Women are Beautiful

I should write a Hatchling and Life update, but I’m me, so instead you get a feminist rant about knitting.

I am lucky enough to be a member of a lovely group on Ravelry centered around a Canadian indie yarn dyer indigodragonfly. Kim has lovely yarn, don’t get me wrong. She has a tremendous sense of colour and a wicked sense of humor and in my desperate attempt to slow my yarn buying, her yarn is what keeps showing up on my doorstep. (Her taste in fiber isn’t shabby either. Basically, she’s my kryptonite.) But yarn alone doesn’t make a community, and IDF is a wonderful community.

As a community, we’re trying a virtual knitting group today. Which should be chock full of technical difficulties and learning experiences and other grand fun – getting a dozen people onto a video chat is hard enough when they all know what they’re doing and using enterprise grade tools. I expect that using consumer tools with people who have never tried this before is going to be a tech support adventure and I may not actually knit, which is fine.

But I’ve heard some comments that border on “I’m worried about what I’ll look like”

I have two responses, neither of which is really appropriate for the women who make the societal required pass at their looks.  Okay, three.

First, I think ubiquitous phone communication has made us used to the idea that very few people sound like radio announcers and that’s okay. However, the images we see of women are usually people whose job it is to look pretty backed up by professional tooling to make them look pretty. Me, knitting in my living room, is not going to look like that. And as a culture we aren’t used to what normal people look like on a screen at video chat performance. (Answer: not filmed like Miss America)

Second, I’m not going to repeat the reams of discussion around how fucked up it is that women are expected to look pretty all of the time no matter what they are doing or they have failed as humans. Its fucked up. Its reality and reality is fucked up. Men get to have sources of worth around their minds, their work, their creativity, their compassion, their passion, their money and if they choose, around their looks. Women, no matter what, are measured on their beauty to others, always. And we know it. Its not possible to know how poorly you measure up on the societal scale of physical perfection. And then we apologize to others for having to tolerate our imperfect looks. Fucked. Up.

Third and finally, I know that these are BEAUTIFUL women. These are women who unquestioningly support each other and the world., with wit and love and courage. They have strong, capable hands and quick creative minds and big, generous hearts. This group of women is who I turned to when I was so pregnant and so sick and they never once were anything but supportive. Of a stranger who was suffering far away. These women solve problems and give of themselves, their time and money and effort and love, to make the world better for the people they touch. They are strong and smart and funny and reach out to others even when they are suffering. I am honored and inspired to be able to know them. They are all so beautiful it makes my heart ache.

1 comment to Women are Beautiful

  • Wands

    Second, I’m not going to repeat the reams of discussion around how fucked up it is that women are expected to look pretty all of the time no matter what they are doing or they have failed as humans. Its fucked up. Its reality and reality is fucked up. Men get to have sources of worth around their minds, their work, their creativity, their compassion, their passion, their money and if they choose, around their looks. Women, no matter what, are measured on their beauty to others, always. And we know it. Its not possible to know how poorly you measure up on the societal scale of physical perfection. And then we apologize to others for having to tolerate our imperfect looks. Fucked. Up.

    Yep. Yep yep. Yep yep yep.

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