This Friday afternoon, as I made a key lime pie for Kevin’s mother’s birthday dinner, I reflected on being a modern woman. I can identify with feminist theory, and believe that women are powerful creatures who really can achieve anything (given the opportunity). It seems, however, that this school of thought can sometimes (hopefully unintentionally) devalue traditional female roles. I consider myself to be empowered and equal, but that morning while I was at work, all I could think about was getting home to make my pie.
It’s ironic that a 1950s housewife may have envied my employed and independent life, while her main role was on the homefront. But all I could think while I used my new hand mixer to make the pie filling was how right it felt, me alone in my kitchen, making a treat that will bring happiness to someone else. The female role of care taker seems inescapable, and I don’t know if it’s because society has told me I should be that way, but lately I have been wearing this hat well. Earlier this week I bought several yards of lovely blue flowered fabric and sewed new covers for our 2 Poang armchairs and matching foot stools. I cannot describe the pleasure it gives me to stand in the living room and think “I made this. It cost next to nothing and it looks damn good!”
If only my junior high school Home Economics teacher could see this post! I think she foreshadowed my domestic nature back in grades 8 and 9, because she gave me the “Home Ec Award” both years. I found that a bit embarrassing at the time (although since I did not take Shop class it’s not as though I could have won that award), but now I wish I could dig out my silly little medal and photograph it for this post. Today I wear the crown of domesticity with pride, perhaps because I have no children to make it a chore for me, and hope to always cherish my stereotypically feminine skills in the kitchen and at my sewing machine.
Cheers to all the other Domestic Goddesses out there! May we always have the opportunity to have careers, so that while we’re at work we can daydream about all the fun we could be having at home.