Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity
Simon and Schuster 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Big IdeasNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network December 5, 2013 Marshall Poe
A couple of years ago I was living in a hip district of a university town in the Midwest. It had all the hip stuff you’d expect: a record store (and I mean record store), a big used bookstore, a greasy spoon, two dive bars, a coffee shop, and two restaurants where you could buy 40 dollar meals (hipsters splurge too!). Then, suddenly, a knitting store appeared. It looked out of place. Knitting? So I went in to take a look. Much to my surprise, it was full of hipsters, or rather hipster women. The place was very casual. It had a coffee bar, homemade cookies, and couches. You could just wander in, get a cuppa, and, well, knit.
According to Emily Matchar, what I’d seen was a reflection of a return to domesticity. In Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity (Simon and Schuster, 2013), Matchar gives us the why and how of urban gardening, urban chickens, urban canning, and–that’s right–urban knitting and sewing. According to Matchar, youngish women are rejecting high-flying careers to go “back to the land,” so long as that land is in a city.
A movement or a fad? Listen to the interview and judge for yourself. All I know is that now that I’ve read Matchar’s book, I have new respect for my mom. She was way ahead of the curve on this one. The woman made all her own clothes. And not only that, she had a career, though not a very high-flying one. She “had it all” before “having it all” was deemed impossible.