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Homeward Bound

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But what about sacrificing a salary to do more flexible and fun work? As alluring as that sounds, the author says that perhaps home-based crafting-as-business – and its related phenomenon, mompreneurism – have more in common with peddling Tupperware than one might think. These phenomena are "often code for low-wage, pink-collar microenterprise. So at a time when the recession strains pocketbooks, aspirant lifestyle bloggers and artisans find that they don't have the luxury of opting out after all."

This shift to the new domesticity also comes from an anti-corporate backlash against the food industry. Authors like Michael Pollan urge Americans to eat organic and local. But for women in particular, who often bear the brunt of preparing meals and shopping for household items, this emphasis on home cooking and natural foods adds a new layer of stress. Matchar is astute to note that Pollan and others blame feminism for killing home cooking, a myth that's "not just shaming, it's wildly inaccurate from a historical standpoint."

What Friedan and other feminists did advocate for was for women to have more options than homemaking alone. So if middle class and upper middle class households are expected to buck the corporate food system or be "met with a disheartening amount of cultural guilt and judgement," then, Matchar writes, "our outsized expectations of what food can do leads to an outsized sense of guilt among the group traditionally responsible for food: women."

So while eating mindfully and healthfully are noble goals, this extra pressure on women to put on the apron creates another problem.

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