Nigella Lawson claims that it is ‘anti-feminist’ to suggest women shouldn’t cook

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Nigella Lawson has branded those who disparage women from cooking as ‘anti-feminist’.

The celebrity chef, 59, said one of her main motivations in starting to write about food was because women were frightened of being ‘shackled’ to the kitchen. 

She told Indian newspaper TheHindu.com: ‘I don’t think cooking is a woman’s moral duty, yet, to disparage an activity because it has traditionally been in the female arena is in itself anti-feminist.’

The food writer released her first book How To Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food in 1998, which has sold 3 million copies, and it remains a culinary classic to many.   

The food writer began her hugely successful career as a journalist, and was Deputy Literary Editor of The Sunday Times at the age of 26. 

She has since written 12 cookbooks, which are popular internationally and have sold over 10 million copies. 

The popular cook has also revealed she was inspired to write about food because her peers were scared of cooking.

She said: ‘One of the reasons I started writing about food is because women my age were frightened of cooking, of being shackled to the kitchen.’

She went on to clarify that she was not suggesting women should feel pressured to cook, or that their place was somehow in the kitchen. 

She went on: ‘I don’t think cooking is a woman’s moral duty, yet, to disparage an activity because it has traditionally been in the female arena is in itself anti-feminist.’  

She later declared that she actually thought of cooking as empowering to women.

She explained: ‘The ability to cook and keep oneself alive, to me, is a symbol of independence. And this fact is not dependent on one’s gender.’

Nigella has been vocal about her stance in the past, telling a Sunday newspaper in 2013 that it should be ‘evident’ that she was a feminist. 

She has long defended the title of her book How To Be A Domestic Goddess, saying it should be seen as a ‘feminist tract’ that celebrates women. 

At the time, she said:’Feeling comfortable in the kitchen is essential for everyone, male or female. At the time it seemed so many people were fearful of cooking, and that meant home was never more than a stop-off from work.’

She went on: ‘Women of my generation were keen – rightly – not to be tied to the stove, but the ramifications of this were that they felt a sense of dread in the kitchen. How can this be good for anyone?’ 

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