San Diego Feminist Book Group Message Board › Discussion Questions for Radical Homemaker
San Diego, CA
1. Opening Question: The book lists many different homemaking skills. What is one skill you wish you currently possessed or have been trying to cultivate in your home?
2. According to Hayes women have in some ways “built a false sense of independence” based on their jobs and material wealth. What does she mean when she says that Radical Homemakers have instead “embraced genuine interdependence” as a way of living.
3. Betty Freidan encouraged women to get out of the home to escape the drudgery of housework. Now some women choose to stay in the home as a feminist act. In your opinion, which is more “feminist”?
4. Many of the people she spoke with were white and educated. How do you think a more diverse community might respond to this book? Many women of color still work as domestic help- how would the shift of white women back to the home affect them?
5. Respond to this quote: “At this point in history the work to heal our ecological wounds, bring a balance of power into our economyand endure social equality starts with our choices about what to eat, what to buy or not buy, what to create, and how to use our time and money. Indeed the major work of society need to happen inside our homes, putting the homemaker at the vanguard of social change”.
6. “Radical Homemaking” is actually a choice for some people. For others it is a fact of being low income or with limited options. How is choosing to live a “frugal” life different from those who live this way out of necessity?
7. Some radical homemakers are re-learning skills from the past (sewing, woodwork, baking bread, gardening). Do you think these are valuable skills? How will we “return” to a simple life if many young people today do not have these skills?
8. Some Radical Homemaker life choices seem easier than others. How is choosing the “eat local” different from for-going health insurance? Is this way of life “do-able” for most people?
9. What is one thing you can change in your home today that would lead you to a more Radical Homemaker lifestyle?
10. I have also provided a supplemental article. In it the author discusses how “not fun” it is to live this way. How did you respond to this article? Did it change how you felt after first reading the book?