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Radical Homemakers

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Radical Homemakers

A discussion group and gathering area for those wishing to discuss the book, Radical Homemakers, and the topics that it covers.

Website: http://www.RadicalHomemakers.com
Members: 99
Latest Activity: Jul 6

Radical Homemakers - Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes

Join us! We have invited Shannon to participate in an ongoing book discussion here and she is encouraging Radical Homemakers who come to her looking for dialogue, community and some fun to participate as well. We look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!

Purchase directly from the author here

Shannon Hayes’ book reinforces so many of the reasons that HOMEGROWN.org was created and has received such a positive response. Shannon's masterfully-crafted language solidifies the sentiments that drive us. Put to words the feelings that we who are passionate about living closer to the earth feel: We reject the consumerist-driven waste of energy and squandered creativity that we see every day. We are joyful for our involvement in activities that bring us closer to the soil, to our food, and to the “culture” in agriculture. In her introduction of the book she writes:
As I looked more closely at the role homemaking could play in revitalizing our local food system, I saw that the position was a linchpin for more than just making use of garden produce and chicken carcasses. Individuals who had taken this path in life were building a great bridge from our existing extractive economy – where corporate wealth was regarded as the foundation of economic health, where mining our earth’s resources and exploiting our international neighbors was accepted as simply the cost of doing business – to a life-serving economy, where the goal is, in the words of David Korten, to generate a living for all, rather that a killing for a few, where our resources are sustained, our waters are kept clean, our air pure, and families can lead meaningful and joyful lives.
Shannon continues by pointing to the industrial revolution as a catalyst for the elimination of a “producer culture”, the demotion of the farmer from skilled citizen to industrial worker, and the deprecation of the “homemaker” to a position of servant. The second half of the book is the most inspiring and instructional. In it she provides insightful and impassioned stories from true life, modern day Radical Homemakers like Carrie and Chad Lockwell who live frugally and joyously in the rural Northeast; like Amanda Shaw and Carol Rydell who grow food and community together in their Chicago suburb, and like our friends Kelly Coyne and Erik Knudsen of HomegrownEvolution, who introduced us to Shannon in the first place (thanks guys, we’re forever grateful).

If you have an interest in delving deeper into the motivations for Radical Homemaking, and are also looking for practical tips for installing some of these philosophies into daily practice, invest in this book. A synopsis of the book – originally published at Yes! Magazine – can be found here.

HOMEGROWN Discussions

Meet the Radical Homemakers 2 Replies

Chime in with your questions and comments here!Continue

Tags: Modern, Homestead, Books, Hayes, Homemakers

Started by Cornelia. Last reply by Andrew Odom Nov 23, 2010.

Do you have a community story for us?

Hi all, I am new to the group. Exciting! I am an aspiring radical homemaker surrounded by lots of other city aspirants. My friend and colleague Spiri Tsintziras and I are writing a book called The…Continue

Started by Myfanwy Jones Aug 26, 2010.

Life in Transition 4 Replies

My husband and I have lived in Albany, NY for about 7 years now.  We've become immersed in our locavore movement, inspired by working at the Honest Weight Co-op and making friends who are wonderful…Continue

Tags: rebuilding, to, bakery, supported, blues

Started by Britin Foster, All Good Bakers. Last reply by Britin Foster, All Good Bakers Aug 17, 2010.

Even Better Homes and Gardens (Blogs by and for) 4 Replies

Hey there fellow RHs,When I got married, my MIL bought me a lifetime subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. For anyone who knows me, this sounds preposterous. I am not a consumer culture kind of…Continue

Tags: homemaking, housewifery, community, blogs

Started by Calamity Jane. Last reply by Rachel Hoff Mar 17, 2010.

Shannon Hayes blog on Yes! Magazine

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Comment Wall

Comment by Shannon Hayes on April 12, 2010 at 6:58pm
Hi All - I think Amber is touching on an important issues, what she has called "blowback." I think that, socially, the homemakers have been an invisible lot for generations. And that makes it hard to stake our claim as contributors to society without seeming like a cultural anomally. I'd be curious to hear what other kinds of "blowback" folks have heard on this path, and how you've responded to it. If you have trouble responding to certain repeat issues, it'd be great to talk about that, too. We could all probably use to refine our rhetoric! shannon
Comment by Amber Westfall on April 13, 2010 at 5:41pm
Here are two articles that I think are directly connected to this issue of blowback or criticisms of radical homemaking.

The first is from Alex Steffen of Worldchanging.

He writes, "...we'll need to get faster and more creative, not slower and more traditional; we'll need to get bigger and more systemic, not smaller and more spread out; we're need to get networked and more complex, not simpler and more isolated...Forget light green frugality, household tips and small steps..."

The second article is a response to this from Sharon Astyk.

She writes on the personal vs the political, "the categories derive from false and deeply sexist assumptions about gender. Look at the things that are viewed as primarily personal acts, and assumed to be thus insignificant - virtually all of them are associated with women. Growing gardens, eating different foods, deciding what to buy, as Steffen puts it "light green frugality and household tips" - heck, it even sounds feminine. Must be stupid and pointless...The assumption that personal acts are irrelevant derives, fundamentally, not from a clear eyed analysis of what actually causes an impact, but because of a fundamental sexism that associates these acts with women and deems them unimportant because of that association."

Both pieces are a bit lengthy but worth the read. Lots of good stuff here.
Comment by Calamity Jane on April 20, 2010 at 6:11am
maybe i've just been lucky. probably has something to do with the fact that i don't surround myself with "technotopians" but as i've gone through my...oh, 15 years of living/leaning this way, i must admit that for the most part people seem to think it's great. even people i've met through other avenues, who seem very different from myself, are often really interested, can disparge 'things as they are' and absolutely see the value in a simpler life.
the stumbling block i've met with more myself is that people think i'm one of Those people. the Amazing people. like they look at my life in a coffee table picture book kind of way. 'wow, that must be great. if only.... but, back to work.'
and thereby distance themselves from the possibility of it, and also the responsibility of it.
i feel the judgment from our culture as an omnipotent entity, but not as much from actual people i meet.
since i became a mama, i have certainly encountered a more of the cultural judgment. partly because what i'm able to do, or accomplish has become far, far less impressively cool. living in a treehouse and storing homegrown beets in a handmade root cellar sounds more impressive than just washing cloth diapers and making homemade yogurt. it's that same, i agree-- sexist, judgment of smaller, personal acts as mundane and ineffectual. cute, but not particularly worthwhile.
again though, i get this from the culture, not so much from actual people i meet. i'm the only stay at home mama for blocks around here, but when i meet my neighbors, professional women with their kids in day care, they don't seem judgmental, if anything they seem almost jealous.
ooops, gotta go. fussy babe.
Comment by Shannon Hayes on April 23, 2010 at 9:59am
Dear Station 104.7 Atlanta; Sorry you cancelled our interview for Monday, b/c you worry RH won't be "well received" by certain members of your Christian audience. For my own edification, please let me know which part of the RH message is most offensive: family, community, social justice, or the environment? Christian Radical Homemakers would like to learn where the conflict lies. Thank you, Shannon Hayes
Comment by Wendy Matheson on April 23, 2010 at 10:19am
Shannon...that's terrible...the small-mindedness of some people amazes me! Their loss...
Comment by Chris on April 23, 2010 at 11:07am
You had a great interview in The Oregonian, though! http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2010/04/radical_homemak...
Comment by Cornelia on April 23, 2010 at 1:22pm
The Boston Globe "Feeling At Home Again Under The Same Roof"
This article touches on an aspect of Radical Homemaking that I've been thinking about - this is about co-habitation with an extended family, but there seems to be an aspect of community / co-housing potential for folks looking to live differently. Anyone have any experience with larger, cross-generational, cross-cultural households?
Comment by Lizz on April 24, 2010 at 7:30am
Cornelia,
Wow! did you read the comments on that story? Guess folks aren't very happy about co-housing.
Comment by Jessi Smith on April 25, 2010 at 11:57am
My copy of the book comes in the mail tomorrow! I'm so excited to read this book. I've been concerned about the environment for years and have more recently been interested in leading a more simple life and putting my family first. From the reviews and comments I've read about the book, Shannon and I seem to be on the same train of thought.
Comment by Cornelia on April 27, 2010 at 10:35am

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