Fearless Leader says…Attitude Adjustment

Fellow CLFers and crochet enthusiasts we need to chat.

Recently I have had more than one message in my inbox on Ravelry.com talking about the need for we who crochet, to work on a more positive bent. These aren’t people saying we haven’t been done wrong, or misrepresented, these are people who realize that sometimes people have had enough of being done wrong and can sometimes undergo, what is called, a reaction formation and lash out.

The CLF is NOT about lashing out. We are not about wreaking revenge, nor are we about militant crochet acts. The name is just a joke, except for the liberation part.

Almost all liberation or empowerment movements have a time and place in which they can get stuck. The women’s movement (for example) in seeking parity worked off the assumption that since males had the power in society equality meant parody. Parody is not equality, parody is flattery, is copying, but it doesn’t make you equal.

So often we get caught up in the negative, in that  moment of dissention we can not step back long enough to say, hey what does equal really mean? How do I define liberation for myself? How can I liberate myself? Am I really free if I place someone else in chains? Am I really equal when I give up a very essential part of myself in order to appear like the person in power? Merely listing how we been done wrong changes nothing; we all know crochet is treated in an unequal manner by the industry and by folks in general.

That’s one of the reason I post beautiful projects made by crocheters on this blog, to show what we do well. Forget what anyone else thinks about it. To quote a very disadvantaged and persecuted 19th century author, “The best revenge is living well.” You know who he was? Oscar Wilde. Yup, he was thrown into jail on more than one occasion, and well, I love that little pearl of wisdom.

Let us live well CLFers. Let us stop asking to be invited to the party, and make our own party. Who cares what certain other people think of us? Yeah, ignorance hurts, but you know the only way to truly combat ignorance? Education.

Recently on the CLF board there was a thread started that made my blood run cold (as a moderator) the very topic could have caused a huge flame war, and I read the posts with one eye open, hoping I wouldn’t have to put out fires let alone referee a wrestling match. Why did I worry? I should have known better, I watched members of the CLF respond exactly as I would like to see  on our board! With education in mind, not attitude, with good information and kind words, versus anger and ire.

So on the one hand, yes some of us are tired of being put down. Who enjoys being put down? I know I don’t. But, there is not one thing we can do about other people’s opinions. All we can do is check ourselves, our motives, and continue on with our passion for the hook.

Today if you blog, show something you have made, talk about it on it’s own terms, compare it to nothing, apologize for nothing, state your name, rank and age! That’s right, show the world that you can crochet if you are 12 or 22 or 33 or 88, doesn’t matter. Show that what you do IS beautiful, and screw what the rest of the world thinks.

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12 responses to “Fearless Leader says…Attitude Adjustment

  1. Well put. As a member of the LGBT community, we know what marginalization and ignorance can do to a group of people. However… this is not a “fight” by any means. No person is going to take away any human rights or make a crocheter sit in the back of the room.

    Yes, it’s frustrating to not be able to get stitch support from a LYS or yarn company that isn’t aware of the needs of crochet stitchers. But… it’s also not going to end our lives.

    Education is the best bet by far.

    Great job with the post.

    talk to you soon…
    The Shibaguyz

    • Hey guyz!

      In some ways it is still a “fight” though, lots of designers out there have had their incomes practically destroyed by the industry’s lack of understanding and respect. I just know from being a woman, that copying men never did me one bit of good. Worry about the male chauvenists never did me one bit of good. Standing up when necessary is important no matter the issue, but I’ve succeeded best by doing what I do well and not asking for permission.

      Certainly, this is a different situation than that of the LGBT community that is constantly victimiszed in society and in the law. But the successes come because brave people, in any movement, know that to just sit around and bitch and moan won’t make the changes they seek.

      Sometimes being brave just means being who you are without excuses, explanations, comparisons or apology. That’s what I hope we in the CLF can do for crochet this year. We will know we have truly succeeded with the bookstore shelves are full of books promoting our craft in equal numbers to the other crafts out there…

      And yeah, you are right, no one has ever tried to take away our civil rights just because we crochet. That’s a big difference. Thank you for speaking up and out!
      Hook on! Live Long!

  2. I’m thinking the world of crochet (at least in the US, LOL) has turned a corner. The dissing is so clearly out of place, unfair, old, tiresome, and therefore beneath engagement. With the new year I feel ready for something BIG for crochet. It feels past due, so any time is the right time, like NOW. It feels like the future is wide open.

  3. Vashti, once again, right there with you! We ARE crochet, all of us, and we determine our future. The time for asking for permission to join the club is over, we have our club, it’s a great club, and now it’s time for us to showcase what we do.

  4. Wonderfully said on all counts.

  5. Amy (aka Greenwoman)

    I’m with you. And I love Vashti’s comment above also. As irritating as it gets to keep hearing the same tired old myths about crochet, I hope that when confronted with those stereotypes we can educate rather than get defensive. And we don’t need to keep comparing crochet to that other fiber art. There is so much great crochet going on that the industry has got to start taking note if we can just keep putting it out there (and buying the books and magazines etc. to support the great designers). I like your idea of an industry newsletter also. We may have to work hard to prove we are “worthy” of notice. To pick up on your analogy with the women’s movement, women had to prove over and over again that they could do hack it in the classroom or the workplace. It wasn’t good enough to be good enough. They had to be exceptional. It got old and tiresome. But it eventually worked.

    • Yeah, and sadly, we’re at the have to be better than good stage. I went to a trunk show tonight, and even though I know this yarn company has great designs for crochet, only two designs were there and were everything that meet the myths of our craft.

      I was invisible to the yarn rep since I had out my hook and yarn. And I have to say if they would talk about crochet as much as they talk up knitting, they would sell double if not triple the yarn. But as long as reps are out there ignoring us, it won’t happen.

      I will be writing a letter to the company, especially since this particular rep. is an independant contractor that works for several yarn companies. So, I know she wasn’t quoting that yarn company completely (and she also gave misinformation about their products, how do I know? As a hand spinner, I know about the fibers, how they are made, produced, and what manufacturing methods take place to make modern natural synthetics.)

      So, what can I say? We keep up the faith and crochet, crochet, crochet.

      • Amy (aka Greenwoman)

        And speak up like you’re doing with that yarn company! They won’t know what we want from them unless they get feedback. And surely, they’d want to know if the rep is giving out wrong information.

  6. Wow, I SERIOUSLY had no idea there were crochet “haters” out there. My grandma and a friend taught me the basics and I took off from there. Most of my yarny friends (in real life) are actually knitters. I don’t take any flak for my hobby (well, maybe from some of my husband’s male friends who are TRYING to give me hard time about anything, but they don’t matter). 🙂 I tell them I’m more efficient with 1 hook instead of 2 needles. 🙂

    As for my yarny friends, we compare needle/hook sizes and new yarns. My mom works in a fabric store and sews. She uses me as the guinea pig to pick my brain when new yarns come in so she can talk about them with the customers.

    I’m sorry there are so many of you out there who are being bothered by the knitters and the haters out there. Maybe you all need to consider coming out to Virginia’s East Coast. 🙂 Hook on!

    • Yes, yes there indeed are. It’s amazing what humans do, for some reason it doesn’t matter what the “issue”, humans have this need and drive to classify one thing superior versus another. Whether it’s social, or cultural, crochet isn’t special in getting “hate.” It’s just a symptom of the human condition, there are just those humans who have to feel so right, and gain their esteem from belittling others. Dr. Suess had it correctly with the “Sneetches”, you know the star bellies and plain bellies? It’s just kinda like that. And yet, do I really care? Not most days, but it really is hard not to take things personally when folks make it “personal.” That’s what gets up my ire, not for me, but on principle.

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