Today's Workbasket Wednesday is an article interviewing a housewife named Mrs. Gilbert Brown who handmade beautifully intricate molded candles to sell and a bonus tatting pattern to make a small cross bookmark.
I do understand the plea of feminists from the 1950s for women to be more than a mere housewife, especially as a modern day stay at home mom. After all, it's not exactly the most respected or praised role for a women in today's world. But I think there have been a lot of things lost through some people's radical refusal of all things domestic.
I once asked my mother why her generation didn't pass on many of the homemaking, sewing, baking, knitting, and basic crafting skills that seemed so prevalent with their mothers generation. My mom knew many of these skills learned from her mother, but didn't really teach me anything I didn't specifically ask her to or pursue for myself. I did learn much more than many of my friends and peers, but still look at my own mother in awe at the beautiful things she can create from seemingly nothing. Her explanation as to why the baby boomer kids didn't pass on what they had learned was that they expected to be professionals and for their daughters to be as well and that they didn't need such knowledge to pursue a career.
Unfortunately, I have a friend that when she moved out on her own didn't even know how to clean her own toilet or literally boil water. I'm not saying everyone has to be a housewife or even a stay at home mom, but we have lost a lot of skills by assuming that all women have to have a career outside of their homes and they don't need to know anything save what their career requires. Seriously, male or female, everyone needs to know basic cleaning and cooking, and my sons will learn these as well as my daughter.
I read about someone like Mrs. Brown and see how free she was to pursue her art and craft. Many women I know would love the opportunity to leave their outside jobs and pursue a creative passion like this. Sure, she was a housewife, too, but that doesn't equate drudgery or slavery(I've found that has a lot more to do with who your husband is and how you use your time), and the freedom to have such a creative outlet and the ability to pursue it is way more than many of us who have worked for large corporations can boast. After all, when she succeeded, she directly benefited from the success. When I worked for a large corporation, the main beneficiary was the corporation itself, and I didn't see the direct results of it. Not to mention when I left, I had nothing to show for it save the experience itself.
Just an opinion, but I think true feminism is allowing women the freedom and choice to pursue what they love without neglecting responsibilities (i.e. if you have kids, you will have to be responsible for them, regardless of your career choice). I think in some ways our modern society has forced the idea of a woman's working outside the home as the only responsible and logical choice to the point that women are pressured into that lifestyle regardless of their true desires. Is that any different than women being forced into marriage as a career 80 years ago without any other really desirable options?
Sorry for the soapbox, lol. It could just be the pregnancy hormones talking, but take it for what it is, an opinion. ;)