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Washington Post article about the New Domesticity


lilah

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i'm in a knitting group where every single woman considers herself a feminist (we have two men as well). we talk about lots of things... from sex to politics, make up to economics.

there is a whole knitting movement (and of course the other domestic arts) that basically says that just because something is traditionally considered "women's work" doesn't mean it holds any less value than "men's work." knitting, crocheting, scrap booking, gardening are all creative pursuits that are enjoyed independent of what kind of degrees your hold or how you choose to live your life.

fundies seem to view "women's work" as exclusive privilege of the oppressed walking uteruses. i always think its funny, because most of us could beat most of them when it comes to crafts and funny enough we all found time for careers as well ;)

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I work, I keep a huge garden, I can extensively, like meat stuff, I bake, I like to sew, but don't find the time much, and manage to raise my kid. I want to make my own soap, started saving meat fat for that too. And I wear pants. ;) Cuss a lot too. I've

even been known to spit. I also find gay male porn hot.

Yea, I'm a fundie prototype LOL.

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Let's see, I have a regular 40 hour a week job. But I have two spinning wheels (I can only use one at a time, natch) and spun dozens of balls of yarn this year. I counted today and I crocheted something like 25 neckwarmers or scarves to give people for Christmas. People loved that I thought of them in this way.

I don't hear any Fundies talk about spinning their thread/yarn. Maybe they should learn, and then keep in mind that until the Industrial Revolution, the only way you got yarn or thread was to handspin it. Not only that, for most of human history, the spindle was the way wool/cotton/flax, etc., was spun. Spinning wheels were around *maybe* 400 years before being replaced.

There are still people who spindle spin as part of their way of life, such as the Navajo women who weave rugs and the Quechua/Aymara speaking women of the Andes. Me, I spin on a wheel because it's very soothing and I want to keep my hands busy.

I'd love to push a spindle or sit Doug the Tool down at a spinning wheel and say, "yep, let's go back to 1700. Here ya go. Time to make the yarn that makes your clothes."

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Let's see, I have a regular 40 hour a week job. But I have two spinning wheels (I can only use one at a time, natch) and spun dozens of balls of yarn this year. I counted today and I crocheted something like 25 neckwarmers or scarves to give people for Christmas. People loved that I thought of them in this way.

I don't hear any Fundies talk about spinning their thread/yarn. Maybe they should learn, and then keep in mind that until the Industrial Revolution, the only way you got yarn or thread was to handspin it. Not only that, for most of human history, the spindle was the way wool/cotton/flax, etc., was spun. Spinning wheels were around *maybe* 400 years before being replaced.

There are still people who spindle spin as part of their way of life, such as the Navajo women who weave rugs and the Quechua/Aymara speaking women of the Andes. Me, I spin on a wheel because it's very soothing and I want to keep my hands busy.

I'd love to push a spindle or sit Doug the Tool down at a spinning wheel and say, "yep, let's go back to 1700. Here ya go. Time to make the yarn that makes your clothes."

You never hear them talk about weaving or dyeing either. (I have several looms, too many sewing machines, three spinning wheels, plus a few kinds of critters, and a full time job. No headship here, and I own my own house to boot... I probably could outsew most of them and make more accurate historical clothing on top of it. I also have a garden and do a lot of canning and dehydrating in the summer/fall.)

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I've made my own clothes off and on, maternity dresses and the like. They were very simple ( fundies would have loved em LOL) cause I'm not that great at it, but they were wearable. At one time, I made a little outfit for my then 2 year old daughter with a little jacket and pillbox hat, just like I would have made barbie clothes as a kid, by just snipping and sewing what looked like what I wanted it to do - not correct method, but cute. I have a 70's Kenmore machine that needs to go to the shop, and an early electric singer Featherweight that I learned on, and still works.

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I'm an evil lesbian feminist and I do embroidery, cross-stitch, jewellery-making, sewing... all kinds of feminine crafty things they seem to mistakenly believe is their exclusive domain. A lot of my cross-stitches are video game-based, so I guess they can still rag on me for that.

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Just an addition after reading the article. I never saw these things as being lost. My grandmother was my biggest fan in encouraging my need to do these things. I actually think I was channeling her a little this summer in my pickling and jamming endeavors. My grandma gave me my first loom, she would save boxes of fabric scraps for me when I was little. My knitting and spinning groups include people from my grandmother's peers (in their 80's) down to people in their 20's and everything in between. The article doesn't ring true for the world I've lived in.

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I'm a feminist lesbian (double evil points!) and I love to crochet. I usually make catnip toys for my cats. I also like to knit, cross-stitch, and cook/bake. Fundies can bite me with their "feminists want to be men and hate all things domestic" crap.

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I am another evil liberal feminist! I love to garden! I grow for example berries, apples, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, lettuce, radishes, cauliflower and herbs. I taught myself how to use a sewing machine again after years of forgetting everything I learnt in mandatory Home Ec in grades 7 and 8.

My younger sister who is getting her PhD in science at a heathen Ivy League school recently took up knitting and crocheting. All she wanted for Christmas was yarn, needles and other supplies.

If fundies actually talked to those outside their bubble they might find that a lot of people are keeping up with crafts and other things. People may not have the same amount of time to devote to jam making as a SAHD but neither did my great grandmothers. They were too busy working on the farms or in factories.

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an early electric singer Featherweight that I learned on, and still works.

Long live the featherweights. (they weren't singer's earliest electrics, but they were the first machines that were portables that actually were light enough to be portable.) I've got a 1939 featherweight, and it's my "going to a sewing group or class" machine, since the rest of my machines are either treadles or MUCH heavier than that little one.

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There are however a HUGE group of Fundies that do all that and more, they also judge most people they don't think are as "good" as them, and they can be found at homesteadingtoday.com.

My Mother and I both work, raise huge gardens, raise chickens and can almost anything imaginable! Mother can sew anything, I cannot, but I can set fence posts and shoot varmits...ha ha!

I don't honestly think it has so much to do with domesticity as the want and need for REAL food and real clothing and a more real life! I have friends who are early 30 somethings who lived city lives, but they now have a goat dairy and support themselves making and selling cheese at local farmers markets.

Jeez, I hope this post makes sense, I sound like a moron!!

M.

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There are however a HUGE group of Fundies that do all that and more, they also judge most people they don't think are as "good" as them, and they can be found at homesteadingtoday.com.

My Mother and I both work, raise huge gardens, raise chickens and can almost anything imaginable! Mother can sew anything, I cannot, but I can set fence posts and shoot varmits...ha ha!

I don't honestly think it has so much to do with domesticity as the want and need for REAL food and real clothing and a more real life! I have friends who are early 30 somethings who lived city lives, but they now have a goat dairy and support themselves making and selling cheese at local farmers markets.

Jeez, I hope this post makes sense, I sound like a moron!!

M.

How many chickens do you have? My city is currently debating allowing people to keep chickens in their backyards, so I am curious. Do they ever smell? I've only ever been to commercial chicken operations and don't know what its like on a smaller scale.

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I had a flock of 24 that I kept in a henhouse on my daughter's ex boyfriend's grandfather's place down the road. When they broke up, it was like a custody battle over the chickens. Ended up having to get rid of them to stop the drama.

They will get smelly in hot weather if you don't clean them out , like any other pet with feces. However, the eggs make it worth it. We got 6-10 a day out of the 12 adult comets, the other 12 were either half grown chicks or fancy birds.

They are a lot of fun, and I would have brought them home if our landlord wasn't such a douche. Said they'd ruin the lawn ( we live on over an acre, surrounded by cornfields). Yeah, right. This is SUCH a ritzy suburb ( NOT!)

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How many chickens do you have? My city is currently debating allowing people to keep chickens in their backyards, so I am curious. Do they ever smell? I've only ever been to commercial chicken operations and don't know what its like on a smaller scale.

Eclipse, we live in the country, on a farm that has been in my family since 1872! My Mother, her Cousin and I share a flock of chickens and as of yesterday we have 52 Chickens, one died of old age. Yes they can smell, but with proper coop cleaning they don't. Our chickens free range on a 1/4 of an acre and during the summer eat mostly bugs, grass, fallen fruit and kitchen scraps, even meat and eggs. I do know plenty of people who have three to five hens in town however and they do quite well. Check out Madison, WI, one of the few big cities that allows back yard chickens.

http://madcitychickens.com/

PM me if you have more questions or would like more links to backyard poultry!

Peace,

M.

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I was shocked to see such a long line at the fabric cutting table at Joanns recently.

Part of me wonders if the resurgence of these crafts has to do with the economy. Many of these crafts (knitting, crocheting, latch hook rug, cross-stitch, etc.) can still be low cost hobbies if purchases are made carefully. And, there's the benefit of creating something as an end result.

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There are however a HUGE group of Fundies that do all that and more, they also judge most people they don't think are as "good" as them, and they can be found at homesteadingtoday.com.

Yep, I've been told off by them. They aren't very smart in general, actually.

Eclipse, I have a good sized flock now, but I've had as few as two. They do need buddies, but as long as stuff is kept clean, they don't smell horribly. The eggs are by far worth it. (I would say that rabbits are smellier overall than chickens, but some of the chicken poop, depending on what they've been eating, can be nastier than anything a rabbit could poop.)

ETA- there is an ad for the cutest little pettiskirts up on top. I made one for my niece a couple years ago. Tonight I just cut out several diaper covers for another little relative's Christmas present.

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I sew. I sew PANTS. :twisted:

I also quilt, crochet (mostly cat beds), and love doing applique work, needlepoint, and embroidery. I make hooked and braided rugs from old clothes. I can't seem to buy a garment without modifying it somehow, and I think I'm going to teach myself tailoring this year because I want a man-styled suit that, when worn, would strike fear in any fundie patriarch's heart. :lol:

I'm an indifferent cook, but I love to bake, and this year I started to get into canning in a big way. I've done homebrewing, and want to learn to make cheese next.

If my urban backyard got more sun I'd have a bigger vegetable garden; if I had room for critters I'd have chickens and a couple of goats.

I'm good at refinishing and reupholstering furniture, so I'm always rescuing abandoned furniture off the street, or picking up scruffy thrift store bargains. I've managed to furnish my house with some great pieces that were originally headed for a landfill.

I've never really thought of these things as "girly" or "women's work," to be honest. I do all these things simply because I enjoy them. If I didn't, I wouldn't. I don't like making soap or candles, for instance, and I'm no good at knitting, so I buy those things from people who do take pleasure in it. I also do some of them to save money (fixing up furniture), to ensure they have less sugar or the best quality ingredients (canning, baking), or because I can't find what I want in stores (sewing clothes, the never-ending needlework extravaganza). There are also environmental concerns; I use a lot of salvaged and recycled materials, and buy used clothes to alter/overdye/refurbish because I hate seeing perfectly usable things discarded just because they're not in fashion.

And I do feel empowered by all this. Even though I don't think of these things as essentially "feminine" tasks, I do see making things myself as a feminist act. Rather than depending on the marketplace to provide them, I make things myself. Rather than settling for this year's standards of beauty, I decide what is beautiful and create it. Clothing's the best example. I'm oddly proportioned, and don't fit into standard women's sizes very well. I hated my body for years--until I learned to make clothes (especially pants) that fit me properly. Now it doesn't matter what clothing manufacturers do, and I've stopped feeling crappy about myself because my body was "wrong." It was never wrong; it was simply measured by a standard that I could never hope to fit. But now I create the standard, based on my own body, and everything is kittens and sunshine and rainbows. Evil feminist kittens and sunshine and rainbows, that is.

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Intersting article from the Washington post about the resurgent interest in domestic arts like knitting, canning, sweing, etc. Sort flies in the face with the fundie notion that these things are dying out and they're the last people left who do those sort of things. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

Interesting article. I'm an evil work outside the home feminist mom. I sew, crochet, knit and garden. In the past i had chickens....but more because I like them...then out of some need to have non corporate food. I have passed on my evil non fundie domestic ways to my four daughters...because these are life skills...not a salvation issue.

I am glad to know that the freejingerites are such a diverse self sufficient group of folks. I'm lucky I found you!

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The thing is, I actually know a lot of men who also do this type of thing. That would sure make fundie heads spin, but it's actually very practical. I've known a lot of older men who served in the military before women were allowed in. One man that I work with sews dresses for his granddaughter. He said that if a button came off or your socks got holes in the middle of nowhere, you couldn't wait until your tour was over to have a woman fix it for you.

I taught myself how to knit, and I do it because it's a mindless hobby I can do to occupy my hands while watching tv. But I also like the satisfaction of using something that I made myself. If I had more space, I'd love to get into woodworking. Furniture is just so expensive and I could use a bunch of bookcases. And even though knitting is "feminine" and woodworking is "masculine", I like them both for the exact same reason.

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My Bubbe taught me how to knit when I was 6. (She and my great-grandma learned how from a woman who used to stay for summer vacations in the same area they did.) After teaching me the basics, she taught me how to make booties. Flash forward to high school, when I took it up again during a really stressful senior year. I discovered that there was an entire world beyond knit and purl, and really took off. I prefer making scarves and afghans that I can use to try new techniques. I knitted my chuppah, which I made from an afghan pattern that looked like a tallit. I knit for many reasons. It's a good stress reliever. I suck at all other forms of visual arts, so this is my way of playing around with color and form. I also like the idea of giving the blankets to my children and grandchildren, and leaving something behind that will stay around for generations (and since I use a lot of mostly synthetic yarns, these blankets are definitely not going anywhere.)

In retrospect, it seems weird that sewing is considered "women's work" by fundies. That would come as a surprise to two of my great-grandfathers, who sewed clothes in sweatshops. One listed his occupation as "pants maker," the other a "sleeve maker." One of them died of a heart attack at his sewing machine, during a break. Maybe it's not women's work if loud machines are involved?

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I hemmed the pants that are part of my new matching suit for job interviews. :D I haven't ever made a piece of clothing from scratch, but I've done a bunch of alterations.

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I think the 'resurgence' is just down to people darn well trying to SAVE a few dollars in the process!

I know my best friend and her family are all doing a 'homemade christmas' because of tight funds. And she has been telling me they are all having the time of their lives while doing it, and said she would highly recommend it just for the family memories they have created in making different gifts for teachers, and grandparents and aunts and uncles etc with the children.

I consider myself an avid crafter and sewer, but heavens above I consider myself pretty much half athiest and half agnostic... So yeah these things are definitely not just fundie hobbies.

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