Single Post

Feminism vs. Domesticity and the Long Forgotten Element

Ariana Allen

Cover of Book- Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity


I stumbled on this cute online magazine called The Every Girl as I was skimming through my personal blogroll. I was browsing their book recommendations, looking for a good read, when this review caught my eye, “Read This: Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity.” The book explores the new trend of domesticity, young, educated women having been turning to in the face of a harsh economy and unfulfilling career paths.
As a Pinterest addict, I’ve noticed this trend before I knew what it was. This return to domesticity is celebrated in the DIY cleaning, beauty products, baking, and knitting. I myself joined in, pinning recipes for DIY laundry detergent and  eye makeup remover looking for natural ways to clean. Of course, I didn’t have the time and sometimes the energy to do many of projects I pinned, but a girl can dream right? Someday I hope to accomplish them.  However, many women are are sharing this lifestyle on their blogs and making money in the process.  Mom blogs with this angle are on the rise with tips on creating scheduling, kid activities, and homeschooling curriculum. Homeward Bound asks:
How did this happen? And what does it all mean? What happens to American culture as a whole when our best and brightest put home and hearth above other concerns? Does this sudden fascination with traditional homemaking bode ill for gender equality? What role have the media and blog culture played in making domesticity look so darn appealing?
I have yet to read this book – it’s on my reading list. However, the book review was enough to spark because I have had an itch to address this exhausting argument;  this topic of feminism vs. domesticity and which is right for the future of womankind.
The, “Can Women Have It All?” debate  has been flying around for decades, but more so in the last few years. Especially after this article in The Atlantic, ” Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” back in 2012. Can women sustain a high powered career, marriage and children?
I am a feminist. I am a woman, who likes to look pretty, wear makeup, have my nails done, my hair done, be married have children etc. I do not want to be a man or have manly characteristics. I enjoy being a woman and I want to be VALUED as a woman. If I’m driven to create a high powered career while putting off children it doesn’t make me any less of a woman. I want equal pay for equal work. I want my ideas to count, not to be dismissed. On my way up the ladder, if I express frustration or anger, I don’t want to be labeled as a crazy bitch.  I shouldn’t have to work 10x harder, because I’m Latina, just to be as “successful” as a man.
If I decide to stay at home to raise my children, I shouldn’t be made to feel like this is the path of least resistance. Such a job is no easy task (Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn A $115,000 Salary) and one many wouldn’t even do if they had to apply for it. I shouldn’t be criticized for and am not taking the woman’s movement back by deciding to stay at home and raise my children.
What is irritates me about this feminist vs. domestic debate is that society forgets that what women didn’t have for hundreds of thousands of years, were… drumroll please…. CHOICES- and I mean big and small ones. We all know the struggles of our Mothers and Grandmothers; women who had little to no matter in the decision making process of their lives. We don’t need to rehash what they were and weren’t allowed to do, the fact is that they didn’t have many freedom (in other words choices, opportunities, insert other synonyms here ____) they fought to have more and we, modern women,  are able to enjoy many freedoms they couldn’t. Just think about it for a few moments, think about your Grandmother, especially if they grew up in La Patria with the extra Patriarchy aka machismo traditionalism. What can you do today that she couldn’t?

The long forgotten element: Choice

Whatever the path you create for your own life, I wish you nothing but happiness and fulfillment. As women, we should be treated for what we contribute to others, not valued or devalued for what is in between our legs.  As human beings, what’s important is that we give our best and authentic selves for the enhancement of society, each of us doing our part.  Let’s empower each other to do that. Not bashing each other like the woman in this article did. We should celebrate that we have any CHOICE at all, fought for us on the backs of the women who didn’t.

How are you caught in this debate? EDL’S sound off! 


Leave a comment