One of my favourite Vancouver writers looks at the genderedness of cooking. Is it arty if men do it, but regressive for women?
In short, men come across as evolved, sexy and creative when they mix things up in the kitchen. But women seem stuck in Leave-it-to-Beaver-land when they step in front of the stove: domestic suckers who aren't paying enough attention to their ambition or their libidos. They're not third wave feminists, embracing women's traditional skills or sexy, busy people who make time for health and family, but women who need a good empowerment talk.
So actually, two things are happening. One is that some women aren't cooking at all because they see it as low status or unnecessary. And sure, women have been unfairly stuck with the brunt of domestic labour for a long time in a culture that has deemed it lower status than, say, working in an office. Stepping away from the hearth is a form of rebellion and liberation and a way to gain more cultural status, which are both motivations I can sympathize with (even though I think they're both ultimately the opposite of liberated and healthy -- more on that later).
And the other is that many women do the daily food prep but don't count that as "real" cooking. For this, I blame the rise of foodie culture. There are plenty of shows on the Food Network that feature quick and easy meals. Like from one of my favourite celeb cooks -- Nigella Lawson -- in which, in the promo, she claims doing her hair and putting on lipstick takes more time than making the entrée.