Homemakers Unite and Take Over

by Krista Ciminera

It is now a radical act to stay at home, so writes Shannon Hayes in her new book, “Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture.”  While many women are increasingly engaging in careers and distancing themselves from the titles of “homemakers,” Hayes argues that homemaking does not have to be a four-letter-word, and that, in fact, it is a powerful political and ecological act.

Hayes discusses homemaking through a modern lense- one that has been reworked through the feats of feminism and through a larger consciousness of the environment and consumer culture.  Centering your life around the home shouldn’t be equated with shame or service.  Instead, a positive and active role in the home-life can improve family health, the state of the environment, and bring about cultural change.

Hayes’s book is greatly needed to combat the amount of literature that paints domesticity in a negative light.  The cover of the book is like a bizarro, modern day Rosie the Riveter, in which a woman holding up a rolling pin with her muscled arm is an image of power and strength.  Hayes’s book is a message to the public and homemakers alike: drop the shame, it’s time to reclaim!

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