Best & Bossiest: Well Said

Lauren DiCioccio, Pink Organza Bags, 2009


Yarn, people, politics.

My brain is all over the place, again. Here are three very different ideas that I found online this week that I want to think more deeply about:

Stephen West.

Knitting is a physical experience and emotional too. The materials you choose to work with directly affect how you feel and think.

-Knitwear designer Stephen West, in an interview at The Artful Yarn. My need to knit goes so far beyond a desire to wear the things I make or even a desire to make things at all. I love when other knitters theorize about this intangible aspect of the creation process.

Kim Katrin Crosby

The truth of it though is that it is all possible. It is entirely possible because we have everything that we need. It is not like we are asking for something that defies the nature of the universe. … We are asking, some of us are demanding a change in mind, a change in perspective, a transformation in the way that we take care of each other. All these things that plague us poverty, sexism, rape are all creations by people and a very small, very specific group of people. … Communities of colour, queer and trans, cash-poor and working class, I invite us all to look to each other more and more with love and affirmation. To find ways to be quietly devoted and firmly in solidarity with each other. I ask us to find ways to heal, to make room for multiple truths and to ask each other more questions.

-“All that We Need”, by Kim Katrin Crosby. So many of you let me know that Kim Katrin Crosby quoted Bossy Femme at the Femme Conference, & this week I discovered her blog, too. Whoa.

I have taken a big step backward from activism, online and off, in the last year or so. I have been longing for an activism that builds solidarity as it advocates for change, rather than calling out & isolating individual members of movements. Kim Crosby is way, way ahead of me on that one, and probably is well known to many of you already. I am learning so much every time she updates. Feeling thankful for access to some of her work.

Anna Newell Jones

When we say “i’m sorry” when we should really be saying “excuse me” it feels like we’re apologizing for taking up space, which is completely whack.

-“Stop Apologising for your Existence: Why Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ Undermines You.” I loved reading this quick post at And Then She Saved about unnecessary apologies & taking up space. For me, a big part of getting over social anxiety is about giving myself permission to feel some sense of belonging in the spaces I frequent. And part of that is to stop apologising for being out in public in the first place. I have been trying to switch to saying “Excuse me” for months now but the habit of saying “I’m sorry” is so ingrained. This is one thing about being socialized as female/femme that I want to deconstruct. My ideas don’t need disclaimers & I’m not required to make myself invisible in public.

BONUS:

1. Lucky Jackson’s “Down With Naysayers” post is just what I needed to read today.

2. I just found out that Stephen West did a photo tutorial of the garter tab cast-on which I always skip when I knit shawls because I never understand it. Yes!

4 responses to “Best & Bossiest: Well Said”

  1. Arissa May Lovely says :

    I say “sorry” waaay too much, and about a billion times at work every shift. It occurred to me, a while back, that I should switch to “excuse me,” but it’s so much of a habit now, I’m still apologizing every which way…kinda similar to when I was working in customer service and people would say thank you and I would usually respond with an emphatic, “Thank YOU,” until one day, I overheard a male cashier respond to a “thank you” with “you’re welcome.” I tried it out, and it felt so different.

    • bossyfemme says :

      “You’re welcome!” What a simple and significant change.

      I definitely say “No, thank *you*” but I also say “No problem” which seems to discount any actual work I may have done that someone might be thanking me for.

  2. rachelhelenknits says :

    I am an MA student in Halifax writing my thesis in a Gender and Women’s Studies program on fibre craft and its connection to today’s feminist activism – I’m mostly focusing on the big broad weird world of “craftivism”. I also happen to freaking love reading your blog.

    I think you might really like this article by Beth Ann Pentney called “Feminism, Activism, and Knitting: Are the Fibre Arts a Viable Mode for Feminist Political Action?” It touches on many of the things you talk about in your blog. It’s also really fun to read and not very long! Woohoo! Here’s the link:

    http://www.thirdspace.ca/journal/article/view/pentney/210

    • bossyfemme says :

      You’re working on crafts? I am so jealous. I remember you from feminist theory class so many years ago… oh Nan…

      Anyway, I have read & liked that article but so so much has changed in the last four years… I’d love it if Pentney wrote an update.

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