The week in dopey stuff liberals talk about.
“When I managed to finish my first pussy hat, though, I was overjoyed.”
That’s an actual line from an actual article in Slate about politicized knitting. It seems that’s a thing, with a “community,” and you can buy Donald Trump pincushions on Etsy.
Emily Manktelow, the author, writes that she took up knitting in response to some men she worked with at a British university being boorish and condescending. She wasn’t good at it to start with, but she had a lot of important thoughts about “craftivism.”
“Knitting and female activism have a long history,” she tells us, “as do attempts to trivialize and undermine knitting by those who feel threatened by female political action.” Wow -- women knitters are a victim group now? Congratulations.
While I definitely am threatened by the awesome power of Manktelow’s estrogen-fueled needles, let’s be honest: further trivializing political knitting takes more skill than I possess. And my various plots to “undermine knitting” -- blunting needles, hiding thimbles, even scheming to disrupt the worldwide yarn distribution system -- have come to naught.
Manktelow details all the important epochs in women knitting stuff: World War I. World War II.
American wartime knitting propaganda also foreshadowed the importance of “craftivism” for “third-wave feminism,” when feminists sought to “reclaim” knitting, and crafting in general, as a powerful female activity in the face of its associations with domesticity and triviality.
Knitting’s even important in The Handmaid’s Tale, so you know it’s freighted with deeply significant meaningfulness and powerfully compelling momentousness.
So you see why finally producing the aforementioned lady parts lid was so important to Manktelow. The milestone vulvic chapeau wasn’t just an accomplishment of craft, but of activism, er, craftivism. The lines that immediately follow are … well, see for yourself:
I gave [the pubic panama] to my 4-year-old niece who delightedly hopped around the living room, assuming it was a bunny hat. I was OK with that misconception. To see her embodying some sense of generational female solidarity, even if she didn’t know it, felt powerful. It felt meaningful. It felt like we were standing on the shoulders of a long line of female activists who were calling up to us.
Girl Power! Manktelow’s #resistance symbol was a big hit with a preschooler. Makes sense. Children like childish things.
And now, more stuff liberals talk about.
First they came for Robert E. Lee … “Where's the Outrage Over Racist Pioneer Monuments?” sputters an Alternet article by Cynthia Prescott. Where indeed? There are still vestiges of American history out there yet to be erased, altered or, at the very least, shamed. Let’s get a move on people! That buddha’s not gonna blow himself up.
Not satisfied with vanquishing dozens of Confederate monuments to the memory hole, lefties like Mullah Cynthia are looking west, indignant that Americans have had the bad taste to celebrate building the nation.
She gives a long history of pioneer monuments, detailing the inhuman horrors of various examples:
“… white men claiming land and building farms and cities in the West.”
“Pioneer mothers in sunbonnets stood for white “civilization” winning in the West. And they offered a conservative model of womanhood to contrast flappers wearing short dresses and bobbed hair and women’s growing sexual freedom.”
A San Francisco monument’s “depiction of a Spanish missionary and Mexican 'vaquero,' or cowboy, towering over an American Indian – is demeaning to American Indians.”
Denver’s monument features “frontiersman and American Indian fighter Kit Carson, on horseback.”
Monstrous! But so too are later monuments that “do not directly engage racial politics … these statues still represent a racist view, ignoring the cost of white settlement on Native lands. Like earlier monuments, they reinforce white dominance and erase ethnic diversity in the American West.”
“The cost of white settlement on Native lands” was the same as it has been whenever civilizations clash. Did the Moors build monuments to the Spaniards they vanquished? Alexander the Great for the Persians? (Or the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Indians, etc.? He really earned the Great designation when you think about it.)) There are winners and losers in history. The winners get to build the statues (the exception being Confederate monuments.)
Of that San Francisco monument she writes, “In the 1990s, activists persuaded the city to place a plaque telling the dark side of California history in front of the statue.” That bought them off for a little while. “But today protesters argue that plaque, hidden by landscaping, is not enough. They want “Early Days” – if not the entire monument – taken down.”
The left’s Taliban impulse grows.
Too gay for the gays? You learn something new every day. It turns out, even gay guys have a “that’s so gay” threshold. Huffington Post’s Queer Voices section tells us of actor Corey Camperchioli, who is discriminated against within the “LGBT community,” because he’s “too femme.”
He would go on “hookup apps and dating apps, and I would see a lot of ‘no femmes’ and ‘masc only.’” In a video he states, “I would go out to gay bars and see how masculinity was so prized.”
Who knew. But it’s not like being a member of a victim group within a victim group isn’t without its advantages these days. Camperchioli says “The way that femme people are looked down upon in the community is 100 percent a symptom of misogyny.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! The most postmodern moment of the week: A gay man is poorly treated by other gay men because they’re misogynists. That’s good victimhood!
Camperchioli, is okay with it though -- he’s got girl power. He says our society has a “deep fear of the power of women.” And we denigrate those with feminine qualities “because like we know in our deepest heart that that makes them infinitely more powerful.”
According to Huff Po:
Camerchioli wrote and starred in the 2017 short film “Femme,” directed by Alden Peters. The film follows Carson, played by Camperchioli, as he grapples with, fights against and ultimately begins to accept his femininity. It’s an emotional and eye-opening look at how feminine men are often treated not only by mainstream culture but also within the gay community … Camperchioli took the thing that made him “different” and used it to fuel a heartfelt story with a femme character at its forefront ― as well as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Aja, who plays Carson’s “drag queen fairy godmother,” as Camperchioli puts it.
Everything’s better with a drag queen fairy godmother.