Note: This will be the start of an ongoing series for women on learning domesticity in the post-feminist world. Older women are encouraged to share their expertise; younger women are encouraged to ask questions. Men are encouraged to provide feedback on where modern women are lacking and need to improve. Everyone is welcome to suggest topics. Each post in this series will conclude with a practical tip.
Growing up as young children in the 1970s, both my husband and I were raised in intact homes where our parents fulfilled traditional sex roles. Not only were our mothers mostly housewives, but the division of labor in the home tended to follow the typical socially-prescribed roles for men and women: fathers who went to work, mowed the lawns, and did household repairs, and mothers who cooked, cleaned, gardened, and raised the children. Both parents cherished a warm home life; family and an attention to domesticity were important to both our mothers.
I learned traditionally-feminine skills such as cooking, baking, gardening, canning and making preserves, mending, how to properly clean a house, and how to raise children simply by participating in daily life along side my parents and siblings. It hadn’t occurred to me until several years ago that many young women today have never experienced this kind of domesticity in the post-feminist world. Many have grown up in homes where the mothers were gone at work all day and had no time for the art of domesticity. Many also grew up in homes without their fathers and have never seen complementary sex roles in action. They have poor home management skills, don’t know how to cook, have never grown herbs or vegetables or picked fruit, and just generally don’t know how to make a house a home.
So, I was quite interested in the most recent post from Ian Ironwood of the Red Pill Room in which he encourages young men to vet a future wife for her domestic abilities. In The Wife Test: Domesticity, Mr. Ironwood writes:
One of the key components of being a wife is being a homemaker. That isn’t to say that housework therefore is her responsibility, only that one of the things a man seeks and finds value in when he is looking for his wife is someone with whom he can make a home. Even in our post-industrial take-out culture a man wants to feel that he’s coming home to his wife, not going to the apartment where he sleeps with his roommate.
Many women these days, thanks to feminism’s dark shadow, have equated domesticity with slavery, for some reason. They look with disdain on their grandmothers and great-grandmothers who saw value in building a home fit to raise children in. As women have entered and come to dominate the workforce, they proudly eschew the domestic skills that are their maternal legacy in favor of corporate achievement and “personal fulfillment”.
But a man who is serious about taking a wife wants a wife worth taking. And a woman who cannot manifest her domesticity is a poor bet for the position, regardless of how hot she is or how impressive her resume is.
What is domesticity? Simply put, it’s the discipline and art of building and developing a comfortable and attractive home for your family. It is a task shared between husband and wife, ideally speaking, but just as a husband’s primary duty is to secure the home, the wife’s primary duty is to make it worth securing.
Mr. Ironwood is no traditionalist Christian, which just lends all the more support to the idea that almost all men everywhere from all points on the ideological spectrum prefer to marry women who are actually interested in being traditional wives, not competitors, and who value serving their husbands by creating a comfortable home, even if she is also working outside it.
But what is a young woman raised in this post-feminist world to do? She quite likely didn’t grow up learning the domestic skills needed to create a home. To those girls, I would offer the following advice as they cast off their feminist shackles of domestic incompetence: push yourselves to learn new, traditionally-feminine domestic skills regularly; they are traditionally-feminine for a reason, and that reason is that these are things that men like having done but often find rather boring to do themselves. And why should men do tasks they find boring when they have more important things to do and most women feel quite satisfied by managing home and hearth? Consider Cail Corishev’s words:
I certainly can clean my house as well as any woman. I can wash dishes, mop floors, and sweep cobwebs as well as anyone; those tasks aren’t exactly complicated. I can even take a certain amount of pride in it. But I can’t enjoy it. And that’s what I think women have that we men are missing — the ability to be content with such work. The women I know who have embraced their femininity and the traditional role of wife, mother, and homemaker, really do seem to enjoy it. That’s not to say washing dishes excites them, or that they never look at a pile of laundry and want to cuss. But I see them put on an apron and tackle homemaking jobs with a smile — sometimes even a song — that men can’t duplicate. Not this man, anyway.
That’s why those roles are so important, and why egalitarianism sucks so hard. If women go off to be half our CEOs, lawyers, and soldiers, lowering productivity and causing havoc in those areas, maybe men can make up the difference by doing a better job than those women would have done in the home. I doubt that, but even if it were true, it still wouldn’t be acceptable, because neither would be content. Both would be working against their own natures, making themselves discontented without even knowing why.
Part of my role as an anti-feminist is to encourage other women to do those things that men value in women. As anti-feminists, serving and pleasing God first and the men in our lives a close second should be our priority. Our jobs, if we work outside the home, come a distant third. Therefore, the first practical tip for learning domesticity in the post-feminist world is:
Change your perspective to see the home you share with your husband (or hope to share with your future husband) as your most important sphere and make domesticity your priority.