So a person that none of you will ever meet (I hope) gave me a hard time this week about being a knitter. The gist of her argument was this: women who knit (and I presume crochet) are participating in their own subjugation by continuing the culture of women performing domestic tasks. This person wanted me to understand that as an intelligent, independent woman I have an obligation to spend my free time doing something more challenging and less menial.
Menial? Knitting is menial? And anti-feminist?
Let’s consider all the far, far more mature responses that I could have given her… but didn’t:
- “You’re just jealous because you’re a spastic twit who couldn’t finish knitting a shawl if you had ten lifetimes.”
- “You know I don’t use my breasts, uterus, or second x-chromosome to knit. And if I had a penis I don’t think it would get in the way of my stitching. So how on earth is knitting a womanly activity?”
- “You are so right! But I can’t stop knitting because my overbearing, cruel, and obviously misogynist husband bought me an annual subscription to this yarn-in-a-box service. Every month they send me gorgeous silk/angora/baby alpaca/bamboo yarns. Its a terrible burden but I simply must use it up or live with the guilt of all that wasted money. Isn’t he a bastard?”
- “Que? No habla Ingles.”
- “Shhhh! You are blowing my cover! I only took up knitting so that I can make contact with those pitiful, subjugated, knitter women. Then, once they see me as an ally, I will convince them that knitting is part of the male-privilege-ideology that promotes Freud’s outdated psycho-sexual repression through the use of phallic knitting needles. Now go away.”
- “Well I don’t identify as a woman. I identify as lysigender.” (FYI that is a gender that seems to dissolve and disappear as soon as you attempt to grasp it or figure it out.)
Instead of any of those witty remarks I explained that knitting was not menial, or demeaning, and to disrespected the work and skills done by generations of past (mostly) women was to disrespect their achievements. Or I tried to. After the third time I was interrupted I not-very-politely suggested that she have intercourse with herself. Repeatedly. In a sideways fashion.
Yeah I was mighty pissed off. There is a long standing tradition of so-called feminists that look down on any activity that was traditionally done by (mostly) women. This attitude is nothing new and I shouldn’t let it get to me. But I did. What can I say? It turns out that wanna-be social justice warriors that try to separate me from my knitting are not my favorite people.
Know this: I have these pointy, psycho-sexual, phallic knitting needles and I will defend my work-in-progress if I have to. So back off.