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Hello, My Name is Cryptic

April 18, 2010

So, I’ve been a bit out of the loop as of late (thanks to Queen George for picking up the slack!)…I’d like to be able to tell you more about everything that’s going on, but unfortunately, this isn’t really a possibility at the moment.  For now, I’ll say that there are potentially good and exciting changes on the horizon for me, but their possibility has landed me with a whole slew of work and pressing deadlines.  And at the same time (of course, because this is how life works), there have been additional, attention-requiring developments in a friend’s quest to secure justice for herself, in one of those all-too-frequent cases in which women are treated unjustly.

Free time is thus at something of a premium at the moment, and while my thoughts are with you, my writing just isn’t.  But, you may console yourselves with the knowledge that I am off doing my best to fight feminist battles elsewhere, sticking it to The Oppressor in places other than the internet.  And, you know, doing my best to be an overachiever.

For now, I shall leave you a topic: Home-maker websites like FlyLady–creeptastic or helpfully valorizing of domestic labor?  Talk amongst yourselves!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenna permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:55 am

    The “FLY” is an acronym for “Finally Loving Yourself” and you show how you FLY by having a shiny sink, clean home, and organized appearance. So right away I’m resistant to the website because my house is cluttered and messy precisely because I Love Myself. I love myself and value my contributions outside of traditional labor divisions. I am busy with my own hobbies and interests and my housework suffers because of it (though I’m not torn up about it). I think the site is a bit creeptastic because while it is never directly stated that to love yourself means you have a clean, organized home, it is certainly implied. Therefore people who have unorganized homes, like me, must not love themselves, their families, or their homes.

    I give a few props to the fact that I didn’t find any outright negative messages about people who work outside the home on the site but that’s probably because the site reads as though they don’t exist. This site is specifically for women who work at home and there is no mention of how someone who doesn’t fit that mold can implement their system of cleaning and organization within their schedules.

    Minor props for not telling me that I should or must stay at home because I have a va-jay-jay but on the whole thoroughly creeptastic (who really cares if your kitchen sink is shiny) in its message and delivery. The commandments, especially, read like they were written for children, not grown women.

    Thanks for this site, I’m enjoying it!

  2. marybullstonecraft permalink*
    April 19, 2010 3:49 pm

    Jenna, I’m totally with you on the creeptastic-ness of Finally Loving Yourself by Sink-Shining, and the general “oh, of course you stay home all the time, you lady you” tone of it all. I also think that the site’s general “this is what you OUGHT to be doing” tone is exacerbated by the other acronym that gets bandied about: CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)–because, unless you’ve been sink-shining and cleaning your house every day, you are forbidden to have friends visit, and really, your life is out of control.

    The other thing that weirds me out are the personal life-coach tips, which include things like “dress to shoes everyday” (at first I assumed that this was a directive to plan your outfits around your footwear, which is quirky, but interesting advice–but after some reading, I discovered that it actually means that you should actually get dressed and put shoes on in your house, even though you’re probably not going anywhere, because this will make you more productive. And likewise, always do your hair and makeup. Now, as a person who does work from home quite a bit–though, like you, my work is decidedly not work that results in my house being clean–I can confirm that putting on real clothes does usually result in greater productivity. *BUT* 1) seriously, why the need to couple makeup and housework, or even require makeup at all? and 2) why assume that every woman who wants a clean house or an organized life a) has so much time to spend at home that they need to be told to put on shoes, or b) has a house/family/kids/partner at all?

    That said, the site does appear to be FOR a particular audience–but why not make that audience clear, instead of marketing this as a self-help site for women in general, since it sets the vast majority of women up to fail (i.e., be left in CHAOS and tragically far away from being FLY) through its pretty narrow expectations?

  3. Jenna permalink
    April 19, 2010 5:43 pm

    I don’t get the makeup thing either. The site recommends getting up 15-20 minutes before your partner and kids to get dressed, “to the shoes,” and put on some makeup to present that image to the kids (before you, obviously, make them breakfast). So people who are mothers automatically get a dose of guilt if they aren’t ready with makeup to wake up the offspring because not only are you not “loving yourself” but you apparently don’t love your kids either if you don’t present the unnattainable Stepford image to them. So the more I read from that site, the more it is made of Fail.

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