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Extreme DomesticityA View from the Margins$
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Susan Fraiman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166348

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166348.001.0001

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Bad Girls of Good Housekeeping

Bad Girls of Good Housekeeping

Dominique Browning and Martha Stewart

(p.95) 4 Bad Girls of Good Housekeeping
Extreme Domesticity

Susan Fraiman

Columbia University Press

Proposes a “bad girl” tradition going back to the nineteenth century in which domestic zeal and expertise are linked to women who resist compulsory heterosexuality; who are childless, child-averse, or single mothers; whose domesticity does not preclude and may actually foster professionalism; whose homemaking is divorced from selfless marital/maternal duty and expressive instead of female self-sufficiency, ambition, and pleasure. Begins with a handful of early figures before turning to Dominique Browning’s Around the House and in the Garden: A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing, and Home Improvement (2003) for a rich account of post-marital nesting. Concludes by touting Martha Stewart’s lifestyle empire as a brazen example of greedy and grandiose domesticity.

Keywords:   Martha Stewart, Dominique Browning, domestic advice, women’s magazines, shelter magazines, “house porn.”

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