't know

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:46:46

but pagwatch visitors are people you know (I assume) grin

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:47:44

You haven't been to my house have you?


ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 15:48:06

Cooking/feeding is suggestive of nuturing/dependency, I wouldn't say baking is. I wouldn't send in pack lunches for dh's colleagues (nor do I for him) however the odd batch of muffins/cupcakes as a treat to people I know fairly well and have socialised with is a different kettle of fish

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:49:37

actually pagwatch I popped by the other day - thanks for the delicious fudge grin

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 15:50:08

CoV I think it is different if you are a professional and are using them as testers grin

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 15:50:48

The work colleagues are people the DH knows. Sometimes (quite often) they are people the DW knows too.

Sometimes it is nice to exercise a skill you have, to help your partner do something kind for other people about whom he or she cares, just because you love your partner and want to make them feel good and help them make other people feel good.

I really don't get where the comparisons with darning, and the risk of professional suicide, come from. Some of you must have DHs with very very odd work colleagues (or very strange jobs).

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 15:51:28

grin @ MP
( who could actually be telling the truth such is Pags grasp on her own household)

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 15:51:52

Good job I haven't poisoned any of them, that certainly won't improve dh's promotional chances grin

ComeOVeneer Mon 15-Dec-08 15:53:26

TBH I did it before I went pro, simply because I enjoyed baking, sugar craft etc but really not a sweet tooth person, so I wouldn't have been able to partake in that passtime if I didn't have somewhere to fob the cakes off to.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 15:53:56

Morningpaper, I know a lot of dh's colleagues. Not that unusual, surely?

So next time the PTA want me to bake a cake for the cake stall, would it be appropriate for me to offer to take in washing instead?.... I would hate to get the protocol wrong grin

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 15:55:23

Being the nosy cow i am I want to know what all your terribly important husbands do that they would be embaressed to share home-baked cake around.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 15:56:56

"I think that baking is quite an intimate gesture suggestive of dependency and nurturing", Oh, pox to that, mp. It's an excuse to make a heeyuuge mess (that DH merrily clears up), eat some, but not all the cake - I love baking, but don't want to eat that much cake, so any excuse to bake is good for me. AND I like to show off the fact that I am, on a good day, a fucking good baker. Any excuse.

DH's colleagues know I work, they know and respect the kind of job I do, and treat me, when I meet them, absolutely as a friend and an equal. So ner, frankly.

(I'd be ruder, but you put me in the round-up, so you have some credit)

chaufleur Mon 15-Dec-08 16:08:28

Nowt wrong wi it!

I LIKE baking. Possibly I make too much to consume all by myself (even with DH helping AND I can eat A LOT of cake AND I am pg grin)

Therefore tis handy to occasionally send DH into work with the extra overs.

Would be different if DH insisted I baked and I hated it and didn't want to. The action (ie baking or ironing or whatever) is not the point. It's the attitude and "WespecK" between the partners that's the point, if there is some sort of element of exploitation.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 16:09:55

Actually, MP, have thought about this more. My extremely successful male boss is also a very good baker, and I suspect that any contributions to, say, a bring a dish lunch thing in his (also v successful) wife's place of employment would come from him. Is that also to be ridiculed, and dismissed as "WifeWork"?

Lulumama Mon 15-Dec-08 16:11:54

i think that over analyzing something as simple as taking cake to an office is indicative of deeper issues.

why does there have to be such a strident kick back against making cake?

what is wrong with having the ability to cook/bake and share that with people?

surely feminism was about choice? about women being able to choose to do what they wanted, and being perceived as equals... if a woman chooses to do something that is perceived as a feminine skill.. i.e baking, why is she derided? so many famous chefs and cooks are male anyway, so we should be applauding those women for entering a male dominated field

knitting is ok,if done in a quirky, slightly knowing , retro ironic fashion.. why can;t baking be the same?

or why can;t it just be somethbing that people like to do with no complex social issues behind it

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 16:15:29

it is pretty rubbish actually.
the notion that a woman who cooks is per se subservient.

Are we in a Terry and June episode?

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 16:16:13

I am quite active on the PTA. But, I do not bake cakes. When I found out men were excused from face painting just because they are men, I said chucked that one in too. I hate baking and I hate face painting (more than I hate baking). I do think it's a bit sexist that all the women are expected to bake cakes. I have told my nanny she can oblige if she wants to but by all means it will never be a required part of the job.

So, MP, I share your hmm on the subject. I went on a business trip with a guy a couple years ago who moaned while we were in the air about how his wife folded his shirts when she packed for him. I replied "She packs for you?!?!" I'd put itching powder in his shorts, personally, just for moaning about it. grin

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 16:19:43

Ok, I am moving this thread straight into the Relationships section! There I was, thinking that dh was just showing basic hospitality when he made drinks for my students, but now it seems he was getting intimate with them shock. Perhaps even dependent on them shock. And nurturing them shock. This will not do! In future, he will bring in an intimate cup of tea for me, and the rest of them can just watch. So there! angry

shitehawk Mon 15-Dec-08 16:21:02

I don't see baking cakes as something I do for people I'm fond of, MP.

I see it as something I do for people who like cake. And something I do to stop me eating all the cake myself and getting fat(ter).

I think you are over-analysing something which is harmless and inoffensive. If it's not your bag then that's fine - but don't patronise or aim scorn at those of us who do it.

tiredsville Mon 15-Dec-08 16:24:32

Gosh, I would just be chuffed all these cakes are available. Who cares who makes em? If you feel so strongly MP, don't eat them and pass my way grin

sicksantadenier Mon 15-Dec-08 16:25:02

I'm amazed people have the time and energy to bake

bloss Mon 15-Dec-08 16:25:40

Message withdrawn

unknownrebelbang Mon 15-Dec-08 16:27:00

This is all bolleaux really though, isn't it?

In my place of work, and DH's, if there's free food on the go, we don't give a toss where it came from/who made it, we just eat, especially if it's home-made.

We have never baked for each other for work, he has however bought a pack of donuts or similar into the office for me / my colleagues (yes, he actually bought them in and sat and had a cuppa with us on more than one occasion, too.)

Did my colleagues give a damn about where they came from? Nah, they were too busy stuffing their faces....

Hulababy Mon 15-Dec-08 16:27:01

I don't really bake but I would cook on behalf of DH. DH doesn't cook; he can knock together snacky type food but he doesn't do big dinners, etc. That is my area.

We kind of having divsiions of labour and specialism here at the hula household.

DH = ironing
Me = cooking


pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 16:28:04


I started because DS2 is allergic to gluten dairy etc. So if I hadn't beked for him he wouldn't have eaten much.
And then his sibs got jealous and i found I could bake well.

the more you bake the easier it gets until it just becomes something I can do now without really thinking about it.

And I never really get the time and effort thing. If you want to do something you fit it in . If you don't then you don't

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:29:04

Athenenoctua, perhaps he hates packing, perhaps in trade for her packing for him he checks the oil and water in her car.
(to be fair I would have had the same reaction as you at the time)
My DH (almost) never cleans the bathroom but I never mow the lawn.

*tries to imagine men getting worked up about the fact one of their work collegues checks his wifes oil and water in her car.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 16:30:39

grin at bloss.

and yet....

[page 11]

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 16:31:16

There wouldn't be a spare cake going, anyone?

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:32:37

Because sometimes it's just lovely to have a nice argument where the outcome doesn't really matter and no-one is truly getting their knickers in a twist.

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 16:32:50

On another occassion he came to work on a monday furious with her that she didn't get up and cook him and his sons breakfast when he woke her up on Saturday morning. He was still mad on Monday. I said, "I wouldn't cooke you breakfast eather if you woke me up." Clearly not the supportive response he wanted. smile

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:33:19

The question nobody is asking here though (whether or not you agree if it is right or wrong) is why it is almost always (but not exclusively) the women who bake, pack, mend. And the men who empty the bins, top up the oil, cut the grass.

Because it's a choice right? hmm

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 16:34:23

It isn't always. Not in the cory household.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 16:36:27

but it isn't like that in my house.
We choose and do the tasks that we like the most and are most competent at.
Dh does all the cooking and all the food shopping. DS1 cuts the grass. I empty the bin.

It is a choice.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:36:46

No, I agree and said so: in any individual family it might not be so gender-specific. But there is no doubt whatsoever that these kind of behaviours do, on aggregate, fall into stereotypical gender patterns.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:37:29

Athene, oh in that case he is just an arse.

Actually it is a choice Wilf, I choose which chores I want to do and DH does the rest grin

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:38:28

heh heh, pretty much like that in my house too Libra

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 16:40:01

Then surely the question is why people make the choices they do. Rather than the suggestion that there is no choice.

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 16:41:41

My DH would be delighted if I would take up cake baking. He once asked me if I wanted him to buy me a mixer, like it was a really nice gift he could get for me. I said something like "if you are going to use it, fine, but I wouldn't know what to do with it" smile

I do cook a fair amount. But he doesn't really like my cooking because I insist on putting in lots of veg and little fat.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:43:40

Indeed, that's a better way of putting it. Still, we don't have the answer yet on this thread. Why do women, en masse, choose to do more cooking, baking, nurturing, food provision, domestic care, 'housekeeping' and household management activities than men?

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 16:45:43

I'm inclined to think it is learned and not genetic.

Where is Xenia? Should she be here by now?

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 16:45:57

Wilf - yes, there is clearly an issue if girls are still taught cooking and sewing but not metalwork,and vice versa for boys (but metalwork not something commonly used by most people anyway. I mean, who has the tools?) - BUT, I do feel that MP's scorn is misplaced and unjustified - her equation of baking with intimacy and nurturing is surely part of the problem, rather than seeing it as something some women or some men do better/enjoy more than their partners.

FWIW, I bake, do most meals (and yes, it includes sandwiches - I'm making them for myself, ffs, it's hardly an imposition to make another one while I'm at it), and DH mows the lawn BUT he does most of the ironing and dishwashing and generally clears up after I've turned the kitchen into a bombsite.

I think we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater here, if we don't allow people to indulge their desire to perform simple acts of kindness...

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 16:46:20

hmm true wilf

you don't often hear men protesting: "But I choose to do craft!"

Idrankthechristmasspirits Mon 15-Dec-08 16:48:19

I do all the cooking/baking for two reasons;

1. I am very good at it seeing as my mum taught cordon bleu and all that and passed everything on to me.

2. My partner is shit at it because his mum is a shit cook and passed everything on to him.

I also do any plumbing, rewiring, mechanical jobs on our cars, fixing various toys/lawnmowers/domestic appliances as necessary.
Cos i am an engineer innit.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:49:43

But I don't think MP's connection between baking and nurturing/intimacy is at all misplaced. It is gendered behaviour and women do this more than men. Women don't just learn it through explicit teaching from schools or parents; complex patterns of femininity values women for their provision of food as care. The justifiable anguish that many of us on here face as we try to wean/feed our babies is enough evidence of a strong connection between feeding and intimate motherhood. And it stretches into partnership relations to, as well as friendship relations: being a good woman (by baking for example) is also for other women too sometimes (and the social good: hence the PTA).

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 16:50:03

Can't help noticing that most of my Swedish male friends seem to be more into cooking/baking than their colleagues in this country. Now that wouldn't be because Swedis schools have run compulsory cooking classes for both sexes for the last 40 years or so?

Also, compulsory woodwork for girls.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:53:09

I'm with Athene on the active-on-the-PTA-but-doesn't-bake-cakes thing. I will never, ever bake a cake for school. I reserve cake-baking for friends and family, where cake baking, IMO, belongs.

I even lobby other parents on the Parents Association to join me in my boycott of all cake-related activities wink.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 16:53:30

MP, that's partly to do with the fact that craft is generally not something one needs in day to day life, though - how many pencil holders does one person need?

The problem is that girls are taught the useful, practical real day-to-day stuff, and boys learn metalwork or "craft". Would you, however, be equally angry with a man sending cakes to his wife's work, as per my example above.

I think we need to be free to choose to enjoy baking and distributing baked goods without feeling that we HAVE to, surely?

Idrankthechristmasspirits Mon 15-Dec-08 16:53:54

Good point cory. When i was at college doing my apprenticeship (both of them, i did an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic when i left school and then later di another one as a marine engineer) i was the only female.
I was touted around the local girls schools in an attempt to get more young women interested in engineering.
It didn't really work that well at one of the schools as they had no options for any practical subjects such as woodwork or metal work for example. Just home ec or needlework.

When i was at school i went to a girls school, i used to go across to the boys school down the road for metalwork and cdt.

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:54:32

I do most of the cooking in this house because if I didn't then our suppers would consist or either Sainsburys chicken super noodles OR pizza. If he was very hungry then it would be both and no if I made him do the cooking every night he wouldn't soon change his mind and learn to cook. He likes sainsburys chicken super noodles and pizza and sees no reason to deviate from this.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 16:54:49

Go Sweden! My point exactly. I bet Swedish men all knock up little things at Xmas for their wives.

I wasn't at all suggesting it was genetic (think someone may have misunderstood me). But the idea it is a free choice not v convincing either.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 16:55:33

But Wilf - is the answer to stop some people doing what they turn out to be skilled in, or to simply allow them not to do it if they're shit/hate it? t

Libraloveschristmas1975 Mon 15-Dec-08 16:56:31

Am I allowed to admit I think that men and female think differently or is that basically mumsnet suicide?

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 16:57:53

Anna, I also think it's very hypocratic of the school. They send home guidelines for the lunch box and specifically ask parents not to put chocolate or crisps in it... and then "Bake sale at 3:15!" Yes, of course, because chocolate is more nutritious at 3:15 than it is at 12:00. hmm

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 16:59:12

"I reserve cake-baking for friends and family, where cake baking, IMO, belongs." This bothers me, tbh - it feeds too much back into the WifeWork thing - it's in the house, it's intimate, it's not to be demonstrated outside.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:00:17

Oh I agree - we are not allowed to send in snacks for break time; why would cakes sold outside school at 4.15 pm be so much more nutritious than a mid-morning snack?

Anyway, I don't want to use my time or energy baking cakes for the school; I want to use it to create a better learning environment.

AtheneNoctua Mon 15-Dec-08 17:00:19

hypocratic? Did I say that? hypocrytical is obviously what I meant.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:02:28

Pass the hypocras! Oh- and don't forget a slice of that cake grin

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:03:57

It's good to be intimate and to reserve domesticity for those you love. There is a difference between private and public life.

daftpunk Mon 15-Dec-08 17:04:22

i'm all for equality...but i prefer my dh under a car than making cakes.

GoodWilfToAllMN Mon 15-Dec-08 17:04:23

Hab, no. I would never wish to address these things at the level of the individual. And indeed no-one should be made to feel bad because of the stuff they just do or are used to. But MP was using pointed humour to show up what is in reality a pretty massive gender division in our culture that hasn't really been challenged. Yes, individually, we're all free agents; yet overall many women get to do these things because they feel they should. Or they don't question why they enjoy it (and why should they?) And don't get to do other things (fixing their car?) because they feel they shouldn't or don't get the opportunity to learn.

So yes, when people are happy with the arrangement and feel the deal is fair, no problem. The cracks show though when analogous behaviour ends up someone's responsibility (child care is a case in point) and relationships are configured as if one gender is just 'better' at it or enjoys it more.

I think MPs objection to cake-provision might have been unpicking these seams...

daftpunk Mon 15-Dec-08 17:04:53


cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:06:47

Yes, but we don't all have to agree that cake-baking belongs to the intimate sphere. To me, it's basic hospitality. Not something rare and special that I have to keep for a select few. Mixing up another cake just isn't a big deal to me.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:07:15

That was to Anna's post.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:08:54

Cake baking is hospitality when it's in your own home - you bake a cake for people you have invited over to share your private life.

Sending a cake with your DH into his office is not hospitality because you aren't there and in any case it isn't a party.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:08:55

Yes, Wilf makes good points. One thing I would to ask though is, would you feel the same way about a bloke doing things to the car or changing a plug. Again, this is something certain people might expect him to do because he's a man. Is he demeaned by it? If not, why? Discuss.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:10:37

Anna, we just see these things differently. I'll be sending biscuits in to dcs childminder, teacher and the man who drives the disabled taxi. It's just a small gesture of appreciation in that case. They are not invited to share my private life.

If dh gets to take cakes to the office, it's most likely because one of us made too many.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:11:18

Well, yes - I wish I'd had the opportunity to learn car maintenance and DIY at school - my dad tried, but wasn't that good at them himself, so that rather failed. DH comes from a family of roofers and slaters. And is much worse at DIY than I am. But we are lucky, I agree - to be aware of being able to make the choices we have.

Anna - I just don't see cake-baking as domesticity - that, to my mind, is part of the problem here - baking is women's work, it's domesticity, it's private. Unless you're James Martin, and then it's a moneyspinner. I don't feel nurturing when I give DH cakes to pass around. I'm showing off AND getting unwitting guineapigs in the process.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:12:56

I think you are talking about giving biscuits as a present to people to whom you owe personal thanks, cory. Which is a very different story again.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:14:00

Oh well, maybe I would rather show off other talents than cake baking smile.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:15:47

I wonder if the reason Anna and I feel so differently about home/outside sphere is that she lives in France where I believe the home is quite an intimate place, whereas I have my roots in Sweden where if you joined a new firm you would expect to be invited to your colleagues' homes and given a complete tour of the house, including the bed rooms grin.

I feel the UK is somewhere in between.

But it seems I'm not the only one to fail to spot a link between baking and domesticity. To me, it's no more intimate than buying somebody a drink.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:16:22

Anna, I'm MUCH better at baking than DH. So if he has a thing to which he needs to bring food, I'll do it because I like it, I'm better at it. If someone at my work needs help with something he's better at than I am, I'll ask if he'll help. I guess I see our skills as shared, iyswim?

sticksantaupyourchimney Mon 15-Dec-08 17:17:07

There's nothing wrong with feeding people at work - in one office, there was a chap who had an allotment and routinely brought in raspberries or tomatoes or blackcurrants to share with the rest of us. The core issue that so many people keep missing is: women don't have to bake cakes if they don't like baking and have no talent for it, just because some men are actually tragic enough to think that other men care whether they have managed to subdue their wives into obedience. (hint. A cake is a cake. It either tastes nice or it doesn't. If someone at work offers you a cake, you generally don't actually give a flying fuck who made it.) I have no interest in baking, so don't do it. WHen DS starts school, any requests for cakes from the PTA or whatever will be responded to with a nice cake from Lidl or Asda. In its box, of course. I won't be duffing it up to make it look home-made. A cake's a cake. I don't need to create one to prove I have a fanjo.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:17:49

If dh's colleagues got cakes made by me, it would be a sort of overflowing of baking day. Particularly at Christmas time, when the house is overflowing with food. It does that- overflows. At other times, we've been given garden produce by his work mates, and he regularly gets rid of excess apples that way.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:19:21

"maybe I would rather show off other talents than cake baking". Fair enough, surely, but it shouldn't mean that cake baking isn't a talent that should be shown off if you so choose.

I'm very good at reading 14th century manuscripts, but to being this up in general conversation is odd, and impresses far fewer people than my cakes...

Twiga Mon 15-Dec-08 17:19:32

Not read all of the thread but I would quite happily send in stuff with dh to work if asked - their job is pretty stressful and hours can be long so if I can help raise a smile or two have no objections. Sometimes if dh is on night shifts I've sent him in with enough dinner for at least two to help break the monotony of micro meals which tend to be a staple on that kinda shift. Wouldn't by any means bake/cook constantly for dhs work but don't mind on occasion - he would do himself if he had the time. Think food is a fab social/bonding thing and partic in stressful jobs can be a nice way of bringing people together.

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 17:21:23

If I were to bake a cake for DH to take to work (it is most unlikely actually, his colleagues send me cake) it wouldn't be to show off a talent, Anna, it would be for the pleasure of sharing. You do have a very funny way of looking at things.

I still want to know what your husband does and why your baking would expose him to ridicule...

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:22:23

Anna got that from me, georgie. I told her I was a show-off cake-baking ponce.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:22:26

georgimama - I wasn't the one who brought up "showing off". Read the thread smile

Piccalilli2 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:22:47

I like baking. I also like eating cake. However, I have no desire to be the size of a house. Hence, I bake, reserve a reasonable amount for home consumption, then send the rest in with dh. His team is small so there's enough to go round whereas mine's too big. I fail to see a problem, feminist or otherwise, in any of that.

Anna8888 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:24:51

My DP runs a company where there expected standards of professional behaviour smile. 95% of his workforce are women and they work very hard - I doubt they would be appreciative of the boss's wife sending in cakes baked in her spare time. It would be immensely patronising.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:28:24

What if the boss brought in excess apples he'd grown in his spare time? Would that be immensely patronising?

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 17:29:04

And I still don't understand what is unprofessional about cake. Anna is determined not to explain, could anyone hypothesise for me what the problem is? I am not being arsey, I am genuinely interested.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:31:48

What is the boss's wife expected to do with her spare time? Is she not supposed to have any?

daftpunk Mon 15-Dec-08 17:33:09

she should be fixing the car...he should have made the cake himself.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 17:33:27

If anyone ever thinks of me as "the boss's wife" then it shows we do not have the sort of relationship where I will spend any time baking for them hmm

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:34:41

Yes, can I be the first to ask that one!! If the boss brings in a scrumptious cake made by himself, does this count as professional standards. Or is it unprofessional because he is not supposed to have any sapre time?

sprogger Mon 15-Dec-08 17:34:57

I can understand what's unprofessional about cakes at a certain level of seniority. If your DH is a manager and brings them in for his team/immediate colleagues, it's highly likely he's sharing them with people he sees every day and with whom he has the occasional let's-talk-about-our-families type conversation.

OTOH, if your DH is CEO it's likely he does not see his direct reports every day (they're all far too busy), and when they do see each other it's to hash through the latest restructure or financials. In that sort of environment, to bring in a bunch of touchingly messy hand-frosted fairy cakes could be viewed as a little... odd.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 15-Dec-08 17:35:03

Immensely patronising??? What a load of boll rubbish.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:36:37

Also, is it the cake eating itself that is unprofessional, or cake for all being supplied by one person, or cake being supplied by someone not of the office, or cake supplied by a woman? If one of the female work force goes out and buys a cake, is that unprofessional? Can she scoff it all herself and still count as professional?

Am fascinated by insights from a really professional workplace.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 17:37:08

Cory I think ANYONE bringing in cakes or food that THEY have made/bought for their colleagues is NICE

it's just when this job is shifted to another member of the family that it becomes a trifle odd

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:38:07

Messy?!! Speak for yourself,
Sprogger! I won't be sharing my cake with you!

<flounces off towards the cupboard>

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 17:39:11

BUt mp, if your dh had an employee, who didn't know you, but saw your picture, say - she'd surely just think "that's the boss's wife"? It can just be neutral. Dh's students must just think I'm Dr MrHab's wife - they don't know anything about me. Doesn't mean I have a problem with them eating our excess cake.

Any anyway, MP - what about someone's husband sending in cake?

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 15-Dec-08 17:40:08

Is it odd for something to be done by the more proficient member of the family though?

thefortbuilder Mon 15-Dec-08 17:40:39

I can't remember mp - had he asked her to make it or was it one she had made and was left over iyswim?

surely in that case there wasn't a job that was shifted, there just happened to be extra cake.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:40:42

So if I had watered that apple tree, it would be odd for dh to take in excess apples?

Piccalilli2 Mon 15-Dec-08 17:41:57

dh is a lawyer and head of department. but his department really like cake. I can't see what's unprofessional about that. Maybe if they were sharing it with clients.

sprogger Mon 15-Dec-08 17:42:13

Hey, even my fairy cakes are a little messy and I pipe frosting onto them because I am just THAT anal.

(I don't take them into work though, I give them to my mum friends k, .)

Coldtits Mon 15-Dec-08 17:42:20

Anna, eating cakes for elevensies is a peculiarly British phenomenon. And I wouldn't find it patronising to be given cake by someone else, because I don't consider cake making to be my job, and am therefore completely neutral to the idea of opther people doing it forme.

The idea of being patronised by other people's cake goes hand in hand with "Oh I would be far to ashamed to have a cleaner, people would think I needed one!" and before you know it, you are laying out your husband's shirts so he doesn't wear the unironed ones and have people thinking you don't do the ironing.

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 17:45:17

Coldtits is right. Eating cakes for elevensens is a perfectly professional thing to do. And why would anyone want to eat inferior shop-bought cakes if there were much better home-made ones going spare. I would have taken dh's mince pies in for my students if we hadn't happened to scoff them all within days.

Panta Mon 15-Dec-08 17:50:06

Crumbs ( as it were) MP - is this really exercising you?
Doesn't matter a figgy puddy. Unless you desire to be picky and trying over it. Which I'm sure you don't.....

MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 17:57:34

I've worked in lots of female dominated places - even immensely professional ones - and when the boss's wife came in, we were just grateful to have something nice to eat - NOT patronised.

what kind of a household is it (as alluded to earlier) where there are left over cakes?
If I bake cakes they ALL get eaten, no chance of left overs.
I think it all depends on the culture of cake-taking-in.
If man is expected/required to take in a contribution, and he can't be arsed to either cook or otherwise sort it out, then getting his wife to do it is indeed 'wife work' same as ironing his shirts.
On the other hand if for some reason a woman feels so generous towards her DH's colleagues that she takes it into her head to bake cakes for them which he in turn kindly transports for her, i would see this as slightly excessive and eccentric generosity.
Hev just consulted DP which is cooking curry while I print Christmas cards. He thinks it would be considered odd in his workplace for the former to happen. Also that any man who coudn't sort out his own food contribution would be 'a bit crap'.
(An exception might be if I had my own independent professional relationship with his colleagues and wanted to wish them well.)
....But then as he says, we exist on the fringes of society.

Fillyjonk Mon 15-Dec-08 18:08:50

yes yes, I am with you on this MP but I am not sure why it is so creepy

I think its just too stepford and wifey really.

God I would have to kill anyone who (I knew) had referred to me as "the boss's wife" though. <twitch>

thefortbuilder Mon 15-Dec-08 18:15:29

aaah you see i do love to bake cakes but as there is only me at home with ds1 (2.6) and ds2 (9mo), and i don't want to end up as big as a house by eating all my great cakes. so there are always leftover cakes going spare.

that's I don't want to end up looking like a house not DH doesn't want me to btw wink

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:19:02

I'm LMAO at the idea of everyone thinking anyone who bakes for their dh's colleagues is a Stepford wife.

I love to bake, and when I do I bake 3 or 4 batches at a time, or 3 or 4 different items and I usually give my partner some to take into his University/workplace.

I fail to see the issue with that, it prevents me from eating them all and I find baking relaxing.

He's a better cook as a rule and I'm the better baker so often he makes soup for me, salads, cooked meals etc to take into college with me and often makes enough for me to share with the other students.

Is that creepy too?

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 18:31:52

Even if you enjoy it, and have the time to make and ice four cakes, it's expensive to make several instead of just one.

kerala Mon 15-Dec-08 18:37:56

I had an ex boyfriend that used to make me packed lunches every day it was marvellous. Sadly nothing else in the relationship was that great but do miss those lunches

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:38:30

I find it cheaper to bake batches/cakes at a time and less time consuming to bake 4 at a time than to bake one, one day then a few days later bake another.

shitehawk Mon 15-Dec-08 18:41:46

Stepford Wifey? I am the least Stepford-like wife I know ... in fact, I am a slattern.

It's just a bloody cake ... who really gives a toss who made it?

Flipping Norah.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 18:47:22

Does flipping Norah bake then ?

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 18:49:21

OK if anybody is making five cakes instead of one, just cos they love baking, make six for god's sake! and send it to me. thank you.

Fillyjonk Mon 15-Dec-08 18:49:45

lol you stepford wives all doth protest too much

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:50:50

I must have a Stepford 'husband' then.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 18:51:00

Stepford-wifey? This is daft, and bit fucking un-sisterly, tbh. Yes, I'll offer to make a cake for dh if he has to take something in - because i'm itching for an excuse to get in the kitchen and make a mess. He would never ask, would always assume that he'd do it himself, but I love baking. What's stepford-wifey about that? I don't think it impinges in the slightest on my own perception of myself as a well-educated professional woman. This is coming from the woman who hates the word wife, and gets very frosty when referred to as Mrs rather than Dr...

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 18:53:02

Habbibu, you could be saving lives but you're making cakes! outrageous! wink

I agree with you about making cakes. Full stop. Sending them into your husband's office is strange though.

Fillyjonk Mon 15-Dec-08 18:55:02

lol, clearly cake baking is NOT something one can lightly dismiss on MN

<remembers what happened to Joanna in The Stepford Wives and runs VERY FAST>

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 18:55:19

Why on earth do you make 4 cakes if you don't need them? It's not "economical" if you are having to give them away because you can't eat them. What is it with compulsive cake-baking?

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:55:32

Why is it strange?

They're going to eat it which is exactly what I'd do with it? It's a fucking cake not a metaphor for the repression of women.hmm

cory Mon 15-Dec-08 18:55:42

Not stepford in my case, more that dh would do the same thing for me. We both enjoy baking and cooking.

Fillyjonk Mon 15-Dec-08 18:55:57

( I do bake quite a lot of cakes, btw

But I eat them

Or give them to friends

Aside from the stepford thingy, I find it peculiar that people can bake more cakes than they can eat)

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:56:43

Usually I freeze them, but sometimes I do give one to my partner to take into university/work with him.

I enjoy baking and it's nice to have a cake/cookies/brownies in the freezer.

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 18:57:27

You know, if you don't NEED a cake, then cook something else

such as dinner

or sit down with a cup of tea

or read a book

or do some work

I don't get how anyone has so much time that their houses are filled with cakes that they have baked as a therapeutic activity

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 18:59:11

I do all of those things too.

My house isn't literally filled with cakes, about once a week I decide to bake because I enjoy it so much.

And I don't just bake cakes, pies, pastries,brownies, cookies etc. And yes I cook meals I can freeze too.

Coldtits Mon 15-Dec-08 18:59:38

"Have a cup of tea"

Only a non baker would understand how that fails completely to address the issues of bakerholics. I scorn you.

ScottishMummy Mon 15-Dec-08 19:00:20

i eat any cake.servile wifely or not dont odds.pass the cake go easy on bellyaching

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:00:20

WTF is so odd about baking a cake.

It doesn't seem to be the act of baking people object to, it seems to be cakes themselves. Is there some deeper meaning to sponges that I'm unaware of?

shitehawk Mon 15-Dec-08 19:01:00

Yes, we rather get the point that you don't get it, MP.

But trust me, some of us do enjoy baking. Some of us find it therapeutic. You don't - that's fine. But I do, and that is also fine and I don't feel I deserve your scorn because of that.

I am a big girl now; I am allowed to bake if I want to.

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:03:11

What I'm doing just now. Being repressed by my chauvinist partner.

Actually I'm sitting here with a cup of tea and some chocolate digestives, chatting online and considering doing some studying, while my partner is busy wrapping the last of the Christmas gifts and then is going to clean the kitchen.

Oh woe is me.

sticksantaupyourchimney Mon 15-Dec-08 19:12:35

Actually I would say that someone who bakes so many cakes that they regularly have to give them away to random strangers might have either too much time on his/her hands or some other sort of ishoos. (this does not, obvioulsy, apply to CoV who is a professional cake-maker and likes to test recipes on people - that's understandable). Or is it that certain recipes can't be made in less than massive quantities?

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:16:42

Heaven forbid that people have hobbies.

It's once a week for me, sometimes not even that often.

And I don't have to give them away to random strangers, I do have a freezer but I see no problem with allowing others to enjoy them also.

Besides I don't have to give them away at all, I can eat a lot of cake, a hell of a lot of cake and my partner can too, but I'd rather freeze/share them.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:16:46

"someone who bakes so many cakes that they regularly have to give them away to random strangers might have either too much time on his/her hands or some other sort of ishoos."

Oh come on. You make a normal sized cake fitting a normal sized tin but there are 2 of you and one toddler in the house. Half the cake is more than sufficient, so you send the other half away for DH to feed his colleagues/students. What's so fucking freakish about that? And mp, so you don't like baking - is no-one allowed to like anything you don't now <burns up in cake-fuelled frenzied outrage>

eekareindeer Mon 15-Dec-08 19:17:14

I hate cooking so much I could never waste the time and effort spent on cooking to do something as frivolous as a cake (which as a foodstuff I really don't like).

I have to cook to provide something relatively healthy for my family to eat almost every day.

If I ever do get round to baking, I do it with the children because they seem to enjoy it, so its an activity I grit my teeth for (much like making cards with glittery glue and the like).

But I am a SAHM with school age children. I have the time to bake. I choose not to. And so I can't imagine ever cooking something for DH to take into work to share with his colleagues. In this regard I perfectly well understand the OP.

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:18:55

But you don't like baking, eek - fair enough. I don't get why people like to slide down mountains on sticks. I really don't. And it costs a fucking fortune. Do I feel the need to castigate those who do it?

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 19:19:32

oooh Habbibu but I DO like baking

But not to the extent that I have a surplus hmm. I would, you know, stop baking at that point, or make a pie for dinner instead

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 19:20:25


is that it?

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:20:32

But I'm just talking one cake, mp - half is enough for us, so I give DH the other half. Now why is that freaky?

ScottishMummy Mon 15-Dec-08 19:21:47

stop SHOUTING chill out.what a fuss about nowt

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:21:51

My partner makes meals for a few days at a time, is that weird too?

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:22:05

Not really - how many cakes are you getting at work, mp? Is it every day? Is there a non-stop supply?

well you know, maybe some of us enjoy baking and also enjoy doing something nice for other people???
it isn't much trouble to make extra cake if you're already cooking some, and knowing that other people are going to appreciate it is very nice.

eekareindeer Mon 15-Dec-08 19:24:28

Oh no, I don't feel the need to castigate those who do it (baking, lol! not a criminal activity), Habbibu.

I feel a frisson of understanding with the OP (although disclaimer: I don't feel so worked up as to start a thread about it).

I only posted to let her know that there are one or two of us who get where she is coming from. I feel a bit sorry for her flaming.

expo Mon 15-Dec-08 19:25:16

why even get worked up about it??? some people enjoy making cakes for their DH and ironing their shirts. Other people thinks that this makes them a mug.

Personally speaking, I do ever so occasionally iron a shirt for my DH and I feel all lovely and warm inside because I know he appreciates it. It is NICE to do things for each other. That IMO is what makes a marriage work....But that is only my opinion. If others don't get that warm feeling when doing something for their DH/DP then, well, they are different from me that's all!!!

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 19:25:45

I was expecting a flaming

I like a bit of a flaming over a good subbject like cakes, though - it is the masochist in me

in the old days Soupdragon would just have come on the thread and punched me and that would be that

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:26:05

Oh, don't feel sorry for mp - she's all fired up on the excess sugar she gets from Women Who Bake Too Much.

And me, I'm enjoying a good ol' harmless MN ruck. As I suspect is mp...

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 19:26:39

for the record, I make AMAZING mince pies

they are light and delicious

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:26:48

<puts on dragon gloves>

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:27:09

<takes aim>

morningpaper Mon 15-Dec-08 19:27:27

it's a good topic for a ruck

<runs away>

ScottishMummy Mon 15-Dec-08 19:27:33

i make my boyfriend sandwiches when i make extra effort as im doing it anyway.don't feel oppressed

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:28:14

<snatches mince pies and posts them to Mr MorningPaper's place of work with a note saying "To all my hunni's lovely workmates, big kisses from mp">

but MP do you never feel like sharing the mince pie love and basking in the glory when everyone says how lovely they are???

oh and, for the record, I don't think I have ever ironed a shirt for dp! lol

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:28:51

<that's mp The Boss's Wife, btw>

ScottishMummy Mon 15-Dec-08 19:29:31

i make smashing tablet and send dp in with it

LiffeyCanSpellGeansaiNollaig Mon 15-Dec-08 19:29:49

I'm with you on this one Morning Paper. Why does nobody ever bake and bring it to a women's refuge or to a homeless shelter or to the staff at A&E?

If I was afflicted by the urge to bake 5 cakes (cos it's as easy as baking 1 hmm ) then I'd bring them to an old people's home I think!

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:31:37

I've tried that but they aren't able to accept home baking because of health and safety regulations.

eekareindeer Mon 15-Dec-08 19:31:55

Oh yes, I also occasionally iron shirts for DH.

Birthdays and Valentines Day usually guaranteed.

Sometimes if I'm ironing a pile of stuff for myself of an evening, I'll do one of his shirts too.

TheFalconInThePearTree Mon 15-Dec-08 19:34:11

It is easier than baking one at a time,imho once you have the mixture you just spoon it into the tins, there's very little extra effort involved.

And I'll be dammned if I'm creaming bloody butter and sugar every time I want a slice of cake. I love baking but I absolutely hate that part and baking a few at a time means I can avoid it for longer.grin

Habbibu Mon 15-Dec-08 19:35:48

Have to point out the perennial comedy of people MNing complaining that other MNers have too much time on their hands. Oh yes, we're all sooooooo busy...

poinsettydog Mon 15-Dec-08 19:40:50

ONly read op. What alot of replies.

Quite a few women get a warm satisfaction from baking for others, especially if they will not bne there as often they are trying To Lose Weight.

I sorta understand it even though I would scoff.

poinsettydog Mon 15-Dec-08 19:41:59

It's a wibbly wobbly woman thang

Lizzylou Mon 15-Dec-08 19:43:32

LOL @ Habbibu, if there was no MN just