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Domesticity and Time

  • Oct 07 2008
    Domesticity and Time

    Yesterday, on a plane, I decided it was time. Time to learn how to sew. Actually, I’ve always wanted to learn, but what’s always stopped me from pursuing it has been the fact that I’m not any good at it...yet. What a foolish, self-imposed obstacle! Why let inexperience keep me from learning a new skill?

    Maybe it’s more than that. I think feminism has caused a rebellion against female domesticity that has and will continue to hurt us if we let it. There is something very strong and beautiful about a woman who excels in the domestic arts. Cooking, sewing, knitting, decorating, cleaning, taking care of children: these are not skills to be deemed “beneath” any woman. True, there have been and will continue to be men around the world who take advantage of and demean women for their roles in society. I’m all for equality, and as a woman in a very male-dominated industry, I understand the difficulties surrounding a female’s role in, well, virtually any place other than the home. Yet I believe the skills our grandmothers and great-grandmothers spent time honing as young women and perfecting as they grew older are still valuable and worth taking a second look at.

    So, alas. I am going to take a sewing class. I am also going to buy an old upright piano. I’ve wanted to do that for a year or more. I’m learning that life is too short to waste lots of time deliberating. Oh, and I’m going to buy a really good camera and learn how to shoot it. I’m experiencing too many things on the road to not be documenting them. So there it is. Hold me to it. I’m off to bake some cookies...

    Love,
    Francesca

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Francesca's picture
on October 7, 2008 - 3:54pm

Yesterday, on a plane, I decided it was time. Time to learn how to sew. Actually, I’ve always wanted to learn, but what’s always stopped me from pursuing it has been the fact that I’m not any good at it...yet. What a foolish, self-imposed obstacle! Why let inexperience keep me from learning a new skill?

Maybe it’s more than that. I think feminism has caused a rebellion against female domesticity that has and will continue to hurt us if we let it. There is something very strong and beautiful about a woman who excels in the domestic arts. Cooking, sewing, knitting, decorating, cleaning, taking care of children: these are not skills to be deemed “beneath” any woman. True, there have been and will continue to be men around the world who take advantage of and demean women for their roles in society. I’m all for equality, and as a woman in a very male-dominated industry, I understand the difficulties surrounding a female’s role in, well, virtually any place other than the home. Yet I believe the skills our grandmothers and great-grandmothers spent time honing as young women and perfecting as they grew older are still valuable and worth taking a second look at.

So, alas. I am going to take a sewing class. I am also going to buy an old upright piano. I’ve wanted to do that for a year or more. I’m learning that life is too short to waste lots of time deliberating. Oh, and I’m going to buy a really good camera and learn how to shoot it. I’m experiencing too many things on the road to not be documenting them. So there it is. Hold me to it. I’m off to bake some cookies...

Love,
Francesca