Before we go any further, I want to clarify that I'm a proud feminist. I happily participate in the work force, and I am thrilled to carry at least my share of the appropriate rage against a crooked societal machine that favors men over women. I support the strong, independent, and intellectual women of the world; I believe in the equality of men and women, and put a not-small amount of time and energy into rooting out the ways in which that gender equality manifests itself both in my life and the world-at-large; I want to undo all of those things, and I want to build new things in their place that advantage everyone, and protect the needs and rights of all humans.
I also hate defending the fact that I'm a feminist (which I don't think anyone should ever have to do), but given what I'm about to say, I often find myself needing to do exactly that. So here's my big, dark, feminist secret: As much as I love to crotch-kick the patriarchy, I also love to curl up in a set of flannel pajamas with a cucumber mask on my face while buried deep inside the pages of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Yes, it's true: I have a domestic side that I'm somewhat afraid to share with the world for fear of being judged as a lackadaisical or hypocritical feminist. But why? Why can't I combine the forces of my eye for the perfect area rug with my desire to push for women's rights? Well, the truth is, we can.
Loving things that have been commonly associated with regressive gender politics — cooking, cleaning, gardening, throw pillows, etc. — does not equate to an endorsement of those gender politics.
It's possible to be a feminist without needing to Let's not throw out the fresh-baked biscuits with the sexist bathwater...or something.
In an effort to merge the sides of my personality, I'm going to stop apologizing to my feminist side for my domestic side. I'm not sorry that my living room looks like the perfect retro beach house, or that getting it to the point took a few too many trips to Target. And I'm not sorry that I loved those trips to Target. I'm also not sorry that I think women deserve equal pay for equal work, or the right to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies.
And I'm definitely not sorry that I refuse to build my life and choose my tastes and interests based on what makes other people feel more comfortable about being able to judge how much of a feminist I am just from looking at me in superficial ways.
Call me crazy, but I think we can meet in the middle here. I don't need to apologize for being a multifaceted woman, for loving politics and throw pillows simultaneously and neither do you.
Being Organized Is The Key To Life, Probably
There is something to be said for a household that functions like a well oiled machine. Knowing exactly where something is the moment you need it is sort of empowering. It's great knowing that you have got full control over what goes where in your house, and it makes us feel nearly heroic when we know the whereabouts of that one thing that our partners couldn't find.
Throw Pillows Are Scientifically Proven To Boost Your Mood
I mean, maybe not scientifically but having the perfectly patterned throw pillow definitely doesn't hurt a sunny disposition. And despite what many haters might tell you, yes, they do actually serve a purpose. I'll get back to you when I figure out exactly what said purpose is.
A Clean House Makes It Feel Like You've Got Your Life Together
Honestly, it's too easy to let your life fall into ruin. Seriously. I feel like all of us are, at most times, one succumbed-to impulse away from letting all of our careful adulting just fall completely apart and become the lazy messes we are in our hearts. Sometimes life is chaotic and messy and sticky, and the state of your mental status deteriorates because of said chaos.
But here's the secret: A clean house, and its associated feeling like you've got it all held together like a boss, actually makes you feel like a boss. And that gives you the boost you need to be a boss.
However, on that one Sunday when your house is sparkling from top to bottom, when every toy is in its respective box, when the kitchen smells like bleach and rainbows, it would appear as if you've got your sh*t 100 percent completely together.
Um, Everyone Loves Freshly Baked Cookies
If you know someone who doesn't love the smell and taste of fresh baked cookies, you need to immediately check their pulse and report them to Science™ because they are most definitely not human.
The Home Decor Section At Target Is The Happiest Place On Earth
Whoever said that Disney World is the happiest place on earth has clearly never visited the home decor section of Target. I mean, all those frames and candles and duvets, all the trinkets and curtain panels and area rugs... It's all so heavenly, so chic. Each piece accents another so perfectly. It's like a walk through a park that smells like popcorn and new carpet while sipping on a mimosa and listening to Beyoncé on a warm, sunny day. Whoever coordinates that whole section, I bow down.
Trying New Recipes Is Completely Empowering
Cooking is sort of like science: When you get something right, it's the greatest feeling. Trying new recipes is sort of like being a chemist. It gives us whatever feeling it was that made Walter White make all that blue meth, except when our inner mad scientist is done, we've concocted a delicious macaroni and cheese casserole for our entire family to enjoy, instead not a deadly drug (although I could definitely make a very solid argument for the addictive nature of mac and cheese).
You Look Awesome In Your Apron
Don't hate because I'm killin' it. You will eat these brownies I'm baking and respect me for the boss I am. I own you all in this apron.
A House That Smells Like Clean Laundry Is The Best Kind Of House
Again, as we've established many times already, I'm no scientist, but I'm convinced that the scent of clean linen releases the same endorphins that sex and wine and 50 percent off coupons do. And if you can smell the clean laundry before you even get in the house (it's a thing), even better.
Someone Has To Keep Everyone Fed
Obviously one of the most important aspects of being domestic is feeding people, even if that's just yourself. What does home mean? It means food. It's the best part of being home. What can you not wait to do when you get off work? Go home and eat all the food. And if you have a family, this is doubly true. They'd likely starve without your efforts in the kitchen. And as far as we can tell, no one else is jumping up and down to roast a chicken, so there's that. You're welcome, family.
Cocktail Hour Justifies The Purchase Of That Over-Priced Bar Cart
Maybe not, but it definitely looks cool. I do what I want. Is it five o'clock yet?
A Clean House Helps Eliminate Anxiety (Yes, Really)
It's such a powerful truth that clutter plays a significant role in our level of stress. It bombards our brains with excessive stimuli, causing our minds to work overtime on things that aren't necessary or important (i.e., mountains of a toddler's mega blocks). Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by inhibiting spaces in our brain that allow us to think, brainstorm, and problem solve.
So there you have it. Cleanliness and organization is going to reduce your stress and, in turn, make you happier.
Your Family Would Basically Fall Apart If You Didn't Do Everything You Do
If our families didn't know where their socks were, or what was for supper, or when their doctor's appointments were, they might literally lose themselves amid their own cluttered worlds. Being domestic isn't about looking pretty and prancing around with a martini and a poodle skirt (although, if you're into it, do you; I won't judge how you live your feminist truth, sis) — it's about taking care of a family and catering to the well being of everyone. Sure, throw pillows are awesome and clean kitchens are basically aphrodisiacs, but the most important aspect of domestication is taking care of a family. Now, go grab a bottle of wine and a magazine and bask in all of your clutterless glory.