It is no secret that I am a feminist, or as I like to call myself a Neo-Feminist. Why the “neo”?
Because, I think the original movement was important, but instead of creating a real equality where women were viewed as valuable members of society equal due to the fact of their humanity, the matra became that we could be “like” men. That attitude just doesn’t turn me on.
I was a 1980’s teenager, so not only did I get the indoctrination that unless you wore a power suit with power heels you were a nobody, I also got told I could be “super-mom”, “have it all”, and that if I took on the masculine power system I would be the “perfect” woman. I tried it on, went to college, did a bit of ball busting, became an executive, got married, had kids, worked 16 hr days, had a nanny, was one of the pretty people, Prada Hallowed Be Thy Name, had a pretty pretty husband, ball busted some more, proved I could run departments, and divisions, bring home plenty of bacon, kept my crocheting and embroidery a secret, and found myself mentally and spiritually exhausted.
By the time I was 25, I knew that something had to give, and if I didn’t figure it out what was going to give was me.
What does this have to do with crochet? What does this have to do with feminism? Lots.
Traditional Feminine handcrafts, or “gentle pursuits” if you want to put into 19th century terms,
were thrown to the way side, seen as non-important and symbols of repression. So that our old stand by magazines that used to have lovely tips and hints for women on all kinds of subjects (such as Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, Family Circle…etc) now just run articles on how to work 12 hrs and still have good sex. They also promote the tired stereotypes of women who look good all the time, because God-Forbid we age at all, because our attractiveness is above all our greatest asset! Hold on a minute? What happened to feminism?
So, I have to be tough as nails, exhausted, a sexual siren, own false tits, have zero stretch marks, bust balls, can’t create pretty things with my own two hands, have perfect kids with perfect teeth, and have no crows feet? In the words of Fee from the book “Blessed are the Cheese Makers”, Feck that.
We, my friends, have been sold a bill of goods, and we have bought it. With cold hard visa cards.
Guess what? We all get old, natural tits and asses do sag, and it is the most human thing in the world to create. Create with our hands, create with our bodies, that is what women (and men) do. Period, we create, and that should be something in which we revel, and it should be lauded from the roof tops.
As women in traditional roles we do have power, a different kind of power, not saying that them were the good old days, cause they weren’t. But we didn’t need to throw the female baby out with the bath water.
Crochet and all other hand crafts have taken a hit because they were associated with being a feminine pursuit, an entire generation chose not to do handwork because it was seen as a symbol or our repression. Just like cooking went the way of the dodo…Come on, cooking is NOT hard people. Cooking over a wood stove is a challenge, and um last I checked most of us don’t have wood stoves any more, and most of us do have washing machines (which make life considerably easier than a wash tub, I know I’ve used one) but all of the fabulous things that make life on a daily basis happen fall into that very self same category of: Women’s Work.
Say it: Women’s Work.
I bet you say it some how without pride, and with some kind of negative tone.
Now say it happy: Women’s Work.
Say it louder…WOMEN’S WORK!
The mega corps and investment companies are benefitting from our “modern” woman status, they have us convinced that to make things for ourselves is both old fashioned, and arduous. Wanna know why? Cause that way they don’t make a dime from their factories in third world countries exploiting our brothers and sisters who are doing “women’s work” for a dime a day (oooh maybe a whole dollar), so we can pay for shoddily made clothes in inferior fabrics, cheaply.
I know I may not win the battle or even the war on this one, but people, be proud of your creative abilities, be proud of being moms, grandmoms, executives, SAHMs, Working out of the House Moms, what ever you are, not moms, single, married, or other, same sex, different sex, omni sexual…and men too, be proud you craft with your hands. But for some reason when men do it it’s either cute, cuddly, or sexy…Frankly, my husband finds it really sexy when I crochet, which is good, cause I do it all the time. (Oh and he likes my sagging tits and ass too, but maybe he’s just perverse.)
The key is, as long as we buy the bullshit, they sell it. All it costs? Our collective human souls.