Domestic? or Self-Sufficient?
I came across this article the other day, and it struck a chord with me. A lot of the choices I make about what foods to buy and what to do with them are really an effort to support my local economy and do what I can to make sure that farmers continue to produce food close to where I live. I plan what we’re going to eat for the week based on what is in season and available, I chop and freeze fruits and veggies in freezer bags when they are in season, and when we bought a turkey for Thanksgiving this year, I made sure we used the whole thing – we ate, fed the cats, or froze all of the meat and made stock out of the bones. I don’t can anything, but I probably spend more time thinking about food than most young professionals. Ben does help quite a bit, but mostly all this food stuff is my thing (except for the shopping part – Ben rarely misses a trip to the farmer’s market).
Is what I do “domestic”? I don’t know. I can see why someone would call the above “domestic”. For whatever reason, the d-word does seem to make feminists bristle, like the author says. I can’t say I really mind being called domestic, though, as long as the intent behind the word isn’t demeaning or sorely misunderstanding of why I do what I do, but I guess it depends on who says it and how. Maybe that’s because I’ve always had a choice. I’m lucky enough to live in a time when, for the most part, it’s perfectly acceptable for women to earn a paycheck and for men to do laundry and other housework. So for me, growing plants on the balcony and shopping for local foods feels progressive and self-sustaining.
I definitely think it’s important for people in general to know how to grow and prepare food. A society where only a few powerful people know how to farm on an industrial scale and no one knows how to make a meal from something that just came out of the ground because everything comes processed and packaged – to me, that’s helpless and represents an ultimate dependency. So I guess the way I see it, sometimes domestic is self-sufficient.