The Viral Watch Me Cook TikTok Trend Is The Fiery Clap Back We All Need

If "Watch Me Cook" doesn't mean anything to you, let us ease you into the phrase that's taken over TikTok like a feminist revolution, because apparently we need another one. In a now-deleted video, TikToker user Lily Kate, declares, "I'm not a feminist. I can actually cook," and slides plate of pasta towards the camera. Understandably, women all over the internet had some thoughts about the sentiment. Many have used the app's stitch feature to share their own replies. 


Kate's exclusionary video captures a growing conservative sentiment online where individuals repackage the patriarchy under the guise of new and 'comfortable' modes of existence for women. In 2023, there was the TikTok trend that pushed the "Divine Feminine," a fad that encouraged passivity in women through submission and inaction. Then, there was the rise of the tradwife content, which saw homemakers sharing videos of themselves joyfully engaging in domestic activities with the cheer of a '50s housewife.

Now, we're dealing with Kate's clip, which both explicitly and implicitly says so much. The first implication by is, of course, that feminists can't cook (an assertion likely based on the assumption that by being independent or unmarried, they must not have time to learn, or not care to do so). The second is that to be a woman, it means that your primary space is in the kitchen and the domestic realm. But there's also a deeper tone of division: The belief that women who pursue their careers and don't conform to these roles aren't authentically women. Thankfully, there has been a major push back against this message and ones like it. 


'I'm a feminist, watch me cook' has become a rallying cry for women defining their own success

Though it might have been easy to respond to Kate's video with a verbal argument, a wave of TikTok users had a more clever idea in mind. Since mid-May countless women have stitched the original video showing themselves absolutely crushing it at their jobs, while proudly declaring in a voiceover, "I'm a feminist. Watch me cook." The phrase is an adaptation of the slang expression, "let them cook," which is commonly used to express support for someone doing an activity they're good at, and also a brilliant flipping of the original script. In this context, it's a powerful rejection of the original video's antiquated views about women's value being linked to domesticity. In other words, one doesn't need to be in the kitchen in order to "cook." You're cooking whenever you're doing what makes you feel empowered.


Replying to @yourzenbabe love seeing so many incredible women on this trend! 💖 I was so honored by the invitation to fly along with the Thunderbirds, and it meant the world that my daughter Delta could be right there on the flight line to watch Mommy reach high and join the 9G Club with America's Team. (More on that soon!) While there were so many standout moments from the day and flight, my favorite was immediately post-flight: the Thunderbirds invited a group of middle school girls to Tyndall Air Force Base to meet me right on the flight line as I landed, and I had the opportunity to answer all of their questions about my career, the research I conducted in space, being a woman in STEM, and so much more. (I even received a friendship bracelet 🥹🫶) To me, feminism has always simply meant the freedom to equally explore your full potential in this one precious life we get.... and the autonomy to follow and embrace your calling (whether that's in the home or not! I'll always have immense respect for both.) This life is just what best nourishes my little family. 🫶


♬ original sound – Kellie Gerardi

Engineers, architects, lawyers, and civil rights advocates all created their own unique responses to Kate's video. Astronaut and author Kellie Gerardi, for instance, shared clips of her daughter watching on as she flew with the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds accompanied with a powerful caption: "To me, feminism has always simply meant the freedom to equally explore your full potential in this one precious life we get..." 


#stitch with @Lily Kate what is happening on this app 🥴 #feminism #wtf #womensupportingwomen

♬ original sound – Kelly Killeen, MD, FACS

Other users provided additional commentary to clapback against the misunderstanding that being a feminist and being feminine are mutually exclusive. Surgeon Kelly Killeen, MD, for instance, stated in her video that she's a feminist who can cook, loves children, and enjoys wearing dresses. The surgeon emphasized that none of those traits diminish her feminism. You can love your family life, and also thrive in your career. It's not one or the other.

The viral TikTok video has sparked a conversation around women choosing their own paths

While the stitches are no doubt inspirational, it's hard not to acknowledge how concerning it is that in 2024, some people need to be reminded that feminism is not an evil thing out to destroy families. Under one Instagram post by Impact discussing the original viral video, many viewers expressed how heartbreaking it was to see feminism be so misunderstood. Many even noted that the original feminist movement fought for a woman's right to choose her own path. One user even pointed out the irony in the original video, writing: "Does she not realize feminism is the reason why she's allowed to voice her opinion on TikTok?"


However, what makes the trend particularly powerful is it's not demeaning those who choose traditionally feminine careers, or even those who choose to be homemakers. Rather, it's asserting that women are valuable no matter what they choose to do. Their form of 'cooking' is in whatever they're doing everyday to create the life they love. Take it from one Instagram user who shared a remarkable and more quotidian story. "I'm a feminist. For now I am also a stay at home mom, I am homeschooling my little kids, I CAN cook, and I'm a full time student working towards an RN," they wrote under Impact's post. In other words, feminism and family don't have to be mutually exclusive — and neither does knowing how to cook.