How to be a proggressive homemaker

Just found this: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture.” I’m not exactly sure, but it has something to do with being a “radical homemaker.” Now, proggs hated home makers until they took up the battle against our global consumerism and the “extractive economy.”

Hayes’ definition of an extractive economy (“where corporate wealth was regarded as the foundation of economic health, where mining our earth’s resources and exploiting our international neighbors was accepted as simply the cost of doing business”) very accurately describes the sort of globalized and industrialized economy that seems to be at the root of much of what plagues modern society. Hayes writes instead about people who are embracing the idea of what she terms a “life-serving economy” that values families, communities, social justice and a healthy planet.

Now we’re cooking with gas. Social Justice, baby!

The seven-chapter book is divided into two major sections. In the first four chapters, Hayes provides context, including laying out the tenets that radical homemakers subscribe to: ecological sustainability, social justice, family and community.

Homemaker as communist.

Her work offers a compelling message for those engaged in the Good Food movement, and for anyone who is feeling angst in the current economic climate. Larger-than-life questions loom: What about the current inequality of wealth in our nation and the world? What’s the economy really for? Must we believe that the viability of the corporate world is integral to social and individual progress? In an age where corporate greed and irresponsibility have left highly visible human and environmental wreckage in its wake, Hayes believes these are the questions we should be grappling with.

Oh, but there’s more.

Hayes also asks us to examine what participating in an extractive economy costs us. Certainly our time. And maybe, in many cases, it results in a loss of community. How do we challenge strongly ingrained beliefs about what constitute wealth and poverty? Success or failure? What is really essential, and how can we reclaim the domestic skills that have been devalued and, in many cases, lost? If we answered these questions, we might be forced to embrace a different reality, pursue different educational and career paths, and in the process, perhaps create a new (and truly braver) world.

It really is truly amazing.

Apparently there are 10 steps to becoming a Radical Progressive Homemaker:

* Commit to hanging your laundry out to dry. Uhm, it’s 23 degree outside right now…
* Dedicate a portion of your lawn to a vegetable garden. These are words of wisdom?
* Get to know your neighbors. Cooperate to save money and resources.
* Go to your local farmers’ market each week before you head to the grocery store.
Nice if you’re in California. My farmers’ market is open 3 months, tops.
* Do some spring cleaning to identify everything in your home that you absolutely don’t need. Donate to help others save money and resources. Again, who needs advice like this? Idiots?
* Make a commitment to start carrying your own reusable bags and use them on all your shopping trips.
* Choose one local food item to learn how to preserve for yourself for the winter.
* Get your family to spend more evenings at home, preferably with the TV off.
As opposed to evenings WHERE? Normal families spend most evenings at home.
* Cook for your family. Duh. If you need an expert to tell you this …
* Focus on enjoying what you have and who are with. Stop fixating on what you think you may need, or how things could be better “if only.” Stupid me. I’m gonna stop fixating on how I’m gonna pay for the trips to the dentist, or braces, or college educations for my kids. That’s what she’s talking about here, right?

Something tells me that the way to be a proper Radical Homemaker, you need to have an advanced degree. Preferably a Phd, like the author of the book. You need to have had a “come to Jesus Gia” moment when you realized that the corporate world left you unfufilled, so you threw it all away, moved to the country, started living off the land.

Wait, I think there was a movie with a similar theme back 1987. Yes, here it is.

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5 Comments on “How to be a proggressive homemaker”

  1. MJ Says:

    I always find suggestions like this curious, because it could be viewed as an insight into what the author was NOT doing. She didn’t cook for her family? Didn’t spend time at home? Didn’t know her neighbors?

    Once again, progressives prove the old statement, “Just because its new to you, doesn’t mean its new.

  2. Steve B Says:

    What these tools seem constitutional incapable of understanding is that being economic solvent with excess disposable income is exactly WHAT allows them all the free time to pursue social justice and other fun projects for soccer moms with too much time on their hands.

    Ask a “radical housewife” from the 1800’s how great and fulfilling her life was! Subsistence farming, hand to mouth, kids working in the fields from the time they could walk. The “corporate culture” has raised the life expectancy of people in the western world far about that of “developing” nations who still enjoy all the benefits of living of the land. You know, benefits like cholera, dysentery, malaria, infant mortality and other such joys.

    These tea-cozy activists make me cranky. These are the same environmentalist types that think indoor plumbing and electric lights are the scourge of the modern world. ‘Cept that, very few of them actually DO go live in a yurt. Goobers.

  3. Car in Says:

    Yes and yes. Both points.

  4. wiserbud Says:

    My MiL tried to hang her clothes out on a line where she used to live, a very progressive community. Her neighbor called the town on her for creating an unsightly blight.

    Seems the left wants it both ways. Wind farms, but not where I have to see them! Clotheslines, but not where I have to see them!

  5. wiserbud Says:

    And, actually, I think this is the movie you were thinking about:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095188/


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