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Seriously Hooked

862 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2010 :  6:55:02 PM  Show Profile Send KS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steve, I don't think most of those giving you the type of attention you didn't want meant anything bad. When people get presented with something unexpected, many times they give an inappropriate reaction that they later wish was different. I know that doesn't change how you feel about it. Than again, there are some really narrow minded people out there. Those people are the ones I think are wrong.

Jan, I'm happy to hear that the younger generation is being more open minded.

I would like to encourage anyone to join us in our passion. Even those narrow minded types.
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Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2010 :  05:23:45 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The men who pick on you are scared. You are a threat to them so they have to pick on you to prove they are right when they are scared they are wrong. Machismo is just a cover up. Think of your action heroes. They never felt they had to prove anything because they were self assured. But there was always some joker who wanted to test them just to prove he was like them. You are also self assured and you don't need to prove anything. I had a friend who also had a variety of interests that did not fit the machismo image. When someone challenged him, he just grinned and said: "yep, you're right" Totally unflappable and therefore totally dull to the one trying to pick a fight.

I have been a frequent victim of gender profiling. Of course, I'm old, 69, but I had to go through it in order for you younger folks to take it for granted. I was rejected for mortgages, not because I couldn't afford them but because I was a woman who was single. I had to apply for 11 mortgages before I found one and then had to threaten to take them to court before they granted it to me and they insisted that I change my checking and saving accounts to their bank and keep enough money in my savings account to cover 4 months of mortgage payments in case I became pregnant. Sounds ridiculous today, doesn't it. One of the comments made back then was: "I can't believe they pay a woman that much money." My comment: "I can't believe such a stupid man has so much authority."

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Permanent Resident

1198 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2010 :  06:14:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's funny - this topic has come up several times recently in groups of which I'm a part. The general consensus is that everybody should do what makes them happy.

My sons learned to weave, spin, knit and tat at a fairly early age. The older one still tats; the younger still spins and knits and sometimes sews. Will they come back to weaving one day? Probably, when they have room for a loom again!

My older son's in the Navy, and while his tatting initially raised a few eyebrows, now he's taught several others on his sub to tat during deployments. It's just part of what they do, and nobody thinks about it - except to show off what they've made to their wives or girlfriends. Of course, tatting is knots, and sailing is knots...

My younger son was part of one of the groups discussing gender sterotyping last week. His take on it was initially fairly typical 22 yo male - 'I get to be surrounded by babes and have their undivided attention' - but then he got serious. He commented that spending a couple of days each month while growing up in a group of talented, smart, articulate women had made him look at all women differently. He likes getting to know both men and women, and seeing what their talents and outlooks are on all sorts of things. He has lots of friends who are of both sexes, and who seem to accept him for himself.

Part of this acceptance, of course, is that he's an art ed major at a major university whose friends are much like himself. Part of it probably stems from his part-time job as a handyman who's adept with any power tool you can name. A chunk of it comes from his unwillingness to judge other folks' choices. And I think the major part is that he's comfortable with himself.

My DH is another male who's into traditionally feminine pursuits - he does magnificent cross-stitch. He loves to be in the company of women, and genuinely appreciates them for their talents and achievements. He's my favorite co-demonstrator because he absolutely loves what I do and is visably and vocally proud of it.

So, you truly are not unique. You're just somewhat unusual in your particular geographic region! Enjoy what you do, and the people (male and female) with whom you do it, and don't worry about the mean-sprited ones who are unhappy with themselves.

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee

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Permanent Resident

1408 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2010 :  08:57:14 AM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pamela, your Navy son does know about the handwork tradition among sailors, right? Knitting, embroidery, and TATTING included.

My five-year-old son knits. He tries to spin, tat, and crochet, too. So far, he's only developed skill with the knitting, but he is starting to take off with it now.

I am starting a fibery-pursuits group here in my town (there are only 50 people here, so it's sort of small. You know.) So far, only women, which is fine. I mentioned last time that if anyone knew any men who enjoy textile work, they are welcome too. I was met with silence, although I think that was mostly because they didn't know any men who might come. However, in the summer when the vacationers are in town, I wouldn't be surprised if we discover one or two. That would be nice, since mixed groups tend to be less insular, and I like that. But if not, whatever, that's all right.

At my old SnB there were three male regulars. I don't think they were treated particularly differently, but maybe I was missing something. At least one had been around a long time. He founded a spinning retreat long ago that is still running. I just can't imagine members of the group freaking out over him or anything. And y'all, that was in UT, which isn't exactly a bastion of freedom from gender stereotypes.
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Permanent Resident

1429 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2010 :  12:22:09 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bet at least half the women here have been in exactly that position at some time or another.

Activities where I've been surrounded by men: 1). Job (engineer), 2). Tai Kwon Do 3). D&D The last was particularly difficult as it happened AFTER I'd been gaming for several years in a group of mostly women. Then I had to move for employment, could only find male groups, who totally freaked because I WAS a single female, and we couldn't get any decent gaming done.

Be glad you're not single; it gets more brutal with the implicit assumption that you are only there to get a date.


I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
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