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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The American Dream

Sunday mornings, I get up, make my chai (tea), and sit down with the newspaper in front of the ABC political shows.  This past Sunday, there was a lot of discussion about the American Dream -- Does it still exist?  Has it been redefined?  It was so interesting how each commentator was actually being quite upbeat about the topic, in large part due to the DIY movement.  One commentator remarked on how there is less materialism and more individualism, that more people are seeking a financial safety net rather than "financial success," that broader social relationships drive us, and that each of us has more freedom and opportunity to develop our own personal dream.

When I turned to the newspaper, there was an article by Emily Matchar exploring the meaning of the "new domesticity" and the DIY movement, especially among young women.  I think the author gets it right when she emphasizes that 1) the new domesticity is a reaction to concerns arising about our chemical-laden world and how DIY might be the best or even only way to ensure safety and well being, 2) that extreme domesticity is a refuge for educated women who have left the workforce, and 3) women are enjoying domestic projects again because they represent a choice not a duty.  But, she ends the article with a worry about whether such choices will once again become obligations for future generations.

I guess that's where I would put the emphasis -- as long as a person, female or male, is able to choose whether or not to crochet and that choice is respected, then it's all good!