Aspen Junge's Reviews > Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture

Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes
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's review
May 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: food, feminism

Radical homemaking is what happens when Your Money or Your Life meets Mother Earth News. It's the journey of families who decide that rather than earning lots of money so they can outsource the labor of their lives, want to bring it back inside the family; thus regaining control over their expenses, nutrition, cleaning, child care, community life, etc. The reward is that you spend more time and effort on the things important to you, whatever they may be (as long as they're not too expensive). Hayes is the first I've seen who makes the critical point that this is not a journey one or two people can do alone-- the most critical skill is that of community building; being able to create and maintain a network of helpers and allies with whom to share labor and resources. Also, the lifestyle runs the risk of being made meaningless (as in the Feminine Mystique) if, once you've remastered the domestic skills, you don't also engage in the wider civic discourse. She also points out that once you've disengaged from the workforce, it can be extremely difficult to get back into it. In some ways this is a one-way trip.
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message 1: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Thanks for highlighting the importance of community building. If you miss the community thread, the book and the choices advocated by the author don't make much sense.

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