All dichotomies are false. There I’ve said it.
I was already thinking about the number two yesterday, when I stumbled onto this tweet:
Young vs. old, male vs. female, intuition vs. intellect – Susan Sontag on how stereotypes and polarities imprison us j.mp/18iK65H
Which leads to:
Two Reasons I Don’t Care if Men Knit
1 – June 4, 2006
I really don’t care about men who knit (even though it’s quite a hot topic these days and I’m tech editing a drop-dead gorgeous book on the subject). I don’t think it helps knitting one iota to have men knitting. If there are some men who want to knit, fine. But, really, who cares? Knitting is just as wonderful without them and it has been for centuries. We don’t need men participating in our craft to validate our stitching.
Knitting is a wonderful craft because it is women’s work. I celebrate that fact in my own writing and design work, and I hope that you will join me in celebrating and reveling in the womanliness of knitting. Get out there, knit in public, and let the world know that you are proud to be a woman and to take part in a craft that has often been put down because men don’t join in. As if only the silly things that men do are important! Make something feminine, make something lacy, make something sexy, make something outrageous, make something with a message, make something that turns “women’s work” into a statement of pride and power.
Update: I’m thinking about changing my mind about men knitting. I just saw this thought provoking quote: “If more men knitted, we would have less war.”
2 – Today
Why can’t we all just do what we love? Why do hobbies and jobs and clothes and, well anything, have to be died to what genitals we were born with?
I took metal shop and wood shop in school. It was the first year girls were allowed to sign up for shop classes, and boys were allowed to take home economics. I wasn’t the only girl in shop class, but John D. (of no relation to my dad), was the only boy to take home ec. Today, I’m not even sure if they teach any of those classes in public schools any more. They should. They just shouldn’t segregate them by sex.
If you have a penis and you want to knit or sew or arrange flowers or dance, do it!
If you have a vagina and you want to make furniture, repair cars or motorcycles, watch NASCAR, or play poker, do it!
I could write a book about this, but this is just a short blog post and I have to go edit glove patterns or my tech editor will yell at me. Besides, I can’t say it any better than Susan Sontag did:
A lot of our ideas about what we can do at different ages and what age means are so arbitrary — as arbitrary as sexual stereotypes. I think that the young-old polarization and the male-female polarization are perhaps the two leading stereotypes that imprison people. The values associated with youth and with masculinity are considered to be the human norms, and anything else is taken to be at least less worthwhile or inferior. Old people have a terrific sense of inferiority. They’re embarrassed to be old. What you can do when you’re young and what you can do when you’re old is as arbitrary and without much basis as what you can do if you’re a woman or what you can do if you’re a man.