women and homemaking


i have mentioned before the i am writing a book-- a book about houses and home, home making, women's roles and being a mother, the politics of all of this and the state of our planet.  so....

i spent much of the last several hours googling the terms 'home making' and 'home maker'.  

the first several pages on google for these terms produce lists of blogs by full-time, stay-at-home moms.  most of the blogs are by white women about their stay-at-home lives-- their crafts, cooking, and decorating; their organizing; their children (many of the moms have between four and ten children); their handsome husbands (quite a few of whom are in the military); their faith (they are mainly christians-- or, perhaps more seriously, 'bible believing christians');  their belief that home making is a way to worship their god-- they are also politically quite conservative.  i would be willing to bet that none of the women writing this set of blogs would call themselves feminists.

and while i think of myself as thinking and writing about home making every day, and though i stayed home with my children for many years, the blogs i encountered are about a way of life that is quite foreign to me.

there is another set of blogs that come up if you google 'motherhood' or 'natural parenting'-- also blogs by  white, stay-at-home moms but whose politics are liberal, who do have a sense of the spirituality of what they are doing-- but who may or not be members of any organized religion, and whose crafts and recipes are for the organically minded.  this group does not tend to use the phrases 'home making' or 'home maker'-- and many of them use the term feminist somewhere in their blogs.

are the phrases 'home making' and 'home maker' throw-backs to the pre-feminist era?

my mother's generation, white middle-class women who came of age reading betty friedan, eschewed 'home making' while they got advanced degrees and made careers for themselves-- all the while making their own peanut butter, jelly, and bread to send with their children off to school-- because they had the notion that they could do it all, and that to be a full-time stay-at-home mom was to have nothing else to think about-- and they were quite certain that they had other things to think about.  home making, to white middle-class women of my mother's generation, was something that you did ON THE SIDE.

hmmm.

this is the beginning of a much longer discussion... 

     
-mary-moore.

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