According to Emily Matchar, author of the new book “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity,” Sex and the City and its plot lines may as well have played out on a different planet Earth.
Today, she argues, the men and women of Gen Y are disdaining Manolos and Big Careers—and instead embracing a return to home and hearth. Often, literally.
And if you live in certain pockets of America today, you know the generation of which she speaks: They’re those attachment parents frequenting the farmer’s market. You might befriend them at a weekend workshop on crocheting/beekeeping/canning yams. Or you may well be one of them.
If so, you’re part of a quaint scene Matchar calls the new domesticity. However, she says, it’s not just a fervent love of retro hobbies, but a deeper desire that’s driving the movement—in some cases, even a distrust of society as we know it.
LearnVest spoke to Matchar to get a sense of how followers of the new domesticity feel about the movement’s 2.0 approach to balancing work, money and family … and not necessarily in that order.
LearnVest: How did you first stumble on the idea of the new domesticity?
Emily Matchar (shown right): As a writer I covered a lot of stuff relating to food and women’s issues. I kept meeting people over and over again who were really into canning and urban homesteading, or mothers who were doing attachment parenting. I was meeting them for different stories, and it started to form a bigger picture.
How do you define the new domesticity?
It’s the embrace of old-fashioned domestic skills and practices, and the embracing of a more home-focused lifestyle by people who have the means and the education to do otherwise.
I’m not talking about people who have to stay at home and make jam because they can’t afford to buy it. I’m talking about people who are making these lifestyle choices—they’re middle class, not super-privileged housewives living off their banker husbands.