Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The Importance Of Beauty In The Home
The result of this philosophy is often that women are either told there that there is nothing to do at home, hence they should seek paid employment outside of it, or (in the case of more traditionally-minded people) that while being at home, they should invest all their time and energy into home businesses.
Thus, both liberals and (some) conservative Christians denigrate homemaking and put money-making activities above everything else, including health and beauty.
In less enlightened times, folks actually used to value a clean and well-organised household much more than they do now. Cleanliness is next to godliness, states an old proverb. However, cleanness alone is not what makes a house a home. A really good homemaker adds what the author of Fascinating Womanhood calls feminine touches to her housekeeping.
You can especially notice it while reading the mid-20th century homemaking books which kept mocking more ornamental style of previous decades and suggested industrial standards for an ordinary household, not only in the way it looked, but in the way it was run. One book I own actually states, that a household should be run as a factory. Then, in the 1970s the majority of married women went to work, and it all went downhill afterwards. Luckily, the tide started to turn and modern women have regained interest in domestic arts.
Most of my readers have probably heard about Cheryl Mendelson and her book Home Comforts which became a homemaking manual for the modern woman. That's what Cheryl writes in the first chapter of her book:
"...what a traditional woman did that made her home warm and alive, was not dusting and laundry. Someone can be hired to do those things...Her real secret was that she identified herself with her home...her affection was in the sofa cushions, clean linens and good meals; her memory in well-stocked...cabinets...; her intelligence in the order and healthfulness of her home; her good humor in its light and air. She lived her life not only through her own body but through her house as an extension of her body; part of her relation to those she loved was embodied in the physical medium of the home she made." (H.C., Scribner, 2005, pp.9-10).