21 August 2011

Dissing ms Aloi

Have you read ms Aloi's rant about we who knit, stitch and blog ?
Well ... just in case you haven't, follow the link.
I would have liked to comment directly to ms Aloi on the HuffPost site, but frankly, giving HuffPost free access to all my information, including my address-book, is not something I want to do. Instead, I'm doing the next-best thing. I am writing my very own counter-rant on my own, crafty blog.

- - -

When I cut out a new pattern for sewing, I use my great-aunt's scissors. She was a seamstress, and kept both herself, her (unmarried) younger sister and their mother well provided for all her adult life by plying the needle and keeping the upper crust of her town well and fashionably dressed.
I have my mother's pincushion displayed in pride of place; she was a prolific writer in her scholarly field, and brought up a large brood of children, most of whom were not 'by her belly'.
I have my aunt's sewing-box and a good deal of her knitting-needles; she too was a tough, self-reliant female, who spent her life educating young mothers.

Coming from a line of bad-ass women, who did not need empty posturing to make themselves heard or seen, has - I must admit - given me a less than tolerant view of people (disregarding gender), who out of hand dismiss the lives of these women and the way they chose to express themselves at the end of the day.

I am a pastor, a university teacher, hold a ph.d. in a seriously scary scholarly subject, am the mother of two teens, and a wife, freind, neighbour and counsellor as well. I do not waste my time making perfunctory and juvenile statements about immaterial subjects (like super-heroes or vampires), I spend the time I call my own, by creating things that are beautiful to my eyes, and sharing them with my freinds all over the world.

I can wrap myself in one of my aunt's beautiful lace shawls, knitted in the evenings after long days of work, or lay out my mother's embroidered place-mats, or fold my great-aunt's beautiful, monogrammed white-work napkins, that are only used on special occasions, and when I do, I feel a deep connection to these women, just as I do when I cut out a pattern, put a pin in the pin-cushion or cast on a new pair of socks on my aunt's pins.

If you, ms Aloi, consider yourself a feminist, consider too, that being female and being a feminist, is not about being male. It is not about just turning the tables and showing male superheroes posing like female ones. It is about finding a voice. A voice and a place where you, as a woman, can be you, and are empowered.

Your voice - sadly - seems scornful, juvenile, narrow-minded and ignorant, just as you seem to be basing your evaluation of female worth on whether or not a given female is buying into the male way of expression. I do not need to reduce my life and my opinions in that way.

... and 'ignorant' ?
'The Killing' is not originally Swedish, it is originally Danish. And yes, there is a difference. I know the two countries are very close in many, many ways (just think of the myriad of wars that have been fought between them), but they are still not identical. Try looking both up on Google Maps or Wikipedia.

... and Jane Austen is one of the most brilliant authors of any age, whose elegant prose continues to run little circles around her readers, disregarding the subject-matter; it boggles my mind to think you can praise Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood and not recognize the wicked, subversive brilliance behind a statement like this:
"The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in women than ignorance."
J. Austen "Northanger Abbey" chapter 14


martha said...

Dear Tilde. You are a marvel:)

Mary Beth Ticknor said...

Well said!!

Mitt lille rosa syrom said...

I just read the post and the comments; - you are a wonder with words, Tilde!

Cathi said...

Brilliantly written!

Susan In Texas said...

Amen, Sister. Awesome response. How unliberating is it that Ms Aloi thinks my quilting and embroidery somehow detracts from my BS in nuclear engineering from NU. I thought the whole point of being liberated was having choices!

Susan in Texas

zenquilter said...

Excellent response Tilde. I'm feeling a need to go do my daily "Tilde thread" on my Dear Jane quilt that incorporates fabrics from my Grandma's and Mom's stashes and from my recently deceased husband's shirts, my healing quilt.

Anonymous said...

thus spake zarastilde!

Sherry W said...

Amen, well said!!

Laura said...

I have just returned from a weekend of camping (is that masculine or feminine) and I am catching up on blogs. I appreciate your response, Tilde, and the responses that I read over on the Huff site. No woman I know, and I know a few, would hold such fictional characters as the author suggests, as role models, either for self or for our daughters and grandaughters. Hobbies, which are not in and of themselves a part of character, or able to define character, but are rather means to relaxation and proven stress reducers. Especially quilting. So...I'm gonna go have fun and finish a baby quilt that I am making for a grandbaby.

Bev in TX said...

Right on!