White Eve doesn't eat forbidden fruit, she bakes apple pies.

The white middle class home is a Garden of Eden.

White Eve doesn't eat forbidden fruit, she bakes apple pies.

I mostly write about how our cultural belief that the home is separate from the economy hurts everyone. And I’m finishing an edit on a project that makes that argument in a new and (I think) exciting way. But the home hurts people because of that false divide too. I’ve written about this before, it’s not a new subject for me. But this morning as I sit down to finally finish the last edits on this new (exciting!!) piece before I send it to an editor, I just feel the point bears repeating in this space. 

When 19th century capitalists rhetorically removed production from the white middle class home, they were attempting to separate the home from the economy. They were also attempting to separate the white middle class home from accountability.

The white middle class home became a place of perpetual innocence. A Garden of Eden - never productive, always spontaneously, naturally reproductive. If the white middle class home is a Garden of Eden, that makes white middle class woman a kind of Eve. And that Eve is innocent; she’s baking apple pies, not eating forbidden fruit.

The southern belle was a white Eve - how could she be held accountable for what happened in the fields when she was inside her home? People still use plantation homes as wedding venues, because they think she was innocent and her home was too. The anti-CRT suburban mom is a white Eve, she ventures from the garden just long enough to exert the authority of innocence in the public sphere. She swears she’s just trying to protect the children while she spouts racist propaganda. 

Then there’s the lean in white feminist seeking liberation in the market while outsourcing “care work without ensuring care rights.” She buys into the home as a Garden of Eden too. She thinks she’s subverting the Garden of Eden trope. She’s Eve venturing out into the greater world to found a company that sells apple-scented lip balm. But she still believes the home is a spontaneously fruitful place - what other explanation is there for her underpaid nanny’s under the table wages and lack of benefits? 

White picket fences don’t actually cut the home off from the economy. They shouldn’t cut the home off from accountability. Gosh damn. 

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve written about Home being used to harm. 

Historic Character

My neighborhood’s fight for integration changed America. Now white neighbors are suing a Black pastor over his social justice work. 

The Edenic Allure of Ballerinafarm

It’s no wonder that many LDS women have taken to Momfluencing and Homefluencing (and now Farmfluencing) like fish who finally found water.

By Design

White communists, socialists, feminists, and capitalists tried to engineer society using kitchen design.

American Shame

Why was I embarrassed to tell people I rented my home?

I don’t know what has me all het up this morning. Maybe it’s the deadening thud of Don’t Worry Darling premiere day making me feel like I need to shout.