Chicken Soup

A Norwegian cartoon strip, written by a feminist about her younger self, has four frames:

1. Girlfriend: “Oh, you should have seen Jan Erik. He had such a terrible cold, my poor little boyfriend, so I made him chicken soup, cleaned the flat and went shopping so that he could –”
2. Zelda, angry: “So you’ve turned into a Stepford Wife? A little extra-mommy who has to be domestic and caring just because you’re a woman?”
3. Girlfriend, irritated: “Cut that out! When I was in bed with a 40-degree fever it was him who looked after me!”
4. Zelda, angry: “So he is the big strong protector and you have to be the helpless victim, just because you’re a woman?”

What should we take away from this perfectly accurate portrayal of a certain sort of young woman – apart, of course, from the female love of Catch-22 traps, which we knew all about before?

I would suggest that determined ideologicalisation (if there is such a word) of absolutely everything can achieve nothing but the destruction of any possible human transaction. If a woman may not make chicken soup for her sick boyfriend for one ideological reason, and he may not make chicken soup for her for a different or even opposite ideological reason, then neither will ever be fed chicken soup by a sympathetic partner. The question then is whether this is a better state of the world than the present, or not. Sick people will be well advised to avoid those who put metaphysical constructs before the actual situation in front of their noses.

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