I’ve started looking for a graduation gift for one of our nieces, and just borrowed the library’s copy of Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec by Jean Railla — which came out of her Get Crafty website — to see if it might be a possibility, along with a nifty homemade card and some cash tucked in between the pages.
I was expecting a hipper version of Flylady, but discovered “third-wave feminism” instead. Who knew? [Alright, maybe you did. But I’m old, and stuck in the mud for good measure.] In her introduction, Ms. Railla quotes Debbie Stoller of Bust and Stitch ‘n Bitch fame:
…although we may not be aware of it, we have bought into the lie that women are inferior so we set out to be more like men: important, big, self-centered, and good at getting ours.
[Stoller]…believes that if women want to achieve complete equality, we have to honor domesticity. “We already know what’s respectable and fulfilling about the workplace — basically going out and making money — and there is a certain amount of pride and independence in doing that.” Debbie continues, “But I think we need to relearn what’s valuable and fulfilling in the private sector. The home, children, crafts, and making things.”
What if, instead of dismissing domesticity, we thought of it as an important part of women’s culture. Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that every woman should enjoy knitting [phew…] or cooking or embroidery. But I am suggesting that we give women’s work its props as something valuable, interesting, and important, just as knowing how to build a house, keeping accounting records, or playing basketball is. Skill, love, and creativity go into creating a nice home, making things by hand, and raising children. It’s not stupid, and it’s not easy; it’s damn hard work that we need to respect. Moreover, it’s our history, and dismissing it only doubles the injustice already done to women who didn’t have any choice but to be domestic in the first place.
Just the ideas I’d like my niece to take with her and start contemplating as she begins her new adventure.
I’m not the only one with high school graduation on my mind, though it’s much more immediate for Mrs. G. at Derfwad Manor. Her (home educated — aha!) Miss G. received not just the big fat envelope but also one dandy luggage tag. Farm School felicitations to the G Family!