|"Why that's a lovely cloak, young page. Did you knit it yourself?" "Yes, sire, I did. Thanks for noticing."|
This article (cough) in the Huffington Post gave me pause for thought. In a bad way. Actually, in an acid reflux kind of way. For those of you not keen on reading the article, allow me to give you a biassed synopsis (let's call it artistic licence. More about that to come.) Essentially, the (female) writer bemoans the state of the blogosphere as a reflection of the death of feminism. We women shouldn't be wasting our words on stuff like knitting (guilty) or cupcakes (guilty), but learning how to do "useful" (cough) stuff like shooting people and creating shelters for the zombie apocalypse. Basically: aspire to being a deranged male character from a Bruce Willis B-movie. Because this, it would seem, is equality. Not being women, but being women-trying-to-be-men in a way that most men would probably find alienating (i.e. if the zombie apocalypse should come, do not rely on Mr Gingerbread for protection.)
In a strop of twisted-knickersery, the writer chirps: "we've lost that righteous indignation born of centuries of oppression. And take it from me, ladies, we're not fully equal yet." Gawsh. Such wise words from a woman whose previous journalistic contributions seem to primarily be in the sugary-pink world of female erotica (turgid nipples and tumescent members anyone?) and books about teenage witches. What saddens me about articles like this is the link they make to the Bayeux Tapestry in my head. Yes, my head looks like the inside of a bag of wool: there are lots of knots and tenuous links and a whole heap of yarn barf. Let me tell you about the Bayeux Tapestry and me...
The Bayeux Tapestry is a 68-metre-long (that's 224 feet, for those of you who like it Imperial) embroidered cloth that depicts events surrounding the Norman invasion of England. It's a very interesting piece on many levels and, in so far as one could feel pity for an inanimate object, I always felt sorry for it. See, it always seemed to be more famous for what it depicted than for its own artistic value. (It shows ... an army! Big horses! Lances, swords, shields! Knights! Kings! Men getting ready to beat the living daylights out of each other!) And this disrespect, I felt, was due to its medium. Had some old geezer painted it on a wall somewhere in the 11th century, it would be Art. But as it was made by a bunch of women, like, sitting around yacking and, like, sewing, it fell into the dirty ditch between Art and (snooty sniff) crafts. And thus, for a long time its value seemed to lie in what it portrayed (= Men Doing Stuff), not in its composition or rendering (= women doing stuff).
That's why articles like this by so-called feminists make me (and a lot of genuine feminists) feel very sad. It devalues someone's artistic output, based on their gender. If we're "closest to heaven in a garden," why shouldn't one blog about it? If the writer of that article had ever made a cupcake like this:
|My sister Bláithín's true medium: baked goods|
Essentially, I'm tough. I'm the main breadwinner in my home. I can tile a wall. I can lay a laminate floor. And I have five brothers, so I could probably take that missy down in one-to-one combat, if need be (though, of course, my scrapper days are over and I would rather not.) And I knit and crochet and make cupcakes - and I would garden if I had one and plants didn't wither under my fingers. That doesn't make me any less of a feminist, it makes me more of a capable and well-rounded person. Frankly, that's what I'm aiming to be.
I wonder if that's enough righteous indignation?
And now, spleen vented, back to the crochet:
this is a Babette-inspired blanket. I just had a heap of scraps left over from my last Réalta, so I just crocheted squares of different sizes and sewed them on as I went along. The result was a monster blanket that showed no sign of ever being completed till, with an enormous effort of will and a lot of maths, I formed it into a rectangle and finished it off. Never, ever again.
P.S.: just started the next one