Individualism and DIY Homemaking

Attachment parenting and DIY foodie culture are promoting a huge step back for women and a dangerous opt-out of social safety nets (the FDA, for one) instead of rallying for change in our communal institutions. We are social creatures, like it or not, and although growing your own vegetables and making your own bread are great, it’s important to focus on the community as well.

Maybe women my age would be less interested in attachment parenting if our country had better maternity (and paternity) leave–if you didn’t have to choose between going back to work full-time in a matter of weeks after you have a baby. So, lacking choices (it’s not really a “choice” when Mom has the lower income, say, and then you can ask WHY Mom is usually the one with a lower income if you want to be serious about the feminist implications of “choice”), you just give up that job to stay home and are bored senseless by being a stay-at-home mom unless you fully embrace the cerebral, high-intensity, inflexible attachment parenting and home birth philosophy. Because women are made to nurture, and well-educated women are going to get intense about it when you start feeling bad about (not) using all that expensive education.

Maybe you’d also give your brain and hands something better to do by turning wholeheartedly to homebaked bread and homegrown (beyond organic, of course) vegetables because God only knows what’s in that crap at the supermarket.

And then you can turn your attention to a sick kid with whooping cough because you refused to vaccinate him, out of fear that there might be something creepy in a vaccine.

Mother knows best, obviously. Definitely better than the pediatrician that spent 4 years in school followed by some more years in residency. Obviously it doesn’t hurt to be well-informed and to ask intelligent questions of doctors, but we’re lucky to have those vaccines in the first place that make those common childhood diseases preventable. We don’t want our children to die “naturally,” after all.

We are doing ourselves a serious disservice by saying that the FDA or the CDC or our public schools are doing a bad job, and as a result, we’ll just opt out. We need those communal institutions, whoever we are.

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