But I’m writing my monograph (kind of a dissertation) at the moment. It’s all about participatory and relational art and it’s relationship and relevance to Craftivism, women in the gallery space and craft in general.
I’d love to get an outside opinion, so would anyone like to give it a go of reading it?
(I know its a long shot! I’m not asking you to do my work for me, I just want some opinions and suggestions of books/artists to look at =] )
Thanks for all the people who commented! Got some really great comments and feedback, here’s some of my favorites:
“I don’t knit. Never learned to. But I can tell you that I would have ripped into any child making homophobia statements like that for ANY reason. And where the hell are the parents on this? They need to learn to raise their kid with more respect. I would have asked that parent to leave and not come back. Homophobia is NOT welcome.” (marching duck)
“My grandfather owned a wool and haberdashery store which he passed on to my father. My grandfather had 11 kids. Certainly no lack of heterosexuality there! They also passed on their button addiction to me. (seriously, I’m certain it’s hereditary)
My Dad closed down his store and then went to work in a fabric and craft store and received so many homophobic and ignorant comments from women over the years it’s saddening.” (Kawaiimon)
“There is no correlation between knitting and gay sex. And if there is a magical correlation between handling two needles and handling a penis, you should talk to all the WWII and other veterans who have knit overseas. I bet you’ll love what they can teach you. I like penis because I’m gay, not because I knit. Learn causality, dumb-ass.” (moxious)
“Very interesting read. Most, if not all of the earliest knitters through out history were men. I get quite irritated when someone says how “domesticated” or “matronly” I look when I knit in public.” (Amubleu)
“Crimes against logic aside, I once knew a guy at my university radio station who was known to be a knitter. He always had his knitting needles in hand at station meetings, he’d always be making something. No one gave him shit for it, it was awesome. He was very good at it. He taught a lot of the girls (and some guys) at the station how to do it. It was what he was known for. That and being very very tall.” (nerdychicas)
“ I think seeing a man knitting is kind of sexy. It shows he’s not afraid to delve into something that is stereotypically female, along the lines of a man washing dishes or taking care of a baby.” (Tlchristina)
“My high school yearbook “most likely to be” says “living in a rest home” as my peers considered crafts something which only old people did. But at university I have found more support. Sometimes my guy friends make me pom poms for my hats :D” (Heartbreakershandbook)
“I’m from rural, southern Georgia and my Granny refused to let any of her 5 boys leave her home without knowing at least one fiber craft to keep their hands busy. She was born in 1918. My Daddy was born in 1955. Why is this still an issue for people?” (Shipsandshows)
“If a guy wants to knit, I don’t even see what the problem is. Tailors were men. Those fancy tapestries that people ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over? Mainly woven by men. Men have been working in textiles for centuries, so these ‘boys’ better get a clue.” (Langistudios)
“This is something I really can’t understand about this false notion of “masculinity”. Men can’t knit/crochet/do any sort of craft because women do it? Because they’ll be gay for it? Last I heard, gay meant being attracted to other men, not doing something that’s perceived as “feminine”. You must be miserable and insecure to put down someone for something they like to do. You just can’t handle that times are a-changin’, huh?
Or maybe that guy was just jealous of his bitchin’ knitting skills. Who knows.” (Starlighmayfly)
“That guy is still arrogant and perhaps you were the person to show him the light :) Also, when I hear of guys learning to knit or do other craft like things, my eyebrow raises but at the same time my mind thinks, “That’s sexy.” Craft on, men!” (Karipotterforlife)
“I find the idea that people think men shouldn’t crafts as offensive as I find the idea that women shouldn’t be involved in/have knowledge of sports. Who cares what your gender is? Do what you enjoy.” (Professionalbotherer)
“Art, crafting, hobbies… none of them are gender specific. We create for the love of it and for the expressiveness it allows us. (If that makes sense..) Sometimes we knit just to knit, to make a gift, to keep busy… whether you be a she or he!” (Artsyfartsymom)
“There’s nothing wrong with a guy knitting, or doing any craft, regardless of his sexual identity. It’s a fun and rewarding past time, why can’t they join in on the fun?” (Kirstielovesart)
“(as a female) I got a LOT of this while working at a craft store. The guys that worked there were super insecure about it. But it’s only grabbing teachable moments like this that will stop it, so good on you!” Darlingcunt
“I’m thinking I really want to try teaching my 5 year old nephew (whom I babysit four days a week) to knit but I’m worried his dad would get angry at me.
I’m careful to never press gender roles onto him and let him do what he wants. If he wants to play with his little sister’s barbies or color in her My Little Pony coloring books, that’s fine with me. Sometimes when we play at the park, he wants to pretend he’s a girl, but then he changes his mind, even if I’m supportive and act like it’s no big deal.
I think he has the right personality and attention to detail to learn to knit, and enjoy it. But his dad seems to get really uncomfortable whenever his son displays any sort of “feminine” behavior. Even if it’s just hugging his best friend after school.
My boyfriend cross stitches and he’s very secretive about it (with his family). I can understand why. Gender roles are deeply ingrained in their psyche and homosexuality is an uncomfortable subject. I try hard to encourage him to do things he enjoys and to not be ashamed of it. I wish he would learn to knit, but he has a really hard time grasping the concept. Too bad! I think it’s so sexy when men can knit.” (Briana) It’s good that you’re not imposing gender roles on him =] And lets hope that one day people will give up on such an outdated idea!