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Feminine arts

(article, Culinate staff)

The summer issue of Propeller magazine has an interesting bit of cultural criticism by the Portland writer Mary Rechner. The gist? That our newfound love of cooking, gardening, preserving, and other urban-homesteading endeavors is not only retro, it's tragically disempowering for women:

bq. If women are spending all of their time planting gardens, tending chickens, and canning (i.e., living our lives in the most laborious ways possible), how are we ever to catch up as writers, visual artists, composers, and directors?

Avid do-it-all-yourselfers (and fellow Portlanders) Harriet Fasenfest and Sarah Gilbert would probably disagree with Rechner. It's hard to decide, after all, on the most useful feminist attitude: Shunning so-called "women's work" in favor of joining the men's club? Trying to have it all at once? Picking and choosing — a little cooking here, a little office work there? Or some as-yet-undetermined combo?