Harnessing the ‘New Domesticity’ Without Diminishing Women

from my most recent post at the Christianity Today women’s blog

“In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post, Emily Matchar, who writes regularly on the phenomenon frequently called the ‘new domesticity,’ wonders whether the resurgence of interest in canning, knitting, and generally DIY-spirited homekeeping is not, in fact, regressive–a ‘step back’ for women. Homekeeping, and all the domestic arts, are a minefield in our culture, often thought of–and treated as–degrading and menial work. The more creative domestic arts–sewing clothes, preserving food–are enjoying renewed popularity, and while Matchar concedes the pleasure to be found in making for yourself that which you’d otherwise purchase, she’s suspicious: after all, domestic work is unpaid work, and in a culture where women still earn, on average, less than their male counterparts, celebrating the domestic arts as creative, liberating fun is, for her, potentially dangerous:

If history is any lesson, my just-for-fun jar of jam could turn into my daughter’s chore, and eventually into my granddaughter’s “liberating” lobster strudel.”

For many within evangelicalism, the issue is further complicated by the ongoing debate on gender roles.

{…}

But if God keeps house, then housekeeping is both worthwhile and loosened from gendered stereotypes.”

(although one of the commenters doesn’t think so–“I maintain that Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 show pretty clearly that domesticity is the primary domain of a wife, not a man.”

Read it all here!

And leave a comment or question, if you so desire.

One thought on “Harnessing the ‘New Domesticity’ Without Diminishing Women

  1. Rachel,

    I enjoyed your post and loved the book, thanks for recommending it. I have hopes to write a bit on it soon… as soon as I’m getting more sleep. :o)

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