To all the men out there who want to craft,
We see you. You watch how we knit. You look at craft shops. You ask us what that is that we’re doing. Occasionally you confuse embroidery and crochet. And we know that if you were given the chance, you could make great things just like we do.
The problem, of course, is that you’ve been told your entire lives that crafting- at least, the crafts that don’t involve wood or welding or leather- are something women do. It’s reinforced even by women. And you’ve been told that anything ‘feminine’ is somehow weak, ‘unmanly’, that you’re less of a person if you, as a man, try it love it, do it.
It’s not true. And this is one of the many ways the patriarchy is hurting you. It tells you that there are ‘women’s’ things and ‘men’s’ things, and it locks you into a pigeonhole based on what’s between your legs.
But you have a choice. You can let it lock you into your rigidly constricted role, or you can break out of it. You can pursue your interests, regardless of whether your Grandma or your Grandad was the one who used to do what you want to do. You can ignore the haters.
Feminism, which you may well have been taught to look on with fear and suspicion, is on your side in this. As a feminist, I want to see a world where men and women are equal, and free to go after whatever aspirations they have for what they want to do, to be, to learn, without being told that their gender is a reason not to do it. I want to see a world where men AND women can have a go at the crafts I love.
Knitting groups made up of all genders, all bonding over a shared love of their craft.
Men proudly showing off the shirt they sewed themselves at work- or indeed the dress!
Men and women both busying themselves creating handmade gifts for loved ones.
Guys complaining about the girlfriend sweater curse.
Expectant fathers preparing for the arrival of a new baby by making clothes and quilts for them, and later scrapbooking photos of their family.
Men frantically hiding the new stash they just bought because they weren’t supposed to buy any more yarn.
Complaining they don’t have enough time to finish all their Christmas crafting.
Admittedly it would make yarn sales all the more cutthroat, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
Crafters need feminism. EVERYBODY needs feminism. But most especially the people who think that they can’t do something just because of their gender. We’re here to tell you that actually, yes, you can.
And you should.