Friday, July 11, 2008

Feminism through Crafting

My favorite past-time is definitely being domestic--I garden, bake, sew, make jewelry, and make stationary. Although these things are all more traditionally female interests, I view crafting as a form of personal (and therefore female) empowerment. It allows me to make my own items, become less reliant on box chains and others. The ability to create goods allows a women to nurture her own skills and talents and potentially create income. I am actually not alone in connecting craftiness with feminism.

Lisa Jervis, founder of Bitch magazine:
My friends who go out of their way to make their own stuff or purchase from within the DIY community often talk about wanting to support women-owned small businesses. It is a desire, not only to protect the environment and reject corporate capitalism, but to spend money in a community that is explicitly feminist.
In November, a new knitting book by Betsy Greer, Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch, will be available for purchase on Amazon. In fact, my grandmother-in-law spends her free time crafting (knitting and sewing) for charities. She uses her talents to empower herself and improve the world around her, which I think is quite noble.

Even if you are not craft-inclined yourself, supporting small-time crafters allows you to also support local and female business ventures. Check out the sites below for a tiny glimpse of the creativity that's out there:
My favorite shopping site of all time is Etsy, a great place for individual crafters to sell their wares. It's a great [and cheap] way to get handcrafted gifts. I really love the following things:


Habladora said...

Oooo - thanks for introducing me to a whole slew of things I want! I have to say, though, I'm not artsy or domestic. My stationary is smudged, my cookies are burnt, and I can't draw a stick-figure. But I am always looking to support small businesses run by women.

Anonymous said...

ooooo, shiny.

I'm pseudo-crafty. I'm pretty good at candlemaking and I can knit a little. And my best friend and I are going to try soap-making at some point. I love to cook, too, but I'm honestly not all that interested in doing so after putting in a full workday. I come up with some pretty elaborate weekend meals, though.

But even if I'm not totally DIY, I do love supporting women-run businesses as well as buying local. It's so much more fun than going to the same old store and buying the same old thing that everyone else has.

Anonymous said...

I've pretty much tried every form of crafting at some point. I have a giant corner of my basement devoted to supplies which sometimes feels like the love'em and leave'em theory of crafting.

My very understanding husband doesn't say a thing as I acrue more things. I even have the supplies for a working professional darkroom down there. I just have a compulsive need to always make things myself. It's gotten so that we don't like eating out because I can just come home and make the meal myself after I've tasted it once.

Habladora said...

Oooo - my partner is like that too! If I eat something out at a restaurant I like, I drag him back and demand "can you make that?" He hasn't been stumped yet.

Perhaps I didn't try harder to learn how to cook when I was younger because I did associate domesticity with oppression. Also, both my parents worked, so there weren't a lot of complicated meals being made at home on a regular basis. Now I wish I knew how to make more things 'from scratch' for myself. Having a hobby where you can produce something out of all local/ non-corporate ingredients is, as you say, empowering.

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