Reviews of Homeward Bound

“3.5 out of 4 stars” - People Magazine                                                               “The brilliance of Emily Matchar’s new book is that it exhaustively describes what disillusioned workers are opting into: a slower, more sustainable, and more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s focused on the home. Matchar synthesizes dozens of trend stories … into a single, compelling narrative about the resurgence of domesticity….Refreshing.” -The New Republic                                                       "[P]rovocatively explores what the movement says about the role of women in society today.” – The New Yorker                                                                       "I unreservedly loved it…It’s empathetic and funny and thoughtful and smart, and I encourage all of you to read it."– The Hairpin                                                         “Cogently argues that choosing a more hands-on, DIY lifestyle – family farming, canning, crafting, can, without sacrificing feminism’s hard-won gains, improve on an earlier time when ‘people lived more lightly on the earth and relied less on corporations, and family and community came first.’” - ELLE                                                               “[I]ntelligent and insightful...essential reading.” - Christianity Today                                                       “A lively and perceptive reporter… a valuable and astute assessment.”—Publishers Weekly                                                         “A well-researched look at the resurgence of home life…. Offers intriguing insight into the renaissance of old-fashioned home traditions.”— Kirkus Reviews

What is New Domesticity?

This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?                                                                                     My book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, which explores New Domesticity in greater depth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2013.

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This IS a first

An ad with a man doing the laundry. And not in a stupid, hee-larious “Mr. Mom” way either (“I just poured dish detergent in the washing machine. Doh!”). The is a real first. As Hanna Rosin writes in Slate:

I have been waiting all my life for this Tide and Downy ad. That lovely [...]

Chicken coop by Anthropologie

So now there’s this…Who’s got $3k to spare?! Plus an entirely white gallery space, because the great outdoors would just, like, ruin the minimalist-chic thing, you know?


Do you feel embarrassed about wanting a relationship?

Hannah in "Girls" wants experiences, not relationships

Maybe it’s because I did my 20s in North Carolina rather than New York or something, but this doesn’t sound at all familiar to me: young women being ashamed to want a boyfriend, or feeling like a boyfriend will derail their careers. As Leslie Bell [...]

On “ironic, low-key, unconventional” weddings


Me playing with goat at our "unconventional" farm wedding

Oh, man, does this ever hit home.

Writing in The Atlantic, Phoebe Maltz Bovy dissects the phenomenon of the “ironic, low-key, unconventional wedding” – the non-diamond engagement band, the non-wedding wedding dress, the reception at the local dive bar. Brides [...]

In defense of Sheryl Sandberg

It was lame when Betty Friedan was criticized for not writing about working class women or women of color in “The Feminine Mystique.” And it’s lame that Sheryl Sandberg is being attacked right and left for being too privileged to have anything valuable to say about working motherhood.

Sandberg, the massively influential COO of Facebook, has [...]

Paging Dr. Drew


A real question to Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice column:

Q. Crafting Obsession: My sister and I live close to each other and get together with our kids a few times a week. We have a pretty good relationship overall, but lately one thing has come up [...]

I wanna major in blacksmithing!

Spinning at North House Folk School

As the self-sufficiency/DIY phenomenon grows, a number of “folk schools” teaching old-fashioned, nearly lost domestic and homesteading skills are springing up around the country. Writing in Grist, Lori Rotenberk looks at the rise of the folk school movement:

But now, a growing interest in sustainability and the rise [...]

Mormon mom bloggers, Evangelical Etsy vendors, Jewish urban homesteaders: New Domesticity and religion

I was inspired by a post by Danielle at From Two To One, on why feminism as a whole benefits from religious feminists. It’s a great post, and it got me thinking about religion and new domesticity. While I don’t identify as religious (I was raised Jewish and I still love to make latkes [...]

Dad blogs fighting sexist ads


dad bloggers. image via

Dads. Those incompetent man-children who can’t diaper a baby, those horse’s asses who would rather watch football than help their sons with homework. Sure, they’re fun. They’ll feed the kids candy or rile them up with tickle fights before bedtime. But when it comes to [...]

Talking “The Feminine Mystique” on BBC Tuesday 9am

UPDATE: You can listen to the segment here. It’s at about 0:45 or 0:50, I believe.

Just FYI, I’ll be talking about the 50th anniversary of “The Feminine Mystique” this morning (Tuesday, February 19) on the BBC News Hour (which plays at 9am on various NPR stations in the US), along with Letty Cottin [...]