Congratualations Rhonda HH! She won a copy of Homeward Bound.
As I began reviewing Chapter 5 (DIY food cultures) for this post, I couldn’t help but wonder if part of the appeal of pocket page scrapbooking has to do with scrapbookers (and potential scrapbookers) spending more time on DIY food, parenting, and other pursuits, leaving less time that is free for scrapbooking. It’s perhaps a bit of a stretch. At the same time, there are prolific scrapbookers out there emphasizing all the DIY food they prepare. Perhaps, it is really just a chicken and the egg question. Which came first, “modern homemaking” or the tools that enable us to share more of our lives with the world?
Both Chapter 5 (DIY food culture: gardening, canning) and 6 (DIY parenting: home birth, attachment parenting, homeschooling) provide additional examples of “opting out” rather than changing the system. In other words, instead of working to improve food safety, those of means (whether financial capital or social capital or both) turn inward. They grow their own food or buy organic food at the farmer’s market and prepare everything from scratch. They remove their children from public schools rather than working to reform the public schools. Much of the criticisms of opting out have already been covered by Matchar in the book and also by me in my analysis. The basic argument comes down to this:
Changing the system benefits everyone, whereas opting out mainly benefits yourself and your family.
In Chapter 8, however, Matchar talks to women who argue that changing the system (i.e., corporate culture) is insufficient. Opting out is the solution to workplace problems such as inadequate maternity leave policies. It is unclear why her respondents believe that changing the workplace to be more family friendly, reliable, and stimulating isn’t doable.
Opting out presents a new set of challenges, too. For example, even a workplace with the minimum of maternity leave policies at least has a policy. Opting out as an online entrepreneur offers no maternity policy beyond whatever the entrepreneur makes it to be.
At this point, I’m really interested in learning how corporate culture is changing or evolving to account for the growing number of potential employees (and customers) who are opting out and pursuing DIY-lifestyles.