Thursday, April 17, 2008

Womanly knitting – a celebration of liberation

If you are a woman knitter, do you celebrate your womanly knitting? A work friend recently told me about a conversation with a group of mothers she knows. They talked about how they don’t hide their public knitting for fear of seeming too girly, matronly, or grandmotherly. I know what they mean.

I was born in 1950 and came of age as a women during the era of Women’s Lib. Does anyone use that term anymore? Do we still need liberating? Perhaps from ourselves…

I was a very liberated young woman and learned how to exist and thrive in the heavy-duty man’s world of manufacturing. I learned how to be damn tough and hide my femaleness. I learned how to like and talk sports, how to cuss (my pals will tell you I excel at cussing), how to put up with crap and dish it out, and generally, how to act male.

I make no judgment on if it is “better” to be male or female. I love hanging with men because I love to tease, debate, and challenge. I wasn’t so good in my 20s and 30s on hanging with women. I wasn’t good at the social protocol needed to get along in female packs. I was uncomfortable with the rules and I just plain didn’t want to learn them.

As I got older I discovered the sheer pleasure in the company of women. I learned not to compare women’s way to men’s ways but to simply accept the value of womanly camaraderie. I also learned how to get along. I largely have my Ohio pals to thank for this. They accepted me as is and slowly drew me into their band. They taught me their ways.

All but knitting, that is. I drew the line at knitting. They all knitted like fanatics but I resisted because it was too girly for me. When I finally tried knitting (and became infatuated) I hid my knitting from people in my daily life. No kntterly talk on the golf course. No K2tog at work. No yarn chitchat in social groups.

It wasn’t until I was solidly captivated by the calming, creative experience of knitting that I accepted with great pride that I AM A KNITTER AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT. Hmmmm, seems kind of manly to shout about it.

1 comment:

beverlyanne said...

GAC, GAC, LOL. I am laughing at your priceless comment. Your post is another, more serious, matter. In our youth women were supposed to be a certain way which I translated as wimpy and narrow minded. I wanted to be stronger than that. But as far as liking to be around men, I think that goes along with a sexual preference. Now that the childbearing years are over I am mentally more free to appreciate women's company, and I do. In other words, I think that there is a biological component here, and the evolution is part of the aging process.