Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Cleaning My House Makes Me Feel Like a Feminist

Truth time: I have no clue what this blog post is supposed to be about.

Do you ever just jot down an idea in hopes of returning to it later? I do that all the time with blog posts. In fact, if you saw my "edit posts" section, you would find a whole host of unfinished posts, just begging me to come and finish whatever thought I had started way back when.

For instance, this post was started in April of 2009. 2009! I have no idea where I was going with it, and the few sentences I had already written down within the post didn't give me much to go on:

"I guess today's blog title is a bit of an overstatement. It would be more truthful to say that cleaning my house doesn't make me feel like any less of a feminist."


Fair enough I suppose. I still agree with that, but am really curious where I was headed with those thoughts two years ago.

Instead of trying to sleuth it out from the dregs of my mom-riddled brain, I think back to when I read The Feminine Mystique for the first time. I was in high school and didn't quite grasp the concept of having my own home and what that entailed. I nodded along in agreement with Betty as I vowed never to allow my identity to be tied to how clean my house was. I would not become trapped behind a mop like countless suburban housewives seemed to be! My youthful outrage was palpable as it propelled me to learn more about feminism and even pushed me towards focusing on Women's Studies for my Masters. I read more and absorbed even more from those around me.

While along the Masters path, I took a wonderful course that focused on advertising and gender. We spent a good chunk of time dissecting various ads from the 50s and 60s that were the epitome of everything Betty Friedan was struggling with.

I don't. I just ignore them. 

Phew. Thank heavens for Schlitz.

I can only imagine the meeting where the term "femineered" was coined

This women, er...cartoon... look absolutely hopped up on something. Cleaning fumes?

Going back to the original title of this post...I have to admit something. I loathe cleaning. I really, really do. I find little pride in having a spotless house, and much prefer one that looks used and lived in. Sure, I try my best to keep dust bunnies and stains at bay, and it's as clean as any house with a four year old can be, but I just can't get into spending hours each day getting it in tip top shape.

In fact, I'm still waiting for the reality of Rosie to happen.

Although, let's be honest - the amount of stereotypes rolled up in one robot was pretty amazing

And while I enjoy the choice that feminism has helped provide me regarding being out in the workforce...or not... I have yet to quite grasp just what it has to do with cleaning my house. When I find out, I'll let you know asap, but if you figure it out in the meantime, clue me in...please. 


Sarah Buttenwieser said...

Maybe if you made the post on cooking you'd figure it out ;-)

A. Mama said...

Hm...good point Sarah. But I think for me, a lot of cooking is wrapped up in religion, so I tend to feel more "Jewish" when I cook (which is a whole other box to unpack and process, eh?). Either way, I really wish I knew where I was going with my original thought. It could have been absolutely brilliant (or awfully crafted and not worth continuing, ha!).