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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikki24
    I have just always wondered if she would be so idolized and so successful if she were, like... normal. Like any one of us. Just a thought.
    -rikki
    You know, I always thought that Martha would have been even more successful if she had been normal -- or at least if she occasionally came off as being a little more fallible, kind of like a Julia Child of Crafting instead of a somewhat creepy fembot of homemaking. That's not to say that I don't like her. I do. Though I liked her more after she was accused of insider trading than I did before that.

    But then, if she writes a good book on her experiences in prison, she's going to endear herself to more people than she ever did before, in my opinion. Because people love to see people who have been knocked down stand up to fight again.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by culinarymartyr
    I remember the day my mom fell out of her chair laughing because Martha had a segment on loading a dishwasher. She couldn't believe "how to load a dishwasher" merited a 5 minute spot....Martha assigned value to that task by spending the time and money to present it as part of her show.
    That's awesome that Martha had something like that on her show. I'd like to ask your mom how else she thinks people are going to learn to do things like load dishwashers, if they're supposedly such unimportant tasks that it's not worth showing how to do them.

    I'm reminded of when my youngest sister first moved out on her own. She realized she had no idea how to clean a toilet, and so she called my mom asking why she'd never taught us. My mom said, "Well, I always hated to clean toilets, and so I figured you girls would hate it too, so I always just went ahead and did it myself."

  4. #23
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    rikki -- are you at gallatin at nyu? that's the program i'm currently enrolled in, although i'm switching to food studies.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean
    rikki -- are you at gallatin at nyu? that's the program i'm currently enrolled in, although i'm switching to food studies.
    small world... yes, i am at gallatin (along with the posh olsen twins (!). i started 4 years ago when i was living in the city and then took a "short" leave after picking up my paltry possessions and heading out to the 'burbs of connecticut for the martha stewart gig. now i'm back with a new focus. it's funny... i wrote a personal essay with almost the exact sentiment as your book intro (which is a total kick, by the way, thanks) about my move and bratty, femi-idealist resistance to succumbing to the domestic suburban life. i seriously thought gloria steinem was going to come a-knockin' at my door to personally strip me of my black doc martin marching boots. it seems so silly, but it did majorly weigh on my brain for a really long time. part of me felt like a total sell-out for finally feeling... comfortable. somehow, in my mind, the furied, stimulating, relentlessly assaultive pace of the city made me more of a feminist... the struggle somehow validated my ideologies and activism. animus dichotomous. it's been an interesting journey and awakening to integrate the two. thanks again for your thoughts and would love to continue the banter.

  6. #25
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    I'd like to ask your mom how else she thinks people are going to learn to do things like load dishwashers, if they're supposedly such unimportant tasks that it's not worth showing how to do them.
    My mom taught me how to load a dishwasher as soon as I was old enough to start helping to clear the table after dinner. She taught me to set the table and all that too. (I suppose my brothers were emptying the trash and stuff like that!)

  7. #26
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    rikki,

    are you ungrad or grad?

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean
    rikki,

    are you ungrad or grad?
    oh yeah. grad. my undergradividual needed more structure than gallatin.

  9. #28
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    I've spent a lot of time investigating this area through my artwork. It was through a research fellowship that I decided to back off from the career track and purposefully pursue domesticity.

    I was training to be an architect (which I hope to do again in a few years) when I realized that so many of my "feminine hobbies" and "real work" were one in the same. It was just that society had deemed one more valuable than the other. To sew from a pattern or create a pattern requires the same mental abilities as designing a building. It requires a constant transposition from 2-D to 3-D. Yet, it is only recently that women have been accepted into the modern building community.

    It seemed that I was neglecting being a homemaker to my family in order to become a home maker. One was undervalued by the feminist community and society, the other was exalted. In questioning these things, I felt like a traitor to both my women ancestors and my future daughters.

    The solution, for me, was to view my life as a time of seasons while still holding onto the values of the feminine as an adjective and as a movement. Right now, I am teaching my daughters what it means to value themselves, their talents and traditional skills. I keep the old part of me alive through my art and constant questioning of my motives. When my children are more self sufficient, I will go back to my career. I intend to have it all, just not all at once.

  10. #29
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    Perhaps a younger perspective..

    I'd like to say that a younger generation has an entirely different perspective of "craftyness", as a way of life, and not some horrible fate foisted off on our grandmothers. The envy of those women for their daughters, 'having their cake and eating it too' with a family and a career is something that our mothers dealt with is not a big thing with college age women today.
    Then again, I'm thinking of conversations with other women I've had recently. Those that are crafty, that do knit, sew and.. whatever else are somehow "special" in a good way. Martha Stewart is some far off distant.. mirage that exists in a picturebook form, because.. Martha Stewart Living is just pretty pictures when you're dealing with a dorm room.

    The "feminazi" image is still around, but it's a choice and a chance, not the only option. I consider myself a feminist, but it's only because I know that I can climb mountains, run races, cut down trees that need to be felled and chop firewood.. and go inside and enjoy my cozy home that I have built a fire in the fireplace so that it's warm inside, light candles that I have dipped myself to provide a wonderfully rich light, eat good food that I have also made myself, and then take a bath afterwards from bath salts that I have made myself. And I know that through the efforts of manymany people before me, I had the chance to learn all of these things, and I am more capable in these ways than the men in my life. (Not that I don't love them, because it is a labour of love, but. )
    And this, to me, is feminism. The absolute essence of self-reliance.
    And on my Christmas wishlist is a Leatherman and pink mules. ;)

  11. #30
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    Unless "younger generation" is 16 or so, I think I'm part of that generation. I've found that if I am with women who are overtly political and boldly call themselves feminists, I am better received if I say I am a stagehand. Among my more moderate lady friends (williamsburg hipsters let's say) what Annath is saying is more true. Case in point the popularity of knitting on the L train! I also find though that those same women are less likely to identify themselves as feminists.
    I am hopeful that this is not just a backlash against the "bitchy tough feminist" that indicates a swing back to docility, cuteness, and wanting to be "one of the guys" and not make waves (even if it means putting up with offensive comments), but I am not so sure. I say this because I definitely see this in my industry, and I am guilty of it myself. I put up with all sorts of "nice tits" comments, and "how I'd f*** her" discussion. I worry that if I speak up the guys will jump straight to the "See that's why we don't want women working with us, they ruin all the fun" I mean if having daughters and wives hasn't made them treat women better nothing will.
    I would love it if being a feminist was an afterthought because every one (men and women) is more focused on being true to themselves and doesn't have to make an effort to ensure equality. I just don't think we're there...


 
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