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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Consultant
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  USC, BS Psych & Soc.; Transactional Analaysis; U.S. A. D&A Counseling, Family Advocacy, Anger Mngmnt
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why does she get away with not cooking

Resolved Question:

my boyfriend' s sister-in-law does not cook for her husband's brothers. i know her since 1991, but not that well on some topics. sandra gets away with not cooking for her brother-in-laws. "HER MOTHER-IN-LAW GET MAD IF I DO NOT COOK FOR HER SONS. HOW COME SHE DOES NOT GET MAD AT SANDRA?

I been around latin american people for 18 years.I know what is expected of women, specially in the kitchen. they are expected to cook regarthless weather they are marry or not.

I am origianlly from el salvador, Sandra is from Chile, I wonder if her in-laws are being "BIAS"?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.


Thank you for your very moving question. I am particularly moved by the reactions of the sister-in-law.

I to have been around Hispanic women for more than 18 years...try 30 years. I have been in long term relationships with them (5 years or more) on three occasions, nearly marrying one woman, from Peru. I continue to this day to have close friendships with these Hispanic women, and the Peruvian and I have been friends for 30 years.

The tradition of the Kitchen, as I like to call it, is largely familial, and changes slightly from country to country. When I say familial, I mean that some families in each country hold to the traditions, while other's modernize and share the kitchen with the men of the family. I know a Chilean couple, in chili, and a Peruvian family, in Lima, and I see the men in the kitchen, from time to time, except during times of when they are entertaining guests. So in situations at least where all those person would be together, the woman does in fact cook for all.

But, I have also seen where because of some slight, or issue with the others, the woman may protest and not cook. She goes on strike so to speak.

AND she would get the support of the other women if they were justified, at least in the Chili, Peru and Puerto Rico.

I do not think there is a true bias here. It sounds to me like, she has been treated badly in some way by the others; or it could be that they disapprove of the persons she will not cook for, for some reason.

If you can find out what has happened to cause this treatment, then you can begin to help to fix it.

I have a Puerto Rican Friend, who has not spoken to her own brothers, for more than 10 years, because of slights that occurred at her mother's funeral. At a recent funeral event or another relative, they showed, up, and she refused to cook for them, but she cooked for the others.

I know a Peruvian Mother-in-law, who did not approve of a marriage, and she refuses to serve HIM when they come to the house.

In my cross cultural experience and studies, I have seen that in traditional Hispanic households, within their home land environments. women do not hold the same level of control and power as men. In those households, some of the so called "power" the women have, is expressed in not sharing feelings, thoughts, and kitchen duties. So they will refuse to talk, or refuse service...refuse to cook, etc.

So in your instance it appears, that if it is any bias at all, it would be that for some reason she does not approve of the in-laws; or there has been some injury..some slight.

Find out what that is, and you will have the key to helping them to reconcile.




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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
well sandra has live in US for 32 years so, she might got used TO LIVING THE AMERICAN STYLE. SHE DOES NOT HATE THEM, I THINK SHE IS SPOILED BY HER HUSBAND.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.


What you say has a lot of merit. The hispanic culture in the U.S., famalialy, is well, Americanized. Men and Women share more of the traditional rolls.

I agree that it is either an issue with some sort of hurt, or americanized behavior.

I am trying to help you to understand.

You asked if they were biased. I do not think that is the case. From what you are saying it is either some slight that has occurred, or the Americanization. (spoiled as you say).

AND you bring up another point. Someone does not like her cooking, apparently.

It is impossible for me to say, for sure, because I do not know her, and I do not have the others confidence. I would have to interview everyone to find out definitively about the issue.

If you desire to taste her cooking or to have that experience, you may consider asking her to cook for you directly.

Families and family attitudes, in ANY culture can be hard to deal with.