November 28 2011

The Dangerous World of the Domestic Goddess

Julie Gunlock

Today at noon, the Washington Post will host a web chat about the so called “phenomenon” of young women enjoying the domestic chores usually associated with Donna Reed-type housewives.  The Post offers an odd teaser for the chat, saying (emphasis mine):

Young women are embracing the household DIY tasks that our mothers and grandmothers were liberated from. Chat with writer Emily Matchar as she discusses the dangers of reclaiming domestic chores and what it means for women.

Good golly.  I had no idea my hot glue gun, ironing board, and food processor were so dangerous. I had no idea making homemade baby food for my newborn was so risky!  Just call me Lara Croft for packing my kid a lunch in the morning.  And when I do the family laundry, I’m not afraid to use bleach…lots of bleach.

I’m going to try to tune in for the action at noon…that is, if I’m done making my husband’s favorite casserole.  Boy, I’m such a risk taker!

Of course, it would be refreshing if the chat host or one of the chat attendees mentioned how lucky women are today with their modern conveniences.  Perhaps someone could mention how our grandmothers had to hang wet laundry on clothes lines in the backyard.  Maybe someone my mother’s age could call in and mention that most women didn't have a dishwasher until they were in her 30s.  Oh, here’s a fun one:  how about doing the wash, cleaning up and cooking dinner in the middle of summer with no air conditioning.  Yeah, I bet that was great. 

But more importantly, someone should mention that women largely choose to engage in these "DIY tasks" today.  Cooking, keeping a clean and ordered house, and caring for one’s family; these are things some women proudly enjoy—especially when there are modern conveniences to make it all much more pleasant.

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