Thursday, March 27 / 3:09 AM

I swore I wasn't going to start a knitting blog, but this article prompted me to get on my soapbox, and I decided that instead of cluttering up others' comment boxes and mailing lists, I should do it on my own turf. So here is my own turf, and here is my response:

Dear Ms. Jameson,

I am a 21-year old University student living on my own in the big city. I hate hype, and I refuse to do anything just because everybody else is doing it. I also barely passed home ec. I'd rather pay someone to sew a button on for me than do it myself, and I'm on a student budget! My sport of choice is rugby, and because my college doesn't have a women's team (or enough female players to start a league), I play with the men. Yep, full-contact, co-ed rugby [I see your "I shoot hoops" and raise you ten --ed.]. I'm also passionate about gender issues: I love my small, traditional college but I hate its gender-segregated student government, and am doing my best to change
attitudes. I'm the one who always has to be the tough guy, and the one who will go find pliers to open a jar instead of finding a man. I wouldn't bother telling you this, but you seem to think that personality is an important factor if one is to have an opinion on this issue.

I have been knitting for over a year now. I taught myself to knit, just to prove I could, after someone suggested otherwise. I intended to knit one scarf, and never touch the needles again, but... I liked it! Knitting is _fun_. I'm not going to tout its meditational virtues or tell you that by pursuing an ancient craft I'm connecting with women
throughout time.... that's all BS. I enjoy it; it gives me the same pleasure as writing a good essay or making a sweet tackle. Knitting may supposedly be a huge trend, but around here, it's a trend I started. Everybody I know was shocked to see me knitting, exclaiming they didn't think I was 'the type.' Well, I'm all about breaking down stereotypes, but you seem to be trying to enforce them. Now I've started a knitting club at school, and its members (both male and female) met to knit and talk about current events. There's no reason we can't watch the news on TV and do something useful and productive with our hands at the same time.

Knitting and feminism are not mutually exclusive. Telling women they can't do something is oppresive. You're espousing an outmoded brand of feminism; one that requires a complete abandonment of all things feminine. I suggest you do some reading, because times have changed. The whole point is to remove value judgements like 'masculine' and 'feminine' from everyday activities. We should all have the freedom to do whatever we want, say whatever we want, knit whatever we want.

I hope you realize this article is not in reply to your criticism of knitting - I myself can't stand basketball, but realize that people have different tastes. I take issue of the stereotypes you enforce, both about women, and about knitting. Your article seems to be based more on other ill-informed newspaper articles I've read about knitting than
about conversations with actual knitters. Your newspaper is widely read, so please: next time you sit down to write an article about gender issues, please think carefully about whether you are advancing the cause of women or simply furthering negative stereotypes.

Yours, etc.