Thursday, October 10, 2013

Housewives As Narcissists?

Today I read this discussion on Thinking Housewife:

The Virtual Home

One of the blog readers decries the abundance of homemaking blogs. She writes, among other things: "The blogs all seem alike. There’s a narcissism about them that is annoying." 

Is this a fair criticism? I would say that it depends. There are certainly narcissistic women whose only objective in starting a blog is to boast about how great their life is, but are they a majority? I doubt it. I read a couple of this type of blogs and personally I enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures and reading about what other ladies are doing with their homes. I find their example inspiring. Take, for instance this one:

Mias Landliv

I have linked to it before. Mia's blog is one of my favourites, it's so soothing, the photography is very beautiful and you just get a warm and cosy feeling after reading it. It brightens your day. How is it narcissistic? I would say that running a blog like this is a public service.

The reader further states: "...I sense that the legions of blogging homemakers are not a counterweight to feminism." Again, it depends. There are some homemakers who call themselves feminist progressive housewives or something similar and they are probably not friends to the traditionalist cause, even though their family life is fairly traditional, however, there are also plenty of conservative Christian homemaking blogs which not only post photos of their kids and houses, but also feature articles about homeschooling, marital submission, the importance of marriage etc.

Even if a blog appears to be neutral, like the one above, I still think it counts as a counterweight, because it encourages domesticity.

Laura wrote a rather balanced answer where she pointed out that a woman can get envious or angry by watching pictures of the perfect homes, and called it feminine pornography. Pornography sounds like a strong word to me, as I can't imagine anyone getting excited by watching the pictures on homemaking blogs, but then what do I know? Though it could just very well be that the problem is not with the one who posts the pictures, but with the lack of self-control of the one who views them. May be, if they get so frustrated that their own homes are messy in comparison to those they see on the net, they should get off computer and do something to clean the mess.


  1. I think 'feminine pornography' defines something feminine what you are 'peeping' just as tv-shows which contain ordinary people/celebrities and their problems in a (too) realistic way are called social pornography. I find it a quite good definition, because you can see more than you could know if you just dicussed with her, or read her writings.

    I'll put the whole narcissism thing into bin which is labelled 'A dog who is hit by a stick will shout' (a Finnish saying I very loosely translated). Everything in this world can be seen in two opposite ways.

  2. I know what you mean. I intensely dislike various "reality" TV shows, and in fact seldom watch TV at all. IMO, it's not only a waste of time, but also the amount of liberal propaganda you will get inside by regularly watching it, is beyond the pale. Zomby box seems a suitable name for it. However, I think calling homemaking blogs feminine porn, is probably going too far.

  3. Homemaking blogs are inspiring. I agree that calling them feminine porn is going way too far and it's ugly and mean spirited name calling. All these women are doing is sharing, I get so many ideas and to do on improving my home and my homemaking skills. How are homemaking sites different then home and garden magazines? Seems the same and nobody is calling Victoria Magazine or other home magazines nasty names; well maybe some ill tempered folks are and I just don't know about it. And frankly I would rather not know. Homes are wonderful places and there is no home without a homemaker. I applaud all who take the time to blog about Homemaking to inspire and encourage us all.


  4. Thanks, Shaolin, I agree. Are you back? I missed your comments!

  5. I wrote my thoughts about this on my blog, if you want to go and look.

    1. I just did, and it was a very nice post. I have the same feelings about reading homemaking blogs, I find them inspiring. And I agree that few people want to see a picture of a gloomy room or constantly read about personal problems of the blog owner. We all have enough things going on in our own life which are less than ideal.

  6. The dog saying reminds me of a verse in the book of Proverbs warning about taking a sleeping dog by its ears. I don't see homemaking blogs running down anyone or competing or doing any harm, so why even bother them.some of it may be a lack of personal feelings of worth, which cause resentment when
    Someone does something nice and shares it.

  7. I hope nobody got the impression I was on the same page with the person who thought feminine homemaking blogs are narcissistic and fp. No, not at all! I just shared how I understood the difinition of fp. I agree it is a very very strong word (I wouldn't use it anywhere) and, I wrote the saying in the first place because I couldn't find words in English which would have described my thoughts. I think she/he (who said homemaking blogs are narcissistic) just have some issues with herself.
    Please, do bear with me :-)

  8. Oh dear Miriam, I don't think anyone got offended by your comments:-)


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