I craft because I am (a woman)

I craft because I am (International Women's Day)

The F-word has always been a bit difficult for me to understand. (Psst, I mean feminism.)

I come from a family of strong women, so maybe that’s why. I’m the youngest of four girls. I have four aunts and one uncle.

Both of my grandmothers are headstrong, hands-on women. The women in my family are educated, and speak their minds. My maternal grandmother worked in fashion, but after my grandfather died (years before I was born) she took over his fencing business. She raised four children and never remarried. That was in the 70’s.

So it was odd for me as a child to think that women are supposedly suppressed.

My parents worked equally in a business partnership. Yes, they had their own roles, but I never thought that my mother or my father did the things they did because of gender. They played on their strengths.

Never once have I thought that I’d rather be a man, or felt like being a woman has put me into a deep hole of disadvantage in everything in my life. Oh yes, of course, it affects some things. But being a man certainly would, too.

Other than being headstrong the women in my life all have another thing in common.

They craft.

Through her entire life, my mother has crafted. Through losing her father as a child, through looking after her younger sisters, through raising four children, through marriage, all the way through to her life now she has crafted. My grandmother has, despite no longer working in fashion, always used her creative skills. I have one aunt selling and restoring antiques and another that used to run a yarn shop. My sisters all craft.

Is it because we are women?

I don’t know, so I can’t tell you. It’s just who we are. My father whittles. Does that make him a woman? No. When I whittle, do I do it because I am a woman? No.

When you knit and you crochet and you sew, people assume you are a woman. But is that a bad thing? Maybe. For the little boy who wants to learn to knit, it might be. For the extreme feminist who does not want to be assumed to be a woman, it might be. For the man who sews quilts, it might be. For a moment, anyway, before the novelty fades and he is just another person skilled in his craft.

But I am a woman. And I craft, and I am proud of both.



Happy International Women’s Day!