RUSH: How many of you parents out there — stick with me on this — have little boys that are say, seven, six, five, and four? I know a lot of you do. How many of you have gone out and bought little play kitchens for them to play in? This is an Associated Press story, and it’s a chickified news story, written by Melissa Kossler Dutton. ‘William Batson knows firsthand that when friends visit, they’re likely to gather in the kitchen. The 6-year-old regularly invites guests into his play kitchen to prepare pretend meals, wash dishes or stow food in the refrigerator.’ We are raising the next generation of girlie men. In the kitchen, now! ”The stove talks,’ says William, who lives in Phoenix. Mary Batson bought her son a kitchen set before he could walk. She thought it was a great toy, although her husband, Alan, had doubts.’ But as the husband, what could he do? ”He rolled his eyes,’ she says. ‘I said, ‘What are you thinking? Look at all the male chefs.” These days both Batsons are fine with William spending time in the play kitchen. Alan, who enjoys cooking, came around quickly after he saw how much fun his son had with the toy.
‘The idea of boys playing in kitchens seems more palatable to parents today than in earlier generations, probably because of how they were raised and how they run their households, says Dr. Michael Kaplan, an assistant clinical professor at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn.’ Folks, this bothers me more than the woman in Iowa. The woman in Iowa crying because somebody cared about her, that’s standard fare in a political campaign. But this scares me for America’s future. ‘Men are reshaping and rethinking their roles,’ said Dr. Michael Kaplan. No, men have nothing to do with it. How old…? (interruption) Boys or girls? Dawn just told me that three triplets, boys, two years old, bought ’em a play kitchen? Three play kitchens? Three play kitchens, one for each little boy at age two. This is far more worrisome, ladies and gentlemen, than a woman in Iowa who is crying, and for the guy here, the assistant clinical professor at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, to say, ‘Men are reshaping and rethinking their roles. They are doing much more (cooking and housework) than they ever have,’ you’ve gotta be careful here.
This is not men reshaping and rethinking their roles. That’s being done for them with various sorts of pressure being applied if the behavioral model that is demanded isn’t met. ‘[T]elevision has contributed to making men more comfortable in the kitchen. ‘Some of these roles have been helped by the Food Network,’ says Robert J. Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University… The network ‘has defeminized the kitchen’ with programs such as ‘Iron Chef,’ ‘Emeril Live’ and ‘The Restaurant,’ he says. … Tom Prichard, vice president of Little Tikes, the Hudson, Ohio-based toy manufacturer, says the company doesn’t track how many of its kitchens are bought for boys or girls, but employees regularly receive letters from parents who write that their sons love them.’ Ooh. Ooh. Ooh. ”It allows them to emulate what their parents do,’ he said.’ Well, you know, that is a conundrum. H.R. just said something to me on the IFB. My dad always said this. He said, ‘Men are better cooks than women. That’s why you don’t find at the finest five-star restaurants around the world female head chefs. They’re all men.’
Well, I don’t know about cleaning better than women do, but men do cook better in the kitchen. My dad had a theory behind why. It wasn’t anything to do with gender. It was that women, they’re always scrimping on this ingredient or that — especially stuff that tastes good, like butter and oily fats and so forth — and he said most men go in the kitchen just throw everything in there. If it requires a quarter of a stick of butter, throw the whole thing in there. They’ll start experimenting around, to hell with the recipe, just throw stuff in there you like until you get it right, eat it, without any fear of what the ingredients are and this sort of thing. That was his theory. Anyway… ‘Jason Washelesky figures his efforts in the kitchen have spurred his sons’ interest in cooking. The suburban Milwaukee father of two regularly prepares dinner because his wife, Dawn, works second shift. The children — 3-year-old Eli and 18-month-old Jack — love pretend cooking so much, the Washeleskys are giving them a kitchen set for Christmas. Washelesky, 30, says he’s not concerned that some people might associate the toy more with girls than boys. ‘That doesn’t even cross my mind.” (laughing) That’s the problem, folks. It doesn’t even cross his mind. (laughing) Oh no!
These news stories don’t just pop up. Somebody had to give this infobabe a heads-up to do this story. I don’t know how many young boys are using kitchen sets out there, maybe not as many as they say. The story wants to make it look like gobs and oodles of them are doing this. ‘Joseph Pillera of Northville, Mich., has a similar philosophy about kids and toys. ‘You present them with a lot of different options and see what sticks,’ the 43-year-old says. His 6-year-old son, Joey, plays with his sister’s toy kitchen and enjoys watching ‘Top Chef,’ a reality cooking show on Bravo. ‘We don’t have a problem with that,’ Pillera says. ‘We encourage it.’ Batson encourages William to use his imagination. The youngster loves to wear hats and capes and pretend he’s a pirate, magician or cowboy. ‘Creative play is hugely important in their development,’ Batson says. When children are discouraged from playing with certain toys, it can lead to self-esteem problems,’ says the Yale shrink.
”It makes them doubt themselves,’ he says. He encourages parents to allow boys and girls to role play and wear dress-up clothes. ‘The way children view these things is way different than the way (adults) do,’ he says.’ Well, why stop at the toy kitchens here, folks? We tried giving them Barbie dolls way back when. I actually know a couple of couples, way back when the feminazis had everybody believing that girls grew up to be women in behavioral trait only because they were raised that way, they were conditioned, and boys, ditto. So they painted the little boy’s room pink, the little girl’s room blue. They gave the little boy Barbie, they gave the little girl GI Joe, and the little girl started getting new outfits for GI Joe, little boy started having war games with Barbie dolls and so forth. These parents were stunned. I guess next is hairstyling sets. We leave the kitchen and go down to the hairstyling salon.
RUSH: To the phones, to Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is Steve. Nice to have you on the program, sir.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. I absolutely love you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’m a stay-at-home dad. I run a small business out of my home, and my boys — I got two boys — are great cooks. Now, I haven’t bought ’em a kitchen set, and it’s not on my short list of toys to buy, but they can make a mean batch of cookies, but they’re in wrestling, and they’ll kick somebody’s tail with a sword — playing swords with them — and I wouldn’t have a problem with them cooking at all. That’s not a… I cook every meal in our house.
RUSH: How old did you say that these two boys are?
CALLER: My boys are eight and five.
RUSH: Eight and five, and they bake cookies?
CALLER: They do. They buy a brand-name mixer and —
RUSH: All right, see, now this makes sense. Now, wait a minute. This makes sense. Your boys are actually in a real kitchen baking cookies!
RUSH: They’re probably very smart, because if they’re waiting on you or your mother to bake ’em the cookies, you wouldn’t do it as often as they will.
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: So they’re getting the cookies they want. They’re learning to do it. They’re not playing around with some toy with make-believe cookies and make-believe teacups and make-believe this and that.
CALLER: That’s right. They don’t do that.
RUSH: Good. I have no problem with this.
CALLER: One of my boys brought home a Cabbage Patch doll from a box at one of their aunts’ house, and my mother-in-law asked me, ‘Are you worried about him playing with that doll?’ and about that time my youngest boy launched it off the porch and yelled, ‘She’s been shot!’ and threw it off the porch into the street, and I said, ‘No, I haven’t a problem at all.’
CALLER: So they were playing violent games with the doll. They were being boys, so they… Yeah, it’s — and I haven’t found a lot of —
RUSH: That’s it. I’ll tell you what I hope is happening. I hope what these guys, these little kids, these six- and five-year-olds that are in the play kitchen out there are doing, I hope they’re having food fights. I hope they’re baking these pretend cookies and throwing them at each other and so forth. I hope they’re doing that. Some enterprising young, what you ought to do is get a pretend McDonald’s so he can start making pretend money. (laughing) Anyway, Brian in Savannah, Georgia, you’re next on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: It’s a real privilege. I appreciate it. I’ve been listening to you for a long, long time, man.
RUSH: Uh-oh, uh-oh, when somebody says that to me, I know what’s following.
CALLER: Oh, stop! Hey, I wasn’t raised with a pretend kitchen, but I did cook with my mother in the kitchen, and she used to take me shopping, and we’d shop at the grocery store. We’d buy stuff for the house, and I grew up like that, and I didn’t end up some, you know, strange freak kind of weirdo.
RUSH: Wait a second! That’s not what I’m saying. The real kitchen is a different thing. Hell, I do, too. As soon as I learned what the smell of bacon was, I learned how to make it. Same thing with popcorn. But I did the real thing. Little kitchen toys? There is a reason, I guess, that I never became a parent. (interruption) No, didn’t wear an apron. I put a splatter thing on top of the skillet so the grease would not fly. I knew how to do it. Wear an apron!