Man in the Kitchen: Being a Guy in the New Women’s Order

Man in the Kitchen: Being a Guy in the New Women’s Order

new women's order
© Samantha Sophia/Unsplash

I was relaxing with my wife on a Sunday afternoon last month while she was preparing for a business trip to Africa. “What do you have on this week, honey?” she asked, drifting aimlessly through the pages of the Sunday magazine section.

“Oh nothing,” I replied. Then I jumped online, booked a ticket to Denver, flew out at 5 the next morning, rented a car, drove into a Great Plains blizzard, and sat for two nights in rural Nebraska hobnobbing with the hoi-polloi and crafting new chapters on my award-winning novel-to-be.

“Like I’m going to sit around watching football while she’s out changing the world?”

Man in the Kitchen takes his show on the road. Photo courtesy of author

Okay, admittedly men can be a little competitive at times. We’re hard-wired that way and let’s face it, for about two million years we were programmed to be the breadwinner. Change has come about slowly, a little bit like a lava flow, extremely hot but not moving so fast. Then a powerful male came into the limelight. He issued some horrific statements and got called out for some despicable behavior, the kinds we would ground our sons for – for about three years! – assuming they weren’t in jail, that is. And that man got elected president of the United States. And then we marched.

Ken Carlton’s son at Women’s March, January 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of author

It was billed as a “women’s march,” but as one of the three million or so (along with my son) who attended, I can accurately report that the male of the species was present in droves. Along with the dozens of societal issues that were prominently brought to the forefront with signage, song and chants, I took note of several underlying statements that needed no banners.

  • While you may be inching closer in equality of pay, you are miles ahead in leading with your heart.
  • Anything that ultimately threatens our children, we want you on our team.
  • Your problems are our problems and you are not alone!

We marched with you in tandem because that is where we have evolved, and we have evolved there because we believe in you. As our parents age or pass, the gap between generations is fading. Sure, when we were growing up, mom made chicken tetrazzini and had it on the table when dad got home on the 8:37 train. Today, it is just as likely mom is working late and dad is tucking in the kids.

Man in the Kitchen
Dad doubling as chef at his local market. Photo courtesy of author

It seems to me that the evolution of the sexes is an inexorable tide. The glass ceiling is fractured and it is going to come down. Dads play mom all the time and our kids are getting used to it. We share more responsibilities than ever before and the lines of demarcation are blurred.

The world is a tricky and dangerous place these days and, no surprise, it is you – our wives and partners – who are vigorously driving change. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote about the “tipping point.” It feels, however precariously so, that we are there.

So please, don’t stop marching. Do not stop making noise. We’ve got your backs. When you win, we win. It’s just a matter of time.

© Peteers/123RF

Breakfast As Dinner

I’m pretty sure my mom never did this in my entire life, but it’s fun, super easy, and goes well with all the important staples: mac & cheese, tater tots, or spaghetti and a can of red sauce. Pairs well with chocolate milk.


  • 3 eggs
  • Cream cheese, or chopped vegetables, or both
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Beat the eggs well
  • Heat up nonstick fry pan to low
  • Finely chop onions or peppers
  • Melt butter to cover entire pan
  • If using veggies, sauté for about 3 minutes and remove to side
  • Lay in eggs in same pan and cook at low heat until firm crèpe is mostly done
  • For cream cheese omelet, spoon in 2 or 3 dollops in middle of firmed eggs
  • For vegetable, add the sauté mix
  • Fold over omelet and cook on one side for a minute or two
  • Flip and complete on other side (give the cheese enough time to melt)
  • Serve with above-mentioned starch, or lots of delicious toast slathered in jam and butter
Ken Carlton is founder and editor-in-chief of Beyondish, a food review and storytelling website. He is the author or ghostwriter of eight books, including the award-winning memoir, THE HUNGER, the story behind Greenwich Village’s celebrity hotspot, The Waverly Inn. Ken wrote the "His Point of View" column for Cosmopolitan and appeared as a dating expert on OPRAH. He still muses about food, relationships and parenting at his website, Food for Marriage. A New Yorker and Parisian at heart, he has scripted conferences in Paris for CNN and Fortune magazine. Ken and his wife, a professor, split their time between Brooklyn, NY and Chicago. You can follow him on Instagram @foodformarriage



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