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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Nicole Cliffe on Food and Feminism

The always funny and insightful Nicole Cliffe (if you’re not reading her book posts on The Hairpin, you ought to be!) talking about food and feminism at the newly launched Equals Record:

Like a lot of women with kids, I’ve been reading all the interminable pieces on Badinter and the attachment parenting backlash. There’s something real there, of course. I planned to be an Attachment Parent, but gave birth, as some of us do, to a daughter who didn’t want to sleep with us, lost weight constantly despite 24/7 nursing until she happily switched to Enfamil, and vastly prefers to sit and observe and play with her toys to being worn in a sling. You have to roll with it. And, of course, it makes you question other parts of the intense-parenting lifestyle. I thought I’d make my own baby food, because I had a “natural” birth (just because I skipped the epidural doesn’t mean I like the way we create birthing hierarchies) and am generally an organic-seasonal food person, but I was at the supermarket one day and picked up a thirty-cent jar of Gerber’s to glance at the ingredients: peas and water. Or, carrots and water. Who gives a shit, then? I bought about eighty jars. She likes them, and I’m not cleaning orange crud out of my food mill.  And now we give her bits of what we eat, and she loves it. You have to do what works for you, and I think you have to rigorously protect yourself from doing unnecessary things in order to compete with other women. Ask yourself every day: would I still do this if no one besides my baby and I ever knew? Sometimes the answer is yes: I cloth diaper, and I love it. Sometimes the answer is no: hence the little jars.

3 comments to Nicole Cliffe on Food and Feminism

  • Katy

    That’s just it – we all need to work out what feels right for us and stop parenting like we’re under surveillance. Big brother hopefully isn’t watching, and the best thing to do is what makes us happy, comfortable parents AND people. But of course, for some people happiness is ‘the intense parenting lifestyle’, and I do wish the badinter’s of the world would be less judgmental. Frankly, I think being on the board of an advertising company sounds boring and souls destroying, but I’m not judging her for enjoying it!

  • Ha ha loved this piece !