Sunday, December 18, 2005

On "The Stay-At-Home Mystique"

After thinking about it a bit, I don't think there's much I can add to Naomi's critique of Rebecca Traister's Salon article, "The Stay-At-Home Mystique".

Like Naomi, I'm annoyed by both the author and the woman interviewed. It would have been nice if the editor from Total 180! magazine had answered Traister with some insight into the financial and cultural pressures that induce some women to stay home, rather than implying that if mothers didn't, all kinds of modern weirdness would ensue: kids joining gangs and participating in sexual activities in elementary school.

And Traister could have thought of some more interesting questions rather than just stirring the "Mommy Wars" pot with The Feminine Mystique. And still, nobody mentions Peskowitz's definitive work on this very topic. I really don't get it.

One part that did stick in my mind (and my craw) was the magazine editor's vague notion of a prehistoric matriarchy, as exemplified by Marion Zimmer Bradley's fantasy classic The Mists of Avalon. And although this was obviously a fumble in the dark for a relevant reference, more recent feminist writings, including one by The-Goddess in the last Carnival of Feminists shows that this idea is far from lost in the mists of the past. And that will be a subject for a future post.

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