“I’m No Donna Reed”

Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts

in Girlhood Studies
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In 2010, media outlets began to buzz about a trend among young conservative Christian women—a rise in at-home daughterhood, a practice in which women forgo college and paid work in favor of staying at home and honing their homemaking skills until marriage. These reports suggested that the practice was out to “turn back the clock on gender equality” and declare, “In your face, feminism!” While these accounts frame at-home daughterhood as a rejection of feminism, I suggest that advocates actually employ postfeminist strategies to make the practice palatable to contemporary women. My argument uses critiques of postfeminism to advance historical and sociological debates about the complicated role of feminism in conservative Christianity. Analyzing texts from parenting workshops and promotional materials, I find proponents acknowledge social progress on gender equity issues, but dismiss feminist politics through tactics of humor and depoliticization.