Posted 30 days ago
Talbot, and of course through Draeilinger, who wrote the book, brings up a fantastic point that I had never really considered: home economics was a vehicle to propell women as experts in the public eye. It "offered a feminism palatable to non-feminists" and got the foot in the door for many women who were barred to study at universities, other than for home ec.
This must make us, today in our Twitter-frenzy ultimatums on social justice and the like, think deeply about how we pursue change. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing for the "incremental progress" that has gotten us nowhere, but rather, as Dreilinger says, the "pragmatic success" that moved the needle forwards. Of course, the idea that home ec was soleyresponsible for the perspective of women in society is absurd, but it Dreilinger does look at how the first women at universities pursued research through home ec. That's something for sure.
What I didn't agree with was that Dreilinger thinks that home ec should be required in the effort to make caretaking and housekeeping visible in the public eye. I see the point here, that males do proportionally less work in the home than females, but requiring this class in schools is not the way to go. The cultural shift is under way, and we for sure need to push for it in other areas, but requiring this in school, where ALL children should learn language and math and the like takes way more precedence, especially when we already have an understaffed and underfinanced education system.