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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post feminist domesticity

Emily Matchar wrote a piece in the Washington Post, about the weird fad of home canning and wool making and other activities that we associate with pioneer women - activities that modern life make unnecessary, but to which young and middle-aged women are flocking.  What's the deal, she asks.

Then Maggie Arden wrote a spirited (if somewhat defensive) defense, suggesting that it's all completely innocent.

I think Maggie misinterpreted Emily, who said that these domestic activities have started out as hobbies, but it could be a short step before they again become the obligation that they were for women in the age of Betty Friedan.  While trends come and go, as Maggie wrote, there is still something disturbing about so many highly educated women snuggling down and enjoying all these tasks that many (not all, of course) of our mothers and grandmothers were very happy to relinquish.  I certainly don't think it's anti-feminist to enjoy knitting or baking, but their prevalence is one of those things that make you go "hmmm" . . .



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