Helaine Olen on “Leaning Into the Past”

Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with making your own food from scratch and designing your own clothes. But it’s an individual solution to a greater systemic problem, nothing more or less. When we opt-out of the greater society, whatever our reasons, we lose the power to challenge it effectively, which is something any splinter group from the Amish to the Shakers can testify to.

In her column today in The Guardian, Helaine Olen discusses Emily Matchar’s new book Homeward Bound, which looks at “a groundswell of women (and more than a few men) [who] are choosing to embrace an unusual rebellion: domesticity.” The rise in popularity of sites like Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman (which is now a popular Food Network show) is one example of this embrace of domesticity—something that Helaine describes as “leaning into the past” rather than lobbying for family friendly policies (i.e. paid maternity leave) that would help fix some of the systemic problems in the workplace.

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