Monday, March 14, 2011

On Domestication

I am such a feminist. My roommates and Significant Other hear me use 'patriarchy' and 'white male privilege' on a regular basis. I am all about being loud, and opinionated, and driven, and bitchy, and definitely not that "nice sweet girl that mom wants to meet". I am all about operating beyond gender roles and black and white definitions of sex and sexuality.

So it amuses said roommates and Significant Other when I find incredible stress relief in cooking and cleaning. I love it. Cooking and cleaning are, to me, totally mindless mundane tasks that allow me to go into this odd Zen state where I don't think about anything else, besides precisely what I am doing at that moment in time. They all laughed at me around New Year's because I was wearing ratty jeans that were rolled up to my knees and running around our pathetic kitchen (seriously, it is as wide as my own arm span) barefoot making chicken flautas and various sides all day. And I was ecstatic. I loved it. I occasionally go on a tirade and clean the entire apartment while wearing heels. And it rocks.

This is why I have no issue whatsoever with women who choose to be domestic Goddesses. I am in awe of these women. They choose, and are truly happy, to be married to a bread-winning husband, have 2-3 kids, a dog or two, and stay home cooking, cleaning, and carting around the munchkins. My own stepmother is a case in point. She has two degrees. Traveled the world. Owned her own business. Has worldly interests. But once she married my father, she changed roles. And while I will occasionally get the stressed phone call about how nothing is going right, and she's losing her mind, and can't the damn dogs just stay out of the clean folded laundry?, she also glows when things go right. She is thrilled by teaching my sister's Girlscout troop (of which she is co-head) about nature and being good citizens. My sister is the most active child I know, and my stepmom has "Parent Friends" at every activity. She is the ultimate satellite mom.

The woman is a marvel. I don't know how she does it. Because she also did it when I was still at home. The women who choose that life do not, in my opinion, fall into the "Not True Feminists" bin. You ask my stepmom about the glass ceiling, and she will rail on for hours about all the bullshit that goes on in the corporate world when it comes to female career progression. She remembers being allowed to only wear dresses to school. She remembers the time of being a Home-Ec major in college. When the accepted degrees for women were Nursing, Education, and Home Economics. She remembers the sex revolution. The "Power Suit" of the 80s. The AIDS outbreaks that devastated the gay community. She has seen women progress immensely in the private and public spheres. She is a walking example of it.

The driving idea behind feminism was the idea that no one should be able to tell a woman what she can or can't do with her life. If she wanted to take a man's role, so be it. If she wanted to be an astrophysicist or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it should be well within her grasp. Conversely, who are we, fellow women, fellow activists; to tell a woman that she should not pursue a domestic life? If that is the life she truly chooses and makes her the most fulfilled, no one should have the power to tell her 'no'.


  1. Right on sister! And I can cook more and better than most females I know. Nothing wrong with any of it.

  2. I have no problem with you feminists and lesbians. Go on with your lifestyle. But never expect any decent man coming 10 miles near you. Don't be mad, it's just your crazy behavior. :)