Thursday, October 4, 2007


Apparently there was a shitstorm over at Yarnstorm, when somebody wrote a snarky/bitchy and wildly off-base article about Jane's new book. And of course a fair sized chunk of the Internets rushed to Jane's defense. And I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

I adore that blog. It is one of my must reads. I also admire Martha Stewart and thought she got screwed when she got sent to jail for something that would have earned a man a slap on the wrist if anyone noticed at all. I am your basic working woman, I never wanted to stay home (except now, when I'm tired of working and dammit, if I'd gone into the feds I'd be able to retire by now like my cousin did). But that does not mean I have any ill will, contempt, or anything else for anyone who gets to revel in cooking and quilting and canning things. I may not have time to do many of those things but I still love them, and I do them when I can, and Jane's photography blows me away. And honestly, until I read that bitchy article, I had never really thought about whether she had a day job or not. It never even occurred to me to wonder. In the year or so I've been reading her blog I never saw her hold forth on the virtues of not working vs. working, let alone hold herself out as someone to be admired because she "sacrificed" herself to have this fabulous life baking and crafting and growing things. She shares lovely images and ideas, and keeps herself out of it to a remarkable degree. And I certainly never felt that I was somehow "not as good" because I don't can my own preserves, or actually hate gardening and can't keep a tomato plant alive.

The article is a manufactured catfight, based on the false premise that every woman feels pressured to quilt, bake, make preserves, knit, whatever, and is burdened by guilt because she can't find time. Bullshit. We can't all make a book out of it, but a whole lot of us still squeeze these things in around the day job. We do these things because we love them. We can do these things and love these things and also be doctors and lawyers and nurses and teachers and accountants and whatevers. We do not have to forsake everything domestic to have careers too. It is not an either/or, pick a side, you're either with us or agin us controversy. In trying to sound all ballsy and feministy and knock the book, the author falls back on the anti-feminist position that a woman who has a job can't do anything else, and we should hate books like this and people like Martha Stewart, for making us feel "inadequate." What a slick, backhanded way of telling us how we are supposed to feel - in trying to blame Jane Brocket for making women feel inadequate, the writer is telling readers that they are supposed to feel inadequate, that this is the evil underhanded motive of a book about nice things. Me, I like being reminded of the pleasure of baking and the like, it helps motivate me to make time for it, and it makes me happy.

So I love Yarnstorm. Take that, whiny faux-feminist writer person.

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Found via Chelle

And you know, I think it's accurate. I've had a lot of bad things, really bad things, happen in my life, and yet I'm still rolling along. Not much danger of "success going to [my] head" though - all I have to do is wash my face and feel the screw heads under the skin to remember that I have used up a whole lotta luck lately.
I do not take any of my good fortune for granted.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy Yarnstorm too. I'm so tired of guilt trips everywhere, I have simply decided to ignore all guilt trips. It can be done. Because I turned out to be the High Priestess, and I say so. (Stupid how accurate those things can be)

ikate said...

"It is not an either/or, pick a side, you're either with us or agin us controversy."
Amen! I'm so sick of this whole thing and being a new-ish mother makes me notice it all the more. People roll their eyes since I still breastfeed my 12 month old and have her in cloth diapers - I must be one of "those" mothers. I also work FT out side the home and put her in daycare (gasp!). I like to bake, knit and sew. I also watch big 10 football with wild abandon. And I'm getting ready to uproot my family for a career opportunity. I fit into neither "type" (work-driven-baby-doesn't-mean-I-can't-have-a-career or crunchy-granola-stay-at-home-mom) and I refuse to feel guilty about that!

Catherine said...

You should not feel guilty. You are NORMAL, they are the ones with issues. I'm so grateful that I had my kids before they named this phenomenon the Mommy Wars - I was oblivious to it and I'm glad. Of course, this is more than the Mommy Wars, this is part of the Female War.
"Oh, she can do all these things so she thinks she's better than me." It is so depressing that even on a knitting forum like KR, this shit broke out - oh, well, she doesn't have to work, the writer of the article has a point, she (Jane B) is smug, I can't stand her blog, blah blah. The petty jealousy was heavy in the air from some of them. On a knitting forum.

Another thing I've said a million times: Sisterhood is a crock of shit. Women are their own worst enemies.

ChelleC said...

Catherine, you are so right. The writer of this article sounds jealous and frankly a little disturbed - what bee got in her bonnet? Why is she disturbed by what someone writes about on their blog? So what if they have a different lifestyle? Frankly, I've always worked, always had to work, but I raised my daughter just fine. She's a teen now, but I still managed to do some creative fun things including freelance writing, knitting, even occasionally baking some bread (in the breadmaker). I don't resent those women (or men) who choose or are able to make a lifestyle change to do it full-time for their families - or themselves. At any rate, who am I to judge someone elses life or choices? If I don't like their tone, I don't read their blog.

Catherine said...

Honey, if I win Lotto tonight I'll be blogging from my house in the mountains, where I will bake scones and cookies and make jewelry, and learn pottery. And if I don't win Lotto tonight, I'll still do those things (I'm taking a pottery class at the end of this month.) Yes, it would be great to have unlimited free time to indulge those passions, but it's not necessary to have unlimited free time to do them. The writer of that article was being deliberately provocative, I think, and she provoked the typical jealous bitch reactions.