This Sexist, Mansplaining Cookbook Trope Has Twitter Baffled

Most stock photos are awkward, stilted and wholly unremarkable. They’re simply visual representations of bland people doing bland things together, like embracing over their shared love of Activia, or walking along an empty beach, or laughing soullessly as they drift along in a rowboat. We shouldn’t examine them under a microscope, because, in truth, there is nothing of substance to examine.

That said, stock photos can absolutely be accused of falling into an all-too-familiar trap: good, old-fashioned sexism. And no, I’m not just talking about the wildly outdated advertising campaigns from the 1950s and ’60s.

Recently, writer Mike Rugnetta noticed that a shocking number of modern cookbook covers feature overbearing men “helping” women cook by leaning over their shoulders and being generally invasive.

Like … this trope pops up A LOT. Apparently, none of these men trust their wives unsupervised in the kitchen.

Apparently, this trend is disturbingly common among stock photo archives of couples cooking together.

The whole thing is hilariously insulting, particularly considering the fact that micro-managing your spouse’s cooking by putting your hands over theirs seem highly inefficient.

What the f*ck are these people cooking that requires this level of codependent vegetable preparation?

I guess that women really can’t be trusted to cook unless they’re under the watchful guidance of a man!

I mean, it’s probably best to be on the safe side and not allow tiny, itty-bitty ladies to handle sharp knives by themselves.

So, basically, these cookbooks are used by women but seemingly engineered by men?

IDK, maybe these are all just romantic, Stockholm Syndrome-themed cookbooks.

Bottom line: there are so many questions and pretty much zero answers.

Twitter has decided (and I think we can all agree) that this level of hands-on kitchen assistance should be dubbed “deMANstrating.”

The whole thing is pretty insulting and regressive, and serves as a reminder that there are constant, subtle ways in which outdated gender dynamics are reinforced in our daily lives.

But, then again — these aren’t even the most depressing cookbooks I’ve seen this week.