Saturday, October 13, 2007

Domestic Porn?

I had no idea that my aspirations for hearth and home were on par with Ron Jeremy's work. Really, I'm very surprised that cupcakes and embroidery are another version of the old bump and grind. Don't believe me? Check out Liz Hunt's article in the UK paper, The Telegraph. Ms. Hunt's ire is in the form of a review of a new book by Jane Brockett, titled The Gentle Art of Domesticity. Ms. Hunt takes offense at the beautiful photography and advice on homemaking. I have yet to read Ms. Brockett's book (though I will be ordering it shortly) but it sounds in keeping with Martha Stewart and other domestic divas. For those of us interested in homemaking, it serves as advice, inspiration and daydreaming. Do I think that I can be like these women, all crisply ironed and tidy while gardening? No, not even close. Do I love reading their work, incorporating the things that I can and admiring the things that I can't? Yes, absolutely.

What is really interesting in this firestorm is that apparently, in the UK, the "domestic goddess" idea brings about fury and loathing. Here in the US, women either love or hate Martha, but I've never seen general disdain for the average women who enjoy trying their hand at knitting or canning. It's remarkable how easily buttons are pushed for some people. I guess showcasing the best of something, be that homemaking, acting, writing, or physics, is something that shouldn't be done because it might make someone feel bad. God forbid that anyone feel bad that they aren't as good as someone else at a task. Nevermind enjoying their accomplishments or striving to improve your own skills, no it is better to ridicule and diminish rather than respect. I would guess that Ms. Hunt hasn't watched the film The Incredibles. Even the little boy, Dash, knew that the phrase "everyone is special" is another way of saying that nobody is special.

Well, rather than be offended by the label, Domestic Porn, I'm going to aspire to achieving it. I'm not going to be branded by some guilt-ridden chick who hated Home-Ec. Pass the cupcakes, I'm ready for my close up.

4 comments:

Domestic Chicky said...

Great Post! I can't believe the firestorm that has surrounded this sweet book...which I am planning to order soon!
Thanks for linking to me! I can't wait to read more of your posts!

lila said...

I too have been lusting for this book! Now I know why! It is domestic porn...LOL!

Kitchen Madonna said...

Yeah, I get the same thing about "food porn." There was an artcle by Molly O'Neil about this 4 or 5 years ago in the New York Times Magazine but she was very possitive about it. It is my cooking that keeps my family and friends "eating" out of my hand!

Ruaisu said...

I'm from the UK, and although people don't particularly say that being a "domestic goddess" is a bad thing on its own, the main pressure comes from the pressure to work. I'm studying law, but I would love to have a part-time job and use the rest of my time keeping a lovely home for my husband and family when I'm older. Apparently this is 'selling myself short', as feminists would rather have me slaving away in an office for some hot-shot law firm, than doing something I love for the person I love.

I'm doing this degree so that I can support my family and myself should we prefer. But if my husband was as happy as I would be to have the two 'traditional' roles, that would be fantastic :)

Unfortunately, dual-income households are definitely the norm here, and it's now difficult to get by any other way. It's more than likely I'll end up restricted to baking cupcakes on the occasional weekend.