Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can't we all just get along?

So, last night I listened to the interview by Jane Brocket (aka Yarnstorm), which I downloaded from here. (I'ts still available, until the next episode of Women's Hour pushes it off. It's only and 8 minutes piece, but it's interesting)

The thing that stuck with me was when Whoever the antagonist was (I think her name was Kate something?) started attacking the book as being full of things that need 'leisure and money'. Which is true. But then Jane compared it to going to the gym.

I just kept thinking about this all night. I think she was spot on. The gym-goer and I both spend q decent amount of time and money each month doing our respective activities. We both get something out of it. Knitting etc won't make me fit or more comfortable in my body, and running on a treadmill won't satisfy her creatively, or produce something beautiful at the end (unless it's her). We both probably think that each other would benefit from sharing in our particular activity. We both might be right. Or maybe not.

Almost everything we do requires leisure or money. I take Kate's (?) point that, for some women, this book and others like it will seem like it's accusing them of not being a Good Woman. But surely we are past that now? If I choose to spend my free time watching Australian Idol instead of knitting, will I be a Better Feminist? If I spend my money on comsetics instead of yarn? If I choose to go to the gym, not because I want to feel healthy, but because I want to be sexually attractive to men?

I think, again, it comes down to choices. I think many women who don't craft feel guilty when presented with the things that some of us make. Partly this is a result of the traditional nature of the things we do, and this should be worked against as much as possible until we overcome it. Partly it's because woman are, by nature, competitive.

I was looking at my bookshelf this morning as I got dressed. You'd probably think I was an excellent Feminist from it. Backlash, Sperm Wars, Sexing the Millennium, The Feminist Mystique, Everything She Can Do, I Can Do Better. Truth to tell, I've read almost none of them. I borrowed the Cinderella Complex, made it through three chapters, couldn't identify with it, and returned it. I'm currently trying to read Female Chauvinist Pigs, and it's too relevant - it made me so angry and sick that I had to put it down.

The things I have read, seem to come down to this: 'you are Free to do What You Like, and what Empowers You.'

Well, I like knitting. I like sewing. I like living in a nice place, that is clean and tidy, I find it helps me be better - at whatever I might be doing. If you don't, if you like other things, if you choose to spend your free time doing alternate activities - what effect does that have on me? Only that there's more yarn in the stores.

One woman's choice seems to be another's moral judgement.

Again, this makes me sad. Both for them, tying themselves in knots about my choice, and for me - that I should be pressured not to do the things I have talents in and that I enjoy, just to fit someone elses picture of what I should be. Isn't that a backwards step?

It comes to mind that this is supposed to be a craft blog. And it just so happens that I have a fantastic segway. I got my grubby hands on a copy of this last week.

I think it definitely qualifies as 'pinny porn' (I'm starting to hate that word. Good discussion here)* It's gorgeous. Better, it's inspiring. There are several things in it that I want to make, and since the instructions are vague - in a good way - I've already come up with tons of ideas about what I want to do It motivated me to do this.

OK, so it was completely pointless, but I enjoyed doing it, and it's pretty. See?

There's just something about buttons.

*I found it interesting that there's a thread on the ravelry forums about 'creepy' foot fetishists adding photos of people's feet in handknitted socks to their favourites in flickr. One of the participants in this discussion on ravelry had the moniker of 'sock pr0n'. I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from that.

1 comment:

Calla said...

Geez, you have a way with words :) I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way. It is funny how feminism almost always gets tied up with crafting

I actually just wanted to tell you that I love your book organisation. It made me smile :) I tend to have mine sorted by subject, but colour looks so much more arty! I love it!