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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Dad blogs fighting sexist ads

 

dad bloggers. image via nytimes.com

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 real domestic responsibilities, mom’s in charge.

A growing number of dads are rejecting this sexist imagery. And, as dads start to blog in greater numbers, dad blogs are helping shift the way advertisers deal with parenting. As the New York Times reports, on a recent dad blogging conference:

[The dad-as-idiot paradigm] is an image that many fathers who attended the Dad 2.0 Summit — a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them — have come to revile. They are proud to be involved in domestic life and do not want to serve as the comic foil to the supercompetent mother.

Right on, I say.

As we know, mom blogs have become a major outlet for product promotion. Readers trust bloggers more than they trust print or TV ads. McDonald’s, for example, has used mom bloggers to promote its healthier choices menu to great success. Attendees at any mom blogging conference worth its salt are loaded down with more swag than Beyonce at the Grammys. Popular mom bloggers can earn everything from ad dollars to paid sponsorships to free products to “test drive.”

Say what you will about the insidiousness of bloggers-as-flacks for big business (and I have plenty to say about this in my book). But if a new breed of dad blogger is helping shift the corporate narrative around parenting, I say hallelujah! As the Times writes:

Mr. Candelino [vice president of marketing for Unilever] described his target customer as a father, or an expectant one, who is in his late 30s and married, cares deeply about his role as a father and mentor, and is as comfortable having a tea party with his daughter as he is having beers with his friends.

“No brands were talking to guys at that level,” he says. “Society is ready for a new narrative about dads.”

Indeed.

Thoughts? Do any of you read dad blogs? What are some of your least favorite “man-as-idiot-in-the-home” commercials? This is mine.

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