Why I don’t care if men knit…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.”
There are a lot of knitting charities out there, and I will continue to cover a variety on this site. But my main focus is on women’s issues and charities that help women improve their lives and overcome oppression and discrimination. When I as about 10, I thought I had to change my name to a boy’s name, cut my hair short, and wear boy’s clothes to acheieve “women’s lib.” When I was a teenager and in my 20s, I naively thought that the women’s liberation movements of earlier decades had succeeded and that we women were actually equal to men. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how far from our goals of true equality we actually are. Reading my regular news and blog sites this morning, reminded me about why I want this site to focus on women’s issues. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15-44. There are nearly three times as many animal shelters in the United States as there are shelters for battered women and their children. 37% of women who sought treatment in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries in 1994 were injured by an intimate partner. Nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood. During the Vietnam War 58,000 American soldiers were killed. During the same time, 51,000 American women were killed by the men who professed to love them. 45% of battered women live in households with children under the age of 12.6. Boys who witness their fathers’ violence are 10 times more likely to engage in spouse abuse in later adulthood than boys from non-violent homes. 50% of homeless women and children are fleeing domestic abuse. As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. Only about 15% of all domestic assaults are reported to the police. Female victims of domestic violence are 6 times less likely to report crime to law enforcement as female victims of stranger violence. (For more info and sources for this information, see the full article on Daily Kos.) For these reasons and more, 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 revelling 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.