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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Two must-read stories on women and the food movement

Bust foodie issue

Two fairly recent cover stories – one in Bust and one in Ms – both look at women and the food movement.  If you haven’t seen them, they’re both very much worth a read.

The Bust story looks at women in the indie food scene – the artisan jam-makers, the food truck owners, the Foodzie vendors. The author, Jean Railla, traces the phenomenon to the DIY movement and the craft movement, and notes that many women are attracted to self-run food businesses because the professional restaurant scene is still quite a boys’ club. I’d imagine another major reason women are drawn to the idea of artisan food companies is because they seem to offer the chance for a more family-friendly, flexible lifestyle.

The Ms story, “The Feminist Food Revolution” by Jennifer Cognard-Black, looks at how women play a starring role in the grassroots local/organic/sustainable food movement, from small farmers to community garden advocates to school lunch reformers. The story definitely skews “crunchy” – quotes from vegan chefs, advocates for radical “guerrilla gardening” – but I’d be most interested to hear people’s take on author’s main complaint, which is that, despite so much female work, the food movement has become an all-male foodie cult of personality in thrall to Jamie Oliver, Michael Pollan and co. I can certainly think of a few counterexamples (Alice Waters, for example), but it’s an interesting point – thoughts?

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