Hi, I just posted the following disjointed thougthts in my journal and it occurred to me that they might be appropriate here. I apologize in advance if they're not. : )
I have been rethinking the role of the domestic realm lately. In my youth a number of influences caused me to devalue domesticity. Historically, beginning perhaps with the Greeks, domesticity was relegated to the "private," while the "public," civic realm was viewed as a higher sort of sphere. Women of course were kept within the private household to carry out domestic duties, and men, as full citizens, were allowed to interact publicly.
Hannah Arendt, a 20th century political theorist, broke this take on the human condition down a little further. She divided human action into three levels: labor of the body (the sustaining of life itself), work of the hands (the solid things we build), and action - the political interaction of human beings. This division is strictly hierarchical as each level raises us from animal to fully human. Each level also takes us from the domestic and private to the public. Historically, those levels also "rise" from female to male.( Read more...Collapse )