Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife

To Hell with All That by Caitlin Flanagan
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's review
Aug 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: feminism, non-fiction, memoir, essays

Caitlin Flanagan has been called "anti-feminist" at times because of her focus on women's traditional roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers. Still, this book is a thoughtful enough examination of women's connection to these roles over time that it didn't feel anti-feminist to me. Indeed, I think exploring perceptions commonly held of women and work commonly done by women is a feminist thing to do, regardless of the conclusions you come to. Somehow, her humility and understanding of her own privileged place in society makes certain luxuries she writes about (hiring a nanny even though she was home with her kids when they were babies) chafe less. She brings up some interesting points about why women are drawn to things like Martha Stewart (not because of beauty but because she represents a fantasy of having TIME to do all those things) and decluttering (unlike daily housework, it involves high-level "executive decisions.") I related to her ambivalence about traditional women's roles and was attached enough to her by the end of the book that the last essay made me cry a bit. A worthwhile read for women regardless of where their relationship to traditional women's work falls on the spectrum.

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Reading Progress

August 17, 2010 – Shelved
November 5, 2012 – Started Reading
November 5, 2012 –
November 12, 2012 –
97.0% "It's fitting that I'll finish this audiobook while doing housework."
November 12, 2012 – Shelved as: feminism
November 12, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
November 12, 2012 – Shelved as: memoir
November 12, 2012 – Shelved as: essays
November 12, 2012 – Finished Reading

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