In defense of homemakers

The proprietor of the blog The Lazy Homesteader posted a link to facebook, which made a strong impression on me, enough that I decided to share it (and my response) here.

The article in question:

Why I Hate Food: A Polemic

I don’t mind sending more traffic that way, because it is an interesting and relatively well-written piece.

The author makes some good points, including the division of labor and how there ought to be people who create intangible things, like ideas, as well as people who produce food and more practical goods.  She is correct that women have typically been in the minority in the history of the art and literary world.

I encourage you to give it a read, or at least a skim, before continuing onto my response, which is as follows:

—–

In Ms. Rechner’s mind, taking care of your family and yourself by being self-sufficient, instead of buying into a consumer culture, is feeding the status quo.  I completely disagree – I think the radical homemakers, the women who are intentionally turning back to more traditional ways of living, are creating their own status quo.  They are all the more admirable for standing up to the kind of criticism we see here and from plenty of other sources, for continuing to answer their calling no matter what society thinks.

The author is making the fundamental mistake of assuming her opinions and beliefs are universal. A woman and her family may find that a perfect jar of preserves or an exquisitely prepared meal can have the same (or better) effect on them as a Van Gogh or a Jane Austen novel has on someone else – a feeling of soul-satisfaction, an appreciation of subtle beauty, a gratitude for the love and effort that went into it.

The author is saying that these homey things are worth less than more cerebral things, because they are not her particular preference.

She is criticizing the way women judge each other on one hand, while performing the same judgment with the other. She cannot see how something that has no importance to her could possibly have importance or meaning to someone else.

If a woman chooses a certain path, it is not for others to project their own insecurities in explaining why she has chosen it.  Because she worries so much about what others think of her, the author assumes that that also drives the women around her.  She sells those women short with the assumption that they are not making these choices for themselves, but for appearance’s sake.

Ms. Rechner rightfully has her own priorities, but for some reason is incapable of respecting those of others. It is not for her to judge the worth of how another woman spends her days, just as she does not want to be judged for how she raises her own family.

—–

What do you think?  Here you have two rather different opinions.  Reading the magazine article was thought-provoking for me, so my hope is to inspire the same in someone else.  You know what they say about the unexamined life!

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61 Comments on “In defense of homemakers”

  1. chaotican says:

    I absolutely agree that there is judgement apparent. As with most core theological or ethical disagreements, however, I think that, at the heart, we want to defend ourselves and convert each other. Ironically, everyone’s goals are best served by simply extending tolerance and love.

    Sorry if that is ineloquent or sappy. I’m a bit (legally) drugged right now. :)

    • Thanks! I think you made plenty of sense. :)

      I like what you said about extending tolerance and love – that’s an excellent rule of thumb. You’re right; we do tend to want everyone to not only understand our way of doing things, but adopt it.
      It’s easy to say “live and let live,” but it’s not always as simple to practice it. :)

  2. lifeandlims says:

    Definitely! There are as many opinions about being a homemaker as there are homemakers, I think. One would think writers would be more open to the notion that theirs are merely opinions, not universal opinions or statements of fact, but that is certainly not the case. And homemaking (and raising children) has not received the support and kudos it deserves in our society. I do love the notion of the variety of things that can bring us soul-satisfaction, as you say. For me, it’s in raising four fine children, in keeping a nice and clean and mostly orderly home, in creating and serving nice meals that are healthy and inexpensive but delicious. It’s in writing and editing and reading and learning. It’s all related in some way, to creating and finding our work satisfying.

  3. mdjlrnc says:

    I’m not sure it has to be such an either/or as she portrays. I know many women who garden/cook and write. We will find time for the things we love. And I’m not sure why a certain gender has to catch up to the other in certain tasks. We (male and female) are different, after all. But I am amazed at the beauty of the jars of green beans my wife just canned. :-)

  4. Clip Snark says:

    The tone of the “Why I Hate Food” article is off-putting to me. I get the impression she thinks these female urban homesteaders are not choosing this lifestyle which, in my experience, is not the case. To me, the most important thing is that women can choose the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families. I very much enjoyed your response!

  5. Yes! Congrats on the Freshly Pressed.

  6. winnwords says:

    I have struggled for years with the issue of society’s lack of respect for the values practised by a diligent and intelligent homemaker. I really enjoyed your thoughtful response to this article, and agree wholeheartedly with the concept of mutual respect between people of all occupations. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  7. bamamagput says:

    Hahaha. I loved this discussion. I am very new to the blog world and so I can say, I wish blogs had been available to me when I was raising my kids. Fortunately, they turned out ok. I have one that is in his second year of Law School and a daughter that is in high school. Although, I offered and prepared vegetables and healthy meals, they didn’t always like it. You would have thought my son was going to he a USDA health inspector by the skill he developed to detect “green things” like bell peppers and “slimey transparent things” like cooked onions in any type of casserole I might have baked. My son loved to grow his own lettuces, carrots,and that one tomato we nurtured to eatin’ size before the greedy squirrels gleefully snagged it. Gosh, durn varmints. However, I am a “Master Gardener” and read with delight Michael Pollen’s books when they first came out, before he got so almighty righteous in his writing montages he now promotes. I have to say, my kids are fine. Neither, developed a third eye by eating apples or candy corn. They maintain health and , I guess I can thank their Dad for also being a great cook and baker. Luckily, we have always had local farmers to purchase vegetables from regularly. It was a special thrill when Whole Foods and Fresh Market set up shop in our town. However, I read with a bit of tiring skepticism the stories of organic frou-frou babble Whole Market puts on signs over every heirloom tomato and tiny eggplant just to raise the price so that you have to take out a mortgage to buy nice ingredients. Come on ladies, you know I am right. How many times have you gone to Whole Foods for two ingredients and ended up spending 70 dollars minus the 10 cents for the bag you brought yourself? At least at Fresh Market the music is better. By the way, my farmer friends have never sold me a bad tomato. Oh, my, we live in the most amazing country in the world our food choices are unlimited. Looks like we could support one another as Moms, doing the best we can, doing the hardest job in the world. Say it after me as Aibilene said to Mae Mobley, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”( Loved that Movie! See and you were probably thinking I was not at all literary, learned or urbane.)

  8. koritt says:

    This discussion reminds me of a dear friend from college who chose not to go to graduate school and was subsequently shunned by a professor that she did research for throughout college. The professor even refused to write her a recommendation for a job after my friend’s years of meticulous work. I was rather horrified with the situation, since our college was all about choices and my friend was making an active choice that she was happy with. I don’t see anything wrong with choosing to take care of your family. In fact, in this crazy world, I think it’s admirable and wonderful. I’m certainly grateful that my mom chose to stay at home when I was growing up and it’s wonderful that there are women who are still choosing to do that.

    • That’s too bad – and you hear stories like that all too often. The trick is to follow your gut (or your heart, or your nose), regardless of the naysayers, and it sounds like your friend was strong enough to do that. Good for her. :)
      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you feel that way!

      • koritt says:

        It really is too bad. I’m happy to report that my friend followed her heart and she is doing well and loving life. I’m really proud of her for sticking to what was right for her when everyone around her, including her professor, thought that the only way to be happy was graduate school – a clearly false assumption. It’s hard to do that and I’m always glad to hear about and read about people who are doing what they want to do! :)

  9. iRuniBreathe says:

    This reminds me of views on religion. How can so many people be so adamantly right about their beliefs when their neighbour thinks otherwise? Okay, that’s a bit of a touchy subject but it also seems that a little tolerance and acceptance of differences would bode well to make our communities a little happier.
    We may not agree with our neighbours, but does that make them wrong?
    Congrats on the FP. A thought-provoking post.
    iRuniBreathe

    • Thanks!
      Faith is definitely a controversial subject, but that’s okay here! I agree with you. We all know that we’re all different, and I don’t understand why some people treat that as a bad thing. Difference is what makes the world interesting.
      Thank you for sharing your opinion! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  10. scanney says:

    I like your criticism of her flawed thinking. I completely agree. It seems, in the blogging world especially, that it very easy to criticize others for their beliefs or way of living yet not accept a critical examination of your own life. There needs to be a level of respect and grace in the way we treat others and their choices. Often times, in order to boost our own self-esteem, we put others down. I believe that if you’re not at peace with yourself you can’t possibly be at peace with others

    • Thank you! Yes, people lose sight of common courtesy when communicating through the anonymity of the internet. I agree with you – respect and grace, very well put! Thanks for your input!

  11. Love your post! Sometime in the past couple of days I saw an interview with Michelle Obama who said that women are their own worst enemies. I agree. Women should support one another, no matter what lifestyle is chosen because the important thing is that women have a choice.

  12. Sarah says:

    The choice to be a homemaker or to work outside the home are both fine (and other gradations I’m not going to get into — too many words!). Homemaking can be a lot more satisfying than many jobs, certainly.

    However, part of the reason that feminists in the ’60s and ’70s pushed work outside the home was that too many women were stuck in marriages they couldn’t leave because they had no money of their own. I don’t mean just unsatisfying marriages, but unpleasant ones, even dangerous. I don’t care how each of us earns our keep, but I do care that no one is stuck in a bad place because she has to depend on her spouse for her money.

    • You make a good point. Thanks for bringing it up!

      I think back then there was a stigma attached to leaving your husband as well, making it less likely that a woman could find support outside her marriage.

      Now we are in a time when if you cannot rely on family or friends when you are in a bad situation, there are other organizations set up specifically to aid women so that they do not have to stay with someone who is hurting them, for the sake of financial stability.

      Fortunately, more and more women no longer have to make choices based on fear, but have the freedom to choose what makes them happy. That’s a big benefit of our evolving society.

      Thank you again for your comment!

  13. kthorpe says:

    I agree… the piece was well-written, but what came across most strongly was an argumentative and judgmental view of homemaking vs. writing, with insecurity coming in second, and the best part–insight on the fairly common “we are superior because we eat organic” phenomenon– coming in last :/

    I certainly don’t want the vegetarian/environmentalist/organic crowd judging my homemaking… but neither do I want the pseudointellectual doing so.

    Can’t we all just get along? D: lol

    • Yes! Thanks for bringing that up!
      The food snobbery thing is a real issue, although it sounds a lot worse where she is from.
      We all do our best according to our own priorities. It’s when people start acting superior about their own lifestyles that it becomes a problem.
      Thank you again for your comment!

  14. I fear you fall into a similar trap to the original author
    “I think the radical homemakers, the women who are intentionally turning back to more traditional ways of living, are creating their own status quo” – the radical homemakers are the men who are homemakers?

    • I think both men and women can be radical homemakers. I was focusing on women, but I believe men who choose that path face just as much, if not more, criticism from society. That makes it a brave and admirable move on their part.
      You’re right, there’s a lot more to say about this issue that I didn’t touch on in this particular post. Thank you for your comment!

  15. Yet Another Mind says:

    It’s ironical (and awesome) that this post got freshly pressed, because this is the thing I’ve been struggling with lately. When you and another person have different idealogies/opinion/way of thinking, and the other person expects you to follow her idealogy, and you have no choice but to do it because you don’t want to let her/him down or because she or he is your parent. -__- Likewise, I had a question, which I was hoping you could answer (though I wont mind if you dont, given the huge number of traffic I think you’ll be getting today :) congrats!) . When people make fun of a person, or jokes about the person – as all friends do – and these are the very fun-loving kind of people; and do not have ill meaning NOR good intentions at heart…..and the person is getting hurt…it is a morally ‘bad’ thing right? And yet us humans do it all the time. It’s not exactly a question, but just something that’s happening at school, and I’m worried because these were people I respected….

    And thanks for posting! :)

    • Thank you!
      That’s a tough question to answer. I’m no expert on morality. I think if someone is hurting someone else, whether intentionally or not, it should be brought to their attention. Their actions after being made aware of the pain they are causing would, to me, be the true test of their character.
      Hopefully in this case it’s an honest mistake and not something more, but sometimes we can be disappointed in people we respect.
      Sorry I couldn’t give you a better answer.

      Dealing with a difference of opinion between a person and his/her parents is a classic problem! Ideally, mutual respect and courtesy can keep things from boiling over, but that’s difficult to do when sharing living space and dealing with changing hormones.
      Generally I think parents want to know that you’re at least listening and considering what they want and using that to inform your choices, even if you eventually don’t choose what they would like. Good luck with that – I hope you navigate it better than I did! :)

  16. “Why I Hate Food” seems to me to be as much a criticism of the process of eating uber-healthy as it does anything else. When it’s not enough to buy organic but instead you have to be a part of some co-op, and all of this just to satisfy the friends you’ve invited to dinner and not to satiate your conscience, I think you need to pick some new friends.

    On a personal note, I’d like to offer the story of my parents: my mom has been a casual gardener for some years. She cans fruits and vegetables as it suits her. She grows what is available for our region (northeast Ohio, which I think is now considered part of zone 6). So each year, there is a hearty basket full of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, and now more recently broccoli, cabbage, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon! My dad does his part by fencing off the garden and toting water. My mom handles the growth, harvest, and pretty much the rest of the process.

    But rather than being ardent conservationists, my parents play the gardening game as a means to save money. Looking back and seeing what they’ve grown and how much they saved by investing some sweat equity is very rewarding for the pair.

    The fact of the matter is, Miss Rechner wouldn’t be writing an article like this if she wasn’t interested in keeping up appearances. But alas, she started the conversation and I’ve enjoyed reading both of the articles and all of the comments that have followed.

    • “I think you need to pick some new friends.”
      I thought exactly the same thing! Why surround yourself with people who you feel are constantly judging you and who you need to continually strive to impress? No thank you. :)

      I like your parents’ style! Having a partner who not only supports your choices but gets involved is great. They sound like very cool people. Frugality is a big priority for me as well, and a completely valid reason to live that lifestyle.

      Thanks for sharing that, and for reading my post!

  17. nothroughtrail says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. Thank you for your post.

    I appreciate your thoughts, so much, on casting judgment aside. I don’t believe we are going to get anywhere, including The Hundred Best Novels list, if we don’t foster openness and tolerance towards the ideas of other women and support them, even if we disagree about the ways in which they have chosen to live their lives.

    My question is – what true art is separate and apart from the daily goings on of human beings? An art form that has at its heart (not necessarily its focus) but within its flesh and blood, a true understanding of the world, a knowledge gained through a daily “hand in the earth” engagement with the world seems to me a more relevant art form.

    I defer to Ishigaki Rin’s “The Pot, the Pan and the Burning Fire” as a more eloquent explanation of my viewpoint. Rather than turning from self sufficiency and experience toward art, I think these form a great foundation for it. Also, the fact that women are not represented on a list, does not in my mind, necessarily mean women have not produced excellent art. Our system is still, in many ways, biased.

    I appreciate women from both walks of life!

    Thanks again. Good discussion.

    • To answer your question, to me, they are not separate at all, but necessarily tied together. We don’t live in a vacuum, and we don’t view or create art in one either. I think you and I are on the same page.

      I truly appreciate and agree with what you’ve said. Thank you very much for contributing to the conversation!

  18. Rick Bailey says:

    One gets the feeling that Ms. Rechner is blaming our current culture for her personal baggage. She might be happier if Whole Foods didn’t exist, then there would be no pressure on her (real or imagined) to ‘procure food’ with any sort of bow towards quality… or snobbery.

    She is wrong to assume that ‘homemaking’ is artless, or fails to achieve the significance of ‘fine art’ – she’s never tasted my wife’s cooking, nor seen the ‘common’ tasks that my wife can do so artfully. Tasks that I could never master, not with another hundred years of practice. And though I was an attentive father during the years my kids were at home, my wife’s knowledge of my kids’ personalities, added to her wisdom in knowing how to manage them, was more valuable than a house full of Picasosos. You only get that sort of insight by spending lots of time with your children.

    Do women have to ‘catch up’ to men in art, business, and professions? I think Ms. Rechner has purchased our modern culture of gender equality whole-sale without giving sufficient thought to moral (yes, I said ‘moral’) obligations of the homemaker. For my childrens’ sake, my family couldn’t afford to be a dual-professional house-hold. Someone had to stay home and *make* a home culture and environment. My wife and I discussed who that would be, because of the two of us, she was by far the more gifted in intellectual arts and earning potential. She elected herself to stay home, and she never felt that she chose a less noble route.

    At least one of my more ‘modern’ thinking (adult) children feels that his mother ‘sold out’. But he is also the first to longingly reminisce the home environment of his childhood, not realizing that his home environment would have been very inferior if his mom had pursued a ‘career’ – even if I had stayed home!

    By the way, my wife is an now an accomplished professional artist, having begun studying her life-long passion after the kids were independent.

    Is there anything wrong with professional women having careers outside the home? Not at all. And I fully recognize that many women (and men) have no choice: they are single parents and must work. But let’s not entertain any criticism of men or women who choose to stay home and *make* a home for their children and spouses.

  19. deckshoes says:

    Her article was very interesting but I completely agree with you!

    To quote from the original article, “When I see women with their kids (they usually also have a dog or two) weeding their vegetable gardens and tending their flocks of chickens, I fear they have bought the idea that these many labors are the markers of what it means to be a good mother-wife-woman.”

    Why this judgment? What if for these women weeding their vegetable gardens is not just that, weeding? What if “weeding” to them means spending time with their kids – which is what they find more important, than, say, writing fiction and being appreciated by the general public?

    I am not a great fan of the preparation of food myself but I respect those who take so much time to feed their family in the “traditional” way.

    Personally, I love both spending time with my family and writing and it’s not easy to strike a balance but I try. My rule in life is this: I will do it in the way that I want to – I won’t care what anyone will think – just as long as I am certain I’m not hurting anyone.

    The world will indeed be a better place if we are tolerant of what others believe in – after all, it is when people think that what they have and do is superior that created the worst problems in history – wars, religious conflicts, etc.

    (I haven’t read all the other comments so pardon me if I just repeated some other people’s thoughts).

    Many thanks for sharing!

  20. I read all posts.

    There is food snobbery.
    There is homesteading snobbery.
    There is intellectual snobbery.

    Snobbery is snobbery.
    .

  21. I read her post and I read yours…

    She has thrown a lot into one pot and it doesn’t read particularly well to me. She feels peer pressure to feed her children a certain way — that’s sadly typical in the U.S. (and maybe everywhere.)

    She also thinks women are wasting their creative energies and spending too much time obsessing over smaller things. I get that and I agree with her. Not that home-making is a waste of time! But that we tend to waste enormous amounts of energy focused on minutiae (organic vs. not, locavore versus not, etc) and not looking at the bigger picture of how our culture is managed or public policy created.

    Women are forever focusing their/our attention on things domestic (which I value) and less on things political. So, for me, her argument is valid, but misplaced.

    But, hey, good discussion. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Thank you! You raise another good point. It’s far too easy to lose sight of the big picture, and it can be difficult to strike a balance between your domestic, every day life and your ideals. It all comes back down to priorities. For some people, these political things trump other things, and that’s how they choose to spend their energies. I think that as long as we are all allowed to follow our passions, it all evens out – for every niche, every cause, every need, there is someone out there to fill it.
      Thank you again for the comment and the congratulations!

  22. Well, as a homemaker of sorts, I thoroughly enjoyed your response to her article and enjoyed Rechner’s views as well. She made an excellent point about food setting the stage for something… like a great conversation. And isn’t that what it does in the homes, too? Without great conversations between families, how does one expect to raise intelligent, thoughtful children or nurture strong marriages? As was touched upon earlier, I think the underlying issue can be religion and the roles it dictates on women. I see that. But I won’t go into that, as that discussion often leads me into trouble.

    Wonderful post, and congrats on FP!

    • Thank you very much!
      I understand what you’re getting at about religion, and I agree that it can be quite the hot-button topic! I try to navigate around those touchier issues, too.
      You make a lovely point about conversation strengthening relationships and characters. What most of us here seem to know, and what Rechner is ignoring, is that great conversation can come from an unfathomable number of things or experiences.
      Thanks for bringing your thoughts to the discussion!

  23. Wow! First thank you for a thought provoking post and creating a forum for conversation. I am a fulltime working, married (22 yrs) and non-mom woman I am completely perplexed by the point of Ms. Rechner’s point. I could understand an article on the theme of the forced inequity of the hunter and gathering roles. However, instead she diminishes the women who would choose that path. I take pride in my garden, I don’t garden to save the earth, or eat more locally. I garden because it soothes and fills my soul. The soil is my canvas and the garden and it’s many changing seasons are chapters in the year of my life.

    I think it is wonderful that Ms. Rechner is able to step away from what she feel would be distractions from her more passionate pursuits. I wish I had such self control. My objection is her judging my passions. Just because I am not writing the next great american novel, does not mean my pursuits are less important or are not worthy my time. I wish that Ms. Rechner had shared how despite her Catholic guilt (of which I have as well), she is able to find time for those things that she finds important and how we might be able to do the same.

    I assume that Ms. Rechner has probably been on the receiving end of what I call the militant gardeners who think she is terrible for shopping at the chain grocery or gasp! eating at McDonalds. Too bad she did the same thing to those of us who aren’t the writers, sculptors, and music makers.I think the pursuit that all women should be on is supporting all women. I don’t understand why we would waste time thinking that the stay at home moms are lazy or that the working moms are selfish. Breastfeeding is a personal and private decision, while it maybe a very healthy option for many valid reasons some women don’t breast feed. Get over it and tend to your own breasts. Don’t even get me started about the kids vs no kids debate. Instead spend sometime learning about other people’s opinions and ideas and less time judging them or convincing them to come to your way. It gets old.

  24. roberta4949 says:

    interesting article, this condemnation of woman who stay home smacks of agenda 21 which states the family unit is unsustainable, translated is does not contribute to the demise of america. a strong society is determined by strong families, children who are educated and loved and taught to be thinkers and movers and shakers. also strong families are self sufficent, and woman who stay home do not pay taxes (hence not contributing to he demise of america again of which taxes are used to fund). staying home is safer for women, there are to many bosses and co workers who bother women on the job and are not disciplined to leave you alone, of course not all jobs but a good many. a person should be able to decide what they will or will not do without harassment, critisim or feeling like less of a person for doing so. the public indoctrination centeres (aka schools) are teaching the kids ot hate themselves, to feel guilty for what they accomplish (remember the statement you didn’t build that?) or what they have and confusing kids on what is real science or fake. what is true or false in regards to social issues, or poltical issues or whatever. brainwashing basically.
    rose

    • Some of what you have said is unfamiliar to me, so I’ll have to look it up to see what you’re referring to. You’ve brought up some interesting points. I don’t normally like to get into anything too political online, but what you’ve said is certainly thought-provoking. Thank you!

  25. Here, here. Its true that women have the right and the ability to choose to do anything they want. And if they make the choice to be a homemaker, that doesn’t make them any less smart or able or fantastic. It was simply the choice they made.

  26. Piper George says:

    One thing that struck me from reading both the original post and your response is the use of the term ‘homemaker’. It seems to be a very American term that I would need some clarification on. In England I would define it thus – a housewife, whose role/job is to run the home, bring up the children, manage the family – or a homemaker, who may also be a housewife but also has another job, whilst still being mother and wife.

    The reason I attempt to clarify this is that I got the impression from the author of ‘Why I hate food’ that not only was she being over defensive in not growing her own vegetables and being an organic environmentalist, but she seems to believe that you cannot have another job (in her case write) if you are a ‘homemaker’. That being a homemaker means you cannot reach the fulfillment of your potential.

    I work full time and am successful at what I do. I also consider myself a homemaker. I maintain our home and children.

    I also grow some salad and vegetables. I have chickens and a dog. I would love to have a full on vegetable plot providing our own food year round, I don’t have the time or knowledge. But I don’t want this because I feel it makes me a better mother and others will admire me. I do it because as I also want some hobbies for myself and I like these hobbies, fresh air, exercise and something that tastes nice at the end. That doesn’t stop me also using and enjoying the convenience of the supermarket, but nothing tastes as good as homegrown tomatoes and fresh laid eggs.

    Her article was very onesided and judgemental. Good for you for challenging it.

    • I hadn’t considered “homemaker” being an ethno-specific term. Hmm. I think that you seem to have the gist of it.

      I can’t speak for all Americans, but I see a homemaker as someone who is mainly in charge of housecleaning, cooking, and the maintenance of any children that come along, and I think that term can include someone who also has an outside-the-home job/career.

      I agree with your definition of “housewife” being exclusively an at-home role. The trouble with that term is that it is gender- and marital status-specific. A man, or an unwed female partner, can be a full-time homemaker. I guess that’s what I would call it, too: “full-time homemaker.”

      I think the author of the original article is underestimating women in assuming that one cannot be a successful homemaker as well as a successful career person. I’m sure it takes a great deal of extra effort and patience, but I’m also sure that many women (and men) are up to the challenge.

      Thank you for such a thoughtful response! It hadn’t occurred to me that the terminology I used was not self-evident, so you pushed me to think about it a bit more deeply. I appreciate that. Cultural concepts are always worth a second look.


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