Too Conservative, Too Dumb?

I have been having a lovely time reading the many google entries on the subject of Radical Homemakers in order to understand Belinda's point that Simple Living and Radical Homemaking are different.

I put up a link to a blog called Laura Grace Weldon that provided a link to an article. I believe the article very clearly shows my problem. My problem could be me of course, but it shows very clearly nontheless.

It was somewhere near the end of this that I lost it.

"What some people would consider adversity, Nika Franchi sees as a stroke of luck. Franchi and her husband, Ben, were translators who often worked on international business deals until the global recession dried up their livelihood. Now they live primarily off the food they grow on their rented property in North Akron and the money Franchi makes from selling the bread she bakes.They'd long been drawn to the idea of a simpler, self-sufficient lifestyle, she said, but they never had the courage to make the change until ''we were fortunate enough to be cornered into this situation.'' Now their life revolves around home, family and hard but life-sustaining work, and Franchi sees her role as keeping the family together.She's an example of what author Shannon Hayes calls radical homemakers, women and men who are reclaiming the traditional role of the homemaker as part of their desire for a less materialistic life. It's a social movement that's drawing a small but growing number of people — many in their 20s and 30s — who measure the value of their lives not in terms of money, but in such aspects as strong relationships, ecological sustainability and happiness.Hayes said radical homemaking is part of a quest for an economy that generates a living for everyone rather than a killing for a few. ''The idea . . . is understanding what enough is,'' she said in a phone interview from West Fulton, N.Y., where she and her husband are involved in running her family's farm.In a way, it's a move backward. Radical homemakers are embracing skills that were common among earlier generations of women, such as canning, sewing and growing food.But the movement rejects one vestige of the past: the perception of homemaking as inferior work.That perception grew out of the industrial revolution, explained Hayes, who holds a Ph.D. in sustainable agriculture and community development from Cornell University. Until then, labor in the household was divided between the sexes, but those differences did not imply superiority or inferiority, she said..."

By the time I did the quote I was tired and it isn't clear anymore. Maybe it is to someone else. I hope I quoted to where I had to.

Anyway there is a blog post called Are You a Radical Homemaker Failure? I will check out the link and find out.

I think I am a failure. If you can look past sentences about Satan that don't make sense and one swear word, really we have a lot in common.

I still have a corporate mind. I do what the boss says. I like to eat. I tried downsizing. Readers of my blog clearly remember the failed "let's downsize our home and be mortgage free" exercise my husband have been engaging in for three years. The whole thing of moving here (which is the name of the blog) 7 years ago, has brought me to the same tired sounding state of the writer.

Our boss, not corporate is the same as corporate. It takes years of hard work and back covering (by hard work, positive attitute, patience, love, all sorts of things) just to keep a job, because really why pay someone good money if they are not worth it.

So, you think maybe I should have a back up plan of the mortgage free house. Embarassing. We have ironed out some of the houses problems, even saw some very respectable people looking the house over from the outside a couple of weeks ago.

I can't help but think someone should critic this after 27 years of being married working out these things, like me, but someone more able to critic it. The economic crises in Australia was more in the 80s. I had a relative that was a hippy when I was a small girl. I know some of these issues, I lived on a farm. I don't have it to fall back on. I think that is maybe the issue here. Being independent is a big deal, it is everything sometimes. I don't work, but I am not a good homemaker at the moment. I am backing up my family in that climb I suppose. But in town though, I don't try to compete, very tired. It is a small community, one of the issues about radical homemaking. I too am happy just waving to them, if they would let me. The community is part of the problem keeping a job. Maybe Hayes would feel differently if she lived in a farming community that wasn't her own?


tina said…
From what I've read so far, my first thought is: when (if ever) things get better, will these'radicals' chuck simplicity and go back to materialism?
Yes, there's a BIG difference when you own your place and when have to worry about making a house payment. Whenever budget meetings threaten Trappers job, I know we will have a place to live. His parents own the houses and acreage we live on outright. They wouldn't kick us off And as they are aging we are able to help them in what they need.
I think the biggest difference is you and I do what we do out of our love and obedience to God. Without Him, we'd be miserable.
When I feel like one I remind myself God makes no mistakes and use it to stop, regroup with prayer and seek God's wisdom. Then I feel I can go on again.
tina said…
Ok I read all the links.
My first thought is "deja vu"'s the 60's all over again. "tune out the Man and do your own thing while living close to Mother Earth and wear Birkenstocks". All things I have not problem with and rather like.
But this too shall pass and the majority of folks will grow tired of it (as the one gal did) and want to go back to "The Man". Its all happened before. The thing us now it has become fashionable and if you aren't keeping up with Whats "in" then you aren't much of a profit to society. And on a small scale that smacks to me of socialism.
All that said, this is how we have been living for 30 yrs. I too have had that " it's too much work just buy it at the store" mentality but it was short lived and usually was because I tried to do too many things at once. Then it was time to regroup- that was all I needed.
I still feel the biggest difference between us and "them" (for lack of a better word) is our relationship to God.
Paola said…
Hi Linda, I've just read your posts regarding the Radical Homemakers book. I haven't read it, just read about it.From what I gather,"radical homemakers" do what they do as a political/public statement,ie. for outside reasons. I don't think this chimes for everyone. I do what I do for personal reasons, which to the outside world could be political. I don't particularly care how my behaviour is interpreted. I wouldn't worry too much about what one person writes in one book. If you have peace within, then go with what you are doing...

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