Peggy Orenstein, a NY Times contributor, wrote a piece called "The Femivore's Dilemma." It raises important questions about a growing number of women who return to a life of domesticity, especially those who not only rear their children but tend to their gardens, chickens, bees and all the work that comes with such tasks.
This return can be seen as a step backward and a slap in the face to the feminist movement, a new movement more concerned with justifying housewifery and domesticity and elitism. I would simply disagree with this argument based on my own experience. I've never felt more competent and self-confident than when I started working on a farm and created my own food garden at home, learned how to put-up, knit and do all things perhaps seen as homestead-like. To see the physical fruits of my labor everyday and go to sleep knowing that I've helped others by raising safe food and preserving my natural world by decreasing my environmental impact is one of the greatest feelings.
I'll never forget when my women's studies teacher in high school shared her definition of feminism with the class: "Judge me on my ability, not on my sex." Choice is an integral part of the feminist movement, so it's my choice to return to the land and not take on an "outside," high-powered job. Rather, I'm upholding my feminist right to be judged on my abilities as an individual, not gender stereotypes.
Sure, I'm young, have a flexible work schedule and don't have a family of my own yet, so I may be living in a dream world. But, regardless if I never have a farm of my own, I've learned invaluable life skills that may been ancient but they sure as hell are practical, money-saving and dare I say fun.