Tuesday

Beating the Drum


I just visited a site that shall remain nameless for reasons that will become abundantly clear in a moment. Said site contains a lot of saber rattling about men being the inventors of a certain craft and even goes as far as lightly bashing a well known female author for inaccuracies pertaining to the history of said craft. To which I say: C'mon guys, let's not and say we did, okay? Why do we need to own something in order to feel good about doing it? Are we so insecure that we need to take it out on the fine female craftspeople that surround us, just to make ourselves feel better? I hope not, because these are the very women who have patiently taught me how to do everything I know how to do with a needle and thread, sewing machines and knitting needles. They have done so with a ton of generosity and without an ounce of judgment. To repay them with a bunch of hoo-ha about who invented what and rhetoric about men taking back the art form is a little more than insulting, dontcha think?. These are the very women that, on a daily basis, are filling chat rooms, saying how they wish more men would craft. These women are the ones who are inviting us in, not slamming the door. They are the ones leading the charge for gender blindness in crafting. They are on your side, gentlemen. Get hip.

11 comments:

  1. can't help but be curious about this mystery "man" craft.

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  2. Has to do with fishing, originally.

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  3. fishing crafts! i wouldn't have guessed in a million years. thanks for the post (and hint).

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  4. Great post. I agree, women are inviting men in, not being exclusive but rather very inclusive. It's a shame that it is being thrown back in our face.

    My father made a few fishing poles about 20 years ago...including some intricate thread weaving to hold the line guides on the pole (not sure off hand what this is called or if it even has a name). I'm pretty sure that isn't the craft you are referring to in your post or comments but thanks for reminding me about my dad's craftiness...I had forgotten about the fishing poles.

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  5. Jen, Jared - Thanks for the comments. Jen - You make me want to learn that DadCraft. I wonder what it was.

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  6. Totally agree Paul... would said site have anything to do delving into the history of the craft, sailors, and how nets were made?

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  7. I hate to be the crank in all this, but I have witnessed--many, many times--female crafters be less than welcoming toward my husband, an accomplished sewer and screenprinter. While most people are welcoming, it's happened enough that I simply can't believe that all women are welcoming to men who are interested in exploring craft. The worst is in retail settings. There's only one fabric shop in Portland he'll shop at because at all the rest he is ignored or greeted with an eye roll, like he's an interloper. While he lets it roll off his back, it very much upsets me to witness that happening.

    I'm also not convinced that "gender-blind" is necessarily the best thing. Gender informs so much of our experience as we navigate this world, it's hard to imagine what gender blindness would look and feel like. In my graduate research, I became very interested in gender and needle arts in traditional Irish communities, and came to believe that the lens of gender is critical. (A telling aside, my department forbade me from writing my thesis on this topic--because they saw "craft" as not "significant enough." That was ten years ago.)

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  8. Sarah, great points. I don't think you're a crank at all. First, I don't think either side of the gender equation should be eyerolling. My original point did chastise the boys for bad behavior, but bad behavior is bad behavior and there's no excuse for it. Second, totally agree about the lens of gender. I never think any kind of homogenization is good. I guess the blindness I'm referring to here is a form of respect and acceptance. Not advocating anything else really. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    P

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