The conversation over whether or not a woman should prepare her man’s plate has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition on social media, and I’m dumbfounded as to why or how we even got here. Every time I see it, I’m tempted to log off—mostly because of the people who are so pro-plate.
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised in the South (the hemisphere where a lot of people I refer to as “platers” seem to dwell), or maybe it was because I was raised by a man who was adamant that I never make a woman wait on me hand and foot. Whatever it is, I can’t for the life of me understand how this became another thing a woman has to do for her man.
There are a lot of traditions I’ve heard women should uphold, like cooking and cleaning, and even those weren’t so much requirements as they were preferences. All I’ve ever really wanted a woman to do is woman stuff: be my wife, have my babies, breast-feed them. You know, s—t I can’t do myself.
Making a man a plate seems like a rule that came out of the Stone Age, and when I think about it, that seems to be the only time this rule made sense. Since the only way a family could eat in those B.C. days was by a man going out into the wilderness and hunting for that night’s dinner, of course it made sense for a woman to make him a plate. But I haven’t seen a spear outside of a museum, so I don’t know why we’re still asking women to treat us like cavemen.
I have compiled a small list of why men can and should make their own plates. Originally it was going to be a long list, but the more I thought about all the arguments a person could have on behalf of platers, the more I got dizzy from shaking my head at such absurdity. So, here it is, four very simple reasons you should make your own damn plate:
1. It’s not that hard. Have you ever fixed yourself a plate of food? Since most people reading this post are over the age of 8, I’m going to assume that you have. Now, do you ever remember it being difficult? Me neither, so why the hell would I act like I need someone else to do this task for me?
2. Portion control. One thing that annoys my girlfriend is how much food I always take for myself at gatherings. She thinks I’m greedy, when I’m really just hungry, so to avoid an argument, I serve myself. I’d rather get my own plate that is 90 percent meat than ask her to make me a plate and get well-balanced proportions that I never asked for.
3. You didn’t cook. In my household, I can never recall the men cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not saying this is how it is supposed to be. For a couple of years, my boys and I did a “Friendsgiving” in which all the fellas cooked dishes, so I actually have no problems cooking, but I also have no problems not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. So if my lady has spent all day in the kitchen roasting, basting, chopping and slicing, why would she need to prepare the plate, too? She did all of the heavy lifting, the actual cooking. All I have to do is eat the food, and the only thing easier than that is taking a nap after I’m done.
4. It’s a damn plate … a plate. The gesture is a sweet one, and I get it, but it’s also a drop in the bucket of grease we use for fried turkey. Making a plate doesn’t demonstrate any kind of qualities that will make us decide whether or not we want to marry a woman. If it does, you need to see if they’re dishing out standards at your family meal and cover your plate in them.
Let’s stop acting like women need to do this menial task if they want to get chose, like we don’t already know—long before the mac and cheese is done—whether we’re going to be with her for the long run or not. If she does fix your plate, that doesn’t mean she’s marriage material. Hell, it doesn’t even mean she wants to marry you. If a woman fixes you a plate, it’s probably because she just wanted to be nice, and if she didn’t fix you a plate, let it be because you know you’re capable of doing this your damn self.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.