Feminism gone wrong.

This is a continuation of my review that was moved to a new post for the sake of brevity.

———-

What made me realize how much I had been needing a book like The Gentle Art of Domesticity was an explanation.  Something I had been unconsciously aware of but could never put in words and which had shadowed all my attempts at the domestic arts.  Mrs. Brocket explains that as she was growing up, feminism was particularly rabid.  And the most tragic victims of their rampages were the domestic arts.  It was implicitly and overtly discouraged to learn needle-work, cooking or any other shackles of the modern woman.

Even though I assume I am younger than Mrs. Brocket, these effects were evident in my childhood, too.  In middle school Home Economics was considered the most pathetic course to take.  We sympathized with those who didn’t have a real elective.  Those who took it voluntarily were mocked for their desire to sew an apron and bake brownies.

This attitude even made itself felt at church.  We had a specific term for a young woman who showed an interest in or aptitude for the domestic arts:  “Molly Mormon.”  This horrible title was given in a light voice with an undertone of disdain.  Although I loved to cook and craft, I refrained from admitting it to myself or anyone else.  In the domestic sense, I was still firmly in the closet.  When my parents gifted me with appliances & spices in preparation for college, that should have tipped me off.  But it wasn’t until I had been two years married that I announced to the world: “I love to cook and there’s nothing you can do about it.  So there.”

I’m all mature like that.

However, I was still very embarrassed of any inclination to craft, be it sewing or beading.  You see, cool girls just did not sew.  But, through the years, my desire to create gradually wore down my fear of being discovered.  And was then completely knocked down when I read The Gentle Art of Domesticity.

It was almost like I had been given permission to enjoy these natural pursuits of the mother, wife, and woman.  I only wish that society hadn’t made me feel like i need permission.

Sheesh, I sound like some kind of radical.

But what’s radical about homemaking?

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Isn’t it funny now that it seems like all the cool girls know how to sew and craft? What a funny turn, huh?

    1. It is kind of weird how things have switched around. Everything from cloth diapers to nursing to crafting have suddenly enjoyed a revitalization. We’re part of a subversive movement. 😉

  2. Tonya says:

    When I was in school I didn’t even take home ec but opted instead for art. Afterall, I was NEVER going to sew or bake! What a laugh…now I really wish I’d taken the time to learn a few stitches or how to sew on a sewing machine! Alas, I’ve learned from my past mistakes and am now training my own daughter to love all things domestic! Great post!:)

    1. I wish there could have been a way to do both chorus AND home ec. I feel at a great disadvantage when it comes to sewing something for my daughter. Even if I get it sewn, and she loves it, it’s nowhere near the level of workmanship I wanted. Guess that’s why we have sewing classes for adults.
      That’s really cool that you’re teaching your daughter the domestic arts! Let me know how it goes.

  3. Count me as one who saw no use for home ec. Now I love to cook and bake and I do sew (learned on cloth diapers and baby slings), but I don’t necessarily enjoy it. I think I only do it because I want things that are too expensive to buy and much cheaper to make. There is something about crafting and creating that I like, but I don’t know if it’s enough to compel me to keep at it just for the kicks.

    1. I have been so in awe of your abilities with cloth diapers and such. I was just barely learning about cloth diapers when I saw you making them on your blog, and it cut down the intimidation factor a lot for me. Thanks!

  4. natskou says:

    You seem so comfortable writing here. I have really been enjoying “lurking” on your site. I just gave up my wordpress site. You’re making me want to start again, but I will stand firm!

    1. o_O Wow, thank you! and I officially have a lurker? Cool. Lurk anytime, my friend.

  5. Lisa Dewolf says:

    Thanks for the post. I liked it. You have a very nice site.

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