Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Ageism in Crafts
I wrote the following blurb after seeing yet another person talking about subversive embroidery as if it was something new. They were tired of all the magazine stories titled things like "Crochet, not Just Your Grandmother's Craft" or "Needlepoint, Not Just For Grannies Anymore." So I wrote the following tidbit.
"After doing embroidery since I was about 7, I am now a grandmother,so,yeah, I'm really sensitive about ageism. The whole notion that only one age or one gender makes things with their hands has been bogus from the get go. My father knitted my mother a bikini when I was a teenager in the '70's. And I was stitching subversive things on my jeans in 1976. It's not like subversive embroidery is new. Tons of it was being done in the '70's. I'm sure you've heard of 'make love not war' and 'question authority'.
I'd love to see some magazine and newspaper headlines like "Three Generations All Knitting Together," or "What Young Craft Vixens Can Learn From Their Grandmothers, " or "Family Passes Down Crochet Legacy From Generation to Generation". Or how about "Your Grandmother was a Radical Too."
Once the DIY network contacted me wanting craft projects for their show that reflected the youth craft movement because they were trying to get rid of the granny stereotype. Well, they shouldn't have asked a 51 year old woman then, because I let them have it. I'm guessing they must have thought I was in my 20's creating great trendy crafts. Most people don't realize I'm 51. Yes, you can be innovative, hip and trendy at 51. I told DIY to get lost. If they can't respect all ages of crafters I want nothing to do with them.