Opinion | Sexuality

How We Can Harness the New Domesticity Without Diminishing Women

Keeping house is part of God's work, too.

In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post, Emily Matchar, who writes regularly on the phenomenon frequently called the 'new domesticity,' wonders whether the resurgence of interest in canning, knitting, and generally DIY-spirited homekeeping is not, in fact, regressive—a 'step back' for women. Homekeeping, and all the domestic arts, are a minefield in our culture, often thought of—and treated as—degrading and menial work. The more creative domestic arts—sewing clothes, preserving food—are enjoying renewed popularity, and while Matchar concedes the pleasure to be found in making for yourself that which you'd otherwise purchase, she's suspicious: after all, domestic work is unpaid work, and in a culture where women still earn, on average, less than their male counterparts, celebrating the domestic arts as creative, liberating fun is, for her, potentially dangerous:

"If history is any lesson, my just-for-fun jar of jam could turn into my daughter's chore, ...

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