Being a Domestic Goddess

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Navigating "the home" doesn't mean sacrificing glamour and independence.


The idea of "domesticity" has a lot of negative connotations. Women being primarily associated with household work (i.e. cooking, cleaning, decorating, hosting, etc.) is, oftentimes, seen as a slap in the face of the history of women's rights.
In a lot of ways it can be. The past century's political and economic reforms have taken women's labor from the primarily "reproductive" sphere, that is, using a man's earned money to run a household, and performing tasks that have had little to no monetary value in the public realm, but value within the home, to the "productive" sphere, or that which allows them to earn their own money, and not be dependent on a man to act as a link between the home and the economic world.

As women have become more economically independent, this idea of being a "housewife" has kind of lost its allure. "What would you be if your husband left you?" "How would you define yourself in the public sphere?" "Why should you learn domestic skills because they are specifically associated with being feminine? I don't want to perpetuate a gender role divide like that..." All these trepidations are 100% understandable!

The thing is, what about those who want both worlds (personal financial success and a well run household)? I feel like there is something still glamorous about taking good care of the things you do have, having a tidy and welcoming living space, mastering the art of cooking, and knowing exactly how to host a perfect dinner for your friends and family, or even just yourself. Can't you be a domestic goddess and a successful business woman? (Or whatever you want to do to make money yourself). I absolutely think so. I think there is no shame in domesticity. 


I've always venerated women like Martha Stewart and Nigella Lawson, who certainly think a lot about one's place in the domestic sphere. What I've taken from watching their videos and reading their books is not at all that one should depend on their significant other and frolic around their house making pie all day for their husband and family. Instead, I've learned to appreciate the idea of pampering yourself after a long day with a homemade slice of pie from Nigella's books, and from Martha, that learning how to maneuver your house and be crafty is actually an important form of self-sufficiency. These are both feats of glamour and independence! 

In fact, I see nothing old-fashioned about these ideas. Learning to cook, clean, craft, garden, and whatever else shouldn't be learned as a girl because "It's what women do," but because everyone (male or female) should learn how to take care of themselves at home. Learning to thrive in and outside of the home would be beneficial for the male "breadwinner" stereotype just as much as it would be for a woman. 

I love coming home after a long day at work to cook and think about my future home and what my kitchen is going to look like! I don't think that makes me any less of a feminist, as long as I'm maintaining my economic independence and understanding that attaining my dream is not simply through the means of my significant other. What do you think? Is there a reason why you would avoid all forms of domesticity? 

Here's a video of housewife Beyonce for you to watch while you think.
xx



13 comments :

  1. I agree with everything you say! I never think that a woman, or anyone else for that matter, should be judged or looked "down" upon because of their interests. There is nothing weak or vapid about having fun with household duties...What makes humans interesting is our ability to be passionate about many things. But we shouldn't be defined by those things; they're just parts of our lives!

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  2. I think that as a woman I have no right to criticize how a woman chooses to live. If she chooses to be a housewife, great. If she wants to work, also great.

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  3. Yess. Many woman could think about being a homemaker and be turned off by it because it has that stereotypical image of a woman cooking and cleaning while waiting for her man to come home from work. Us woman are pretty damn amazing and I agree that, if we want, we can do it all. I definitely plan on working while all the while maintaining a beautiful home (with or without a man). I want to be a business woman during business hours, domestic goddess at home, tend to my garden on the weekends, and be involved in organizations that better my community. I plan to do it all because I believe we have the ability to do anything!

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  4. This is really interesting- the argument you make and the stance you take reminds me a lot of feminist arguments surrounding makeup recently. Like, the awesome argument that we should stop criticizing ladies for wearing makeup. Wearing makeup can be great and fun and its awesome to see females wearing makeup for THEMSELVES because THEY want to and not for a man or to impress anyone else! However, you mention the notion of domesticity being "glamorous" in its own special way when we as females can reclaim it as ours- its important to note that not every female is interested in glamour or things being glamorous- both are totally ok though! the most important point, as everyone else has mentioned in these comments, is that thats the great thing: no one can or should criticize women for how they choose to live!

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  5. Taking time and pride in the seemingly mundane aspects of the day to day is often said to be one of the key aspects of sustaining a happy and meditative life. Men benefit from embracing this, and women shouldn't be afraid of flourishing in their home life because they're afraid of not being masculine enough to be relevant. It isn't even necessarily about masculinity or femininity, it's about taking time for your mind and body, which is important regardless of who you are. Great article, Dayna!

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  6. Really interesting! Thanks for sharing... you always write such original and honest posts! :) Also, I haven't been on your site in ages due to school and all but your blog looks amazing! Have a lovely evening xx

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  7. Agree, totally love the way you think

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  8. Agree, totally love the way you think

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By Dayna Frazer

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