White communists, socialists, feminists, and capitalists tried to engineer society using kitchen design.
White communists, white socialists, white feminists, white capitalists and white supremacists all hoping to engineer whole societies by designing the kitchen. Each saw kitchens as permanently fitted with women – they just disagreed over what that meant. All kept the footprint of patriarchal understanding and most anchored deep into racist foundations. None of their blueprints made room for the meaning of the work in the kitchen.
In Cold War America’s propaganda and policy, the home became exclusively a unit of consumption. The kitchen was the consuming center of that home. It was a white woman’s patriotic duty to have a house full of capitalist produced, time-saving appliances.
Marietta Shaginian, a Soviet journalist in the 1950s, called the American “kitchen ‘ideologically inappropriate’ because it was designed not to help the working woman achieve self-realization but to compensate the middle-class ‘professional housewife’ for her lack of a place in the public arena.” … You could hardly pay a woman for her work in the home if you were determined to prove consumerism ended her work.
What would an egalitarian kitchen look like?
Frankly, the kitchen is designed neither to my or my husband’s height – he has to stoop to see in the fridge and wash dishes in the sink, I have to climb a stool to reach things in cabinets. If we ever remodel I want part of the counter built for his height for comfortable use. I could stand to have the sink taller too, honestly.