When we talk about knitting culture, there’s the assumption that it’s a feminine space. Having been a part of various knitting groups from 2010 onwards across four towns/cities and two continents, I’ve got a good sample size to work with, and yes, the majority of the people are women. It seems appropriate then to celebrate International Women’s Day as a part of the knitting community.
Honestly, the whole need for the day is depressing. The fact we need a day on the calendar to remember that women are people too and that feminism is necessary… that doesn’t make me a happy camper. But considering everything that’s going on right now it’s also a really necessary thing, and it’s good to focus people. I’m sure I’m not the only one starting to feel tired of it all, but this isn’t a fight we can abandon.
I don’t just mean women, either. Men need to be a part of this, and other genders too. We’re all equally important.
Though knitting hasn’t always been a feminine thing everywhere, it is considered it today. When I knit, people see me as a girly girl (I am not) or an old woman (I am not). However, when you step outside of the stereotypes of the outside world, the knitting community has one of the most accepting, loving attitudes I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re welcome in the majority of the groups I’ve been to and most of the forums online that I’ve seen.
We need that. We need acceptance of ourselves and others. That’s what I see in International Women’s Day, so let’s celebrate it.
To celebrate in a more general way, I’m now going to include a list of three women who have inspired me in my life, and a little about what they mean to me. It’s amazing to have so many role models and to have people actively trying to get women’s names from history (and from today!) into the mainstream, masculine-dominated culture, so I figure I should share as well.
Yes, I’m starting with an obvious one. I’ve written about why she inspires me before, but here’s the gist of it: she turned her pain into art. No matter what happened to her, she just kept creating amazing things.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This fabulous author has been a vocal participant in today’s intersectional debates, and I love her. Even before I realised how awesome she is I was a big fan of her books. If you don’t know much about her, go look at the TED Talk she did on the danger of a single story, read her ‘We Should All Be Feminists‘ book, or watch her dismantle a racist idiot from a few weeks ago (above). Oh, and here’s a recent interview I just found where she continues to be a huge inspiration.
This author is, well, a little different. The books she puts out there are like nothing I’ve ever read before. I started with The Mirror Empire and its sequel, Empire Ascendant. After that, I read Geek Feminist Revolution. That should give you an idea of why I like her. Then last month I read The Stars Are Legion which is a science fiction book with zero men in it, and is apparently one big metaphor for abortion. Kameron Hurley does not do things in an expected way and even when she makes you uncomfortable (or totally grossed out), her work is fascinating.