Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hard to believe

I was reading blogs today and came across Franklin's The Panopticon. I couldn't believe it. I thought that we, as a society, had come further than that.

When I taught kids to knit at school, I had girls and boys knitting. Parents were thrilled. One even sent me a note at the end of the year telling me how awesome it was that I could interest 7 year old boys in knitting enough for them to voluntarily give up recesses.

I only had one tiny problem with the parents of a six year old boy who expressed concern that the other kids might tease their son if he learned to knit. I sent a reassuring note back home that there were plenty of male knitters at school but they still resisted until their own son pleaded with them that he really, really wanted to join knitting club.

Exactly how does knitting make a boy or man less masculine? They are learning a set of skills that produce something amazing and they are finding a way to relax as a bonus.

We think we've come a long way as women in our society. How did the men not get included in the new mindset? Oh, I know that men are better daddies now and are involved with things that are traditionally seen as feminine roles. And I know that there are many of us who believe that there are no standard male/female roles. But this one incident that Franklin describes shows us that there is still a long way to go.


ColorJoy LynnH said...

Thanks for the link, I left him a comment. Luckily there are fewer people like that every day. The world changes one person at a time.

I, too, teach kids. The role model for my 3rd graders is an African boy who learned his first week in the US, when he was still so culture-shocked that he didn't speak a word (though he knew English). Now whatever he makes (right now, mauve wristwarmers) is what all the other kids want to make.

I'm happy that youth will be here when we are gone. Things change slowly but they do change.

HaveFaith said...

There are always people who think that what "they" have to say is so important that they never listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We are supposed to listen twice as much as we speak. It sounds like the lady had an "agenda" and really didn't care about anything except expressing her point of view. How sad!

Jody said...

When my son was a little boy he was interested in sewing (he sewed a red pillow for my mom that she still has) and crochet. Now that he is 21 he would never do those things unfortunately.
It's silly really because when I gave birth I had a male nurse and what about men cooks?

Lynn said...

I don't get it either. Comments like that make me nuts. And I agree with the comments in the blog of how it had nothing to do with her ministry. Where in the bible does it say Boys shall not knit?? I guess men cant do dishes or cook either. Poor boys, I guess we don't want to train them to be able to take care of themselves.

Lovs2Knit said...

I actually had to stop to go read the blog post. I'm reading down my list in alphabetical order. :)

It makes me sick to think that there are people out there in this world that think like that. I'm not naive enough to think that there aren't bigots but it's still sickening when you come across them. Well shoot, I've been doing thing wrong because I let my girls wear pants, play with cars & trucks and do other boy things....must rip all those fun things away and tell my girls that they were made for having babies, cooking, and cleaning. Franklin dealt with that woman way better then I would have!

Wasn't knitting originally done by guys? I read that somewhere....must go google it to see if it's true. ;)

My Qi and Me said...

Shame, shame on Franklin for perpetuating attitude that harms.
Thank-you for sharing your awareness with all of us.
I am touched by ColourJoy LynnH's comments. Awed in fact.
One of my dear young friends has come back from a three month stay in Kenya (she was doing a research project). She is homesick for Africa. After only a three month stay!!
So, it is small wonder the little African lad had culture-shock.
I love that those of you that teach are sharing this skill with the little ones.
Knitting helps with good mental health in addition to all the obvious artistic and skill based benefits.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. My comment left out part of a sentence and I didn't preview before I posted the comment.
My sentence was supposed to read
"Shame shame on the lady Franklin met for..."
It didn't say that and I posted without checking.
Shame, shame on me.