Hardcore Homemakers Make Locavorism a Feminist Cause


Has Michael Pollan given women a way to be feminists and stay-at-home moms at the same time? A movement described as “femivorism” involves women who stay at home — not only to care for their families, but also to grow their own produce, can their preserves, raise their own chickens, and stuff their own sausages. Radical Homemakers, a manifesto published by Shannon Hayes, a grass-fed-livestock farmer in upstate New York, sees this way of living as being “grounded in the very principles of self-sufficiency, autonomy, and personal fulfillment that drove women into the work force in the first place.”

A Times magazine article outlines this new place where The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Female Eunuch meet:

“Rather than embodying the limits of one movement, femivores expand those of another: feeding their families clean, flavorful food; reducing their carbon footprints; producing sustainably instead of consuming rampantly. What could be more vital, more gratifying, more morally defensible?”

The movement also rejects capitalism (a male invention if ever there was one), but rather than excluding men calls for egalitarianism:

“‘If you don’t go into this as a genuinely egalitarian relationship,’ [Hayes] warned, ‘you’re creating a dangerous situation. There can be loss of self-esteem, loss of soul and an inability to return to the world and get your bearings. You can start to wonder, What’s this all for?’… If a woman is not careful, it seems, chicken wire can coop her up as surely as any gilded cage.”

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