It's not the nineteenth century, I'm not meant to be judged on how good a housekeeper I am. Getting down on the floor with a lemon and a bucket of vinegar does not make me a better person.
Now let's make Virginia Heffernan a man. Can you imagine the same kind of spittle-flecked rage directed at a busy working father who admits to feeding his kids Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese?
The problem is that the media rarely discusses the real reasons behind why women leave their jobs. We hear a lot about the desire to be closer to the children, the love of crafting and gardening, and making food from scratch. But reasons like lack of maternity leave, lack of affordable day care, lack of job training, and unhappiness with the 24/7 work culture-well, those aren't getting very much airtime.
If women cut back on their ambitions en masse, institutional change will never happen and the glass ceiling will lower. We need to be there to demand equal pay, mandatory maternity leave, more human hours. Leaving the “dirty work” of working to the men is a way of muffling our own voices.
[Joan C. Williams] Food has always been a class code, and since Alice Waters, the way to give an upper-middle class act is with food that is fresh and local...The class code of the upper-middle class literally links morality and political virtue with certain forms of high-intensity food-preparation activities.
Gardening and making your own soap and home-birthing your babies are fine, but these are inherently limited actions. If we want to see genuine food safety, if we want to see sustainable products, if we want to see a better women's health system, and if we want these things for everyone, not just the privileged few with the time and education to DIY it, then we need large social changes.
If you're not at least a tiny bit jealous at this point, you might want to check for your own pulse.
[Leslie Bennett] You have a teenager who desperately wants to separate...If you don't have a career, these New Domesticity types are likely to find themselves standing in the kitchen with all these domestic skills and no outlet for them, no way to earn a living.... [A]t that point your kids are not thanking you for having made the hand-pureed baby food and for giving them homemade cookies. They don't feel you've done them a big favor; they say, Why didn't she ever grow up and take responsibility for her own life?
Golden sees parental uninterest in collective solutions as part of a larger “decline in the social contract”… As a scholar, I'm very disturbed that we have more [media] articles about toxins in the home than the fact that we don’t have universal prenatal care, she says. “We’ve moved from collective concern about infant and child welfare into this very privatized focus on “my child” and this intensive child-rearing.