This is a highly confused article on the turn, particularly among women, to forms of “new domesticity.” Its author, Emily Matchar, appears eager to deny that there is anything good to being “conservative,” yet comes close to admiring, if admitting cognitive confusion, over the return to domesticity among many “progressives.” She is so dedicated to her labels that she can’t get her head around the fact that there may be something more fundamentally coherent about “new domestics” that transcends and rejects current political categories.
It’s in the closing lines that Matchar really tips her hand:
“Both sides of the political spectrum turn to domesticity for many of the same reasons: distrust in government and institutions from the EPA to the public schools to hospital maternity wards, worries about the safety of the food supply, disappointment with the working world, the desire to connect with a simpler, less consumerist way of life.
The fact that domesticity is so appealing speaks to the failure of these systems. Until these things are fixed, I predict we’ll see an increasing number of people from all parts of the political spectrum deciding to go the DIY route with their food, their homes, their children. ”
Matchar doesn’t acknowledge the possibility that these “systems” can’t be “fixed” short of downsizing, re-localizing, and by becoming more personally and communally-invested in all these practices. That is, what she can’t bring herself to acknowledge is that the “new domesticity” is a better and truer way than these “systems.” No, she wants them to be “fixed,” and I have a pretty good idea who and what will do the fixing.