Brace yourselves people I'm going to use a dirty word: feminist. Yes, they're out there and I'm going to drop the F bomb with regularity in this post. If you are of a delicate disposition I suggest you look away now or better yet, blog about it and send the link to Peg Aloi, she'll have a field day no doubt.
I noticed an article doing the rounds on Twitter with shrieks of horror that someone had outted the Yarn Harlot as a knitter. I clicked. I read. I sighed.
Once more we are back to this 'feminism' and 'strong women' conflict. The rather charming journalist starts trite: listing cupcakes, Hello Kitty and gardening as examples of how women have lost their backbone. The blogosphere is held up as a shining example of women gone soft. We're patted on the head for our rants but there is no acknowledgement of the personal voice of a woman being expressed.
I got particularly bored at the line '...and now that so many women have seemingly retreated from our reign of awesomeness to immerse themselves in the feminine past-times of yesteryear, it does indeed appear that we've lost sight of what it means to be a badass, strong, tough woman.'
Ah ha! The crux of the matter. We're not bad asses. I read on, by now amused....
Who does Peg think we should be emulating? Why Xenia, Princess Warrior and Sookie Stackhouse. Now these women know a thing or two. Even Mad Men gets a bashing. How dare it be glamourous and show women pre liberation! This show is not a social commentary, which draws intriging parallels to the ideals that the Tea Party would have us running back to. No, it is vintage and as we know, only sad women want something vintage.
Not only had she missed the point of the majority of the second wave feminism, celebrating sisterhood, womanhood and demanding equality within an economy where our childcare and cupcakes keep capitalism afloat but the examples she chose were weak at best. Sookie Stackhouse? Please. That blonde bored me the minute she screamed 'When will Bill save us?' Even bloody Martha Stewart would have winced at that.
What Peg is seemingly trying to tell us is that we don't swear enough, dress like tramps, use violence or spit. We therefore are doing our sex a great wrong. We've taken a back step when we've chosen to go back into our homes and make our livings in the domestic arts.
The saddest thing is that she has gone further back of all, joining in the patriarchal voice that tells us that these pursuits are not valid, too domestic, too soft. Seen through her lense we can only be noticed when we are blowing up aliens and swearing at journalists.
I could think of the first one I'd start with if that is the case....
Good grief. That article is made of fail.
1. I crochet because I like the maths/logic puzzle aspect of designing. Badass boys activity or soft weak girls activity? I run, is this because I'm a silly vain creature who wants to look skinny or a strong woman taking care of her health and getting ready to fight the good fight? Oh noes!! Ur kwestyun duz not haz obveus ansa!
2. *JEZEBEL* is her idea of a good feminist blog?! Really?! Jezebel lost its feminist badge and most of its decent commenters a long time ago. The F-word, The Pursuit of Harpyness, Gherkinette, Shapely Prose, I Blame The Patriarchy, Womanist Musings etc didn't. But then mentioning really radical high quality feminist blogs would have undermined her point wouldn't it? They're not supposed to exist because we're all supposed to be too busy vajazzling or something.
I know several of the ex-Jez commenters personally. Guess what? They cook, they craft, they do vintage stuff and they blog about it. Between protests.
3. Deriding activities women enjoy is not feminism. Her point would have been much better made by celebrating some badass women doing non-traditional stuff and talking about what a shame it is that they don't get more press.
Y'know, like Pink Stinks do: www.pinkstinks.co.uk.
So on that note here are some badass women who don't get enough press:
The England Women's Rugby Team, SIX TIMES successive Six Nations Champions! Awesome!
I'm more pissed off that she used the article to promote TV shows than saying women have lost their "awesomness."
I felt sick reading that article. Isn't the whole point of feminism to be able to choose to do what you want? If you want to be a SAHM and knit, thats your choice? If you want to go out to work and knit, thats fine too? If you want to be single and live on your own and bake cupcakes... more power to you!
Oh thats got me all riled up. Did you read the comments? Not one comment that agreed with the article! Does this woman not realise how bad-ass us knitters are? Freakin' heck - we have pointy sticks and we know how to use them!
I tally agree with you. Personally I think sitting on my ass knitting and eating cupcakes sounds like a lovely afternoon. :)
@byneedleandthread You can also plan a revolution while you're at it. :)
Ooo, I would really make her head hurt. Kung fu grey belt fully trained in the use of various weapons? Check. Enjoy making pretty lace shawls? Check.
chemicalika, me too - black belt in Karate, knitter, crocheter etc. Don't like baking but I do like eating.
I don't understand why people are re-posting this article (I didn't read it), I'm thinking it's probably best ignored.
So basically, she doesn't know any knitters. Shame (but entirely understandable: I wouldn't hang out with her).
I too am a karate black belt and I love knitting! And cooking and crocheting and kicking people in the head!
If I were her, I'd be more concerned about the fact that the vast majority of British women are being sucked into and dumbed down by the "Big Brother" and "X Factor" plague of mindless celebrity bilge. At least we are using our brains whilst knitting and crocheting :-)
I'm truly hoping the entire article was a joke, but sadly feel that it wasn't. It depresses me that someone who calls themselves a journalist cites television and movie characters as role models. Yes, they may have particular strengths, but they also have make-up (gasp! girly!), wardrobe and screenwriters to make them that way. I must thank this author for telling so many people that we are second rate just because we don't fit her Hollywood view of life.
Oh wow. WOW.
Jesus I can't even get past the freaking out part.
Actually, I can.
Point your finger at me, and three point back at you. She's obviously feeling pretty weak and unawesome poor thing. Don't blame her. I would too if Sookie Stackhouse was my role model. I mean-- seriously?
Gah! That actually sums it up mostly. Miss Elle beat me to the comment I was going to make about it being all about choice- choose what makes you happy and go for it (with obvious respect for the feelings of others).
Clearly her choice was to say stupid things and enrage a bunch of knitterly types! Ones with pointy sticks and a wide range of ass kicking abilities
I agree with you, Sister !
If that's OK .....
The worst bit is that she apparently has a blog about orchards and does bake cupcakes...
I read that article, too, and was disgusted. Loved how you've addressed the issue!
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