“Femivore” is such an unfortunate term…
…because, as FeministPhilosophers points out, doesn’t it technically mean “someone who eats women”? Hmm.
I was poking around on EcoYogini’s blog yesterday, and followed her to VeganBurnout, who made me laugh and also think…and followed her to the New York Times op ed piece that started the whole thing: The Femivore’s Dilemma. (For those who don’t feel like following the link, it’s essentially about all these back-to-the-land chicken-raising stay-at-home women, and it has a disturbing edge of implying that while just staying at home taking care of a house and kids may not be feminist enough, staying at home building chicken coops and hoeing veggies and canning tomatoes is not only feminist enough but maybe even more feminist than, say, having a job and a paycheck and benefits and all.) (For the record, IMNSHO: feminism isn’t about a list of things women can or can’t do. Feminism is about equality and partnership and being able to choose what’s best for one and one’s family based on one’s character, skills, talents, and choices, rather than on whether one has a penis.)
I find the article disturbing on many levels. Mostly because I’ve never heard an article paint my own brand of feminism in such an unfeminist light. And because it assumes that any person doing these things is probably a woman–it feels like someone’s trying to redefine what is “women’s work” as opposed to letting whatever work gets done be done by whoever will do it best.
Contrast the Times’ approach with the one taken by Globe And Mail in their article Meet the Radical Homemaker: Good-Bye Rat Race, Hello Vegetable Garden. For starters, the first line refers to a “new breed of stay-at-home men and women” who’ve made the choice to create more and more of their own resources rather than making more money to buy them from someone else. It interviews men and women who take this role in the family, and it’s a much more well-rounded article in general. Put it this way: here’s the photo heading up the article in the Times:
And here’s the one for the GlobeAndMail:
A little contrast, no? (I mean, a calico dress and shawl? Come on…I mean, it’s very pretty and all, but it’s so Laura Ingalls…)
Which brings us to Shannon Hayes’ book Radical Homemakers, about this very topic. Anyone read it? Anyone have any reviews or advice to offer? I’m about to order it for my Kindle…