Sexism on Display

bobinthebul's picture

Wondering how many have seen this particular video? I don't get offended easily but I really don't like what's going on here. What's even more disappointing about it is that they have a knitting blog:


sonics's picture

I've never had anyone

I've never had anyone question my knitting or make a negative comment about it. I mean, I've gone fishing with the guys and got bored of fishing and whipped out my sweater I'm working on and sat by the fire just happy to be outdoors. Do I need to say I am not a gay man? Should it matter really? This is sad really. I guess others may have have problems with other people explaining their knitting. I have never really thought about it. Men who knit is such a harmless thing.

I am surprised those women find it so strange. but I can't imagine why anyone would care enough to make a vid of it.

Makes you wonder.

michaelpthompson's picture

OK, like now I'm curious. How

OK, like now I'm curious. How did a video of men who knit devolve into some kind of discussion about men who are gay? Are you saying only gay men knit? Is it some kind of feminine thing or something? I never saw any hint in the video about being gay, just about men who knit. They seemed to think that was strange or something. Those women were hilariously close-minded. "Oooh, look, a man who looks at knitting books, and now I'm seeing him look at knitting needles too.!" Titter, titter....

I'm straight, and I knit, and I don't care who knows. Couple of months ago, I spent the whole weekend with 19 other men who knit. One of my favorite experiences was when Jeff said, "It's about MEN who knit, not about being gay." Damn straight brother.

I love Joe-in-Wyoming's comment, "I often wish for a world where men can realize that being an integrated person means accepting your self for who you are...not "society's" expectations."

We're men. We knit. Deal with it.

sonics's picture

Well said my friend!

Well said my friend!

scottly's picture

The phrase "closet knitters"

The phrase "closet knitters" was a pretty obvious reference.

michaelpthompson's picture

You could be right Scottly,

You could be right Scottly, Let's come out of the closet!

akkamaddi's picture

Oh, this could turn into a

Oh, this could turn into a long post....

Short answer, they are the same thing.

Sexism and homophobia are empowering / dis-empowering social constructs based on real and perceived gender rolls, the latter being a specialized subset of the former. Sexism is based on the notion of a stronger / weaker gender dichotomy. Homophobia is the perception of one in the stronger roll relinquishing that power, the fear being that when people perceive there is no actual loss of power or ability to function, the structure of the gender rolls is questioned. (The mythology of the power structure becomes an unquestionable absolute.) It is largely targeted at men because when women take on a masculine roll, they are at least trying to "climb the social ladder" or "better themselves". It is natural for women to want to better themselves, but if a man willingly lowers himself, something must be wrong.

There is also a rich body of literature about the sexual equivalent of this, which is far beyond the scope of a comment like this. One of the core elements goes back to classical Greek and Roman philosophy, and the encoding of that belief in language. Sexuality had far less to do with gender as it did a “penetrator” and “penetrated”, or “lover” and “beloved” in romantic relationships. This in far from unique to this area, though, as can easily be seen in the laws about sexual relations in Talmudic law.

Back to what you said about sexism, something important our society has grasped and started to legally encode into non-discrimination laws is “real or perceived gender or orientation”. As to sexual orientation, actual sexual orientation is not necessarily important to homophobia. I was one of the people who brought it up because I believe it is proper nomenclature. Whether or not the two men seen in the bookstore were actually a couple was not what the girls were snerking about. Their behavior was because men were pursuing what has (fairly recently) become an activity for women. They were doing something dainty and frivolous, like flower arranging or hair dressing, rather than something rugged and useful, like fixing a truck, as one would be expected to expect.

I guess the question is whether you view “homophobia” as being about sexuality or about social roles (and usually abandoning them).

michaelpthompson's picture

I can see where you're coming

I can see where you're coming from Mike. Personally, I don't think sexism or "homophobia" are really about sexuality at all. Don't we keep saying, "What I do in the privacy of my own bedroom is none of your business at all?" So yeah, it's about perceptions and social roles. These women thought the men they were furtively filming were "weird" somehow because they were interested in knitting, traditionally a feminine activity. But if we equate that with homosexuality, aren't we doing pretty much the same thing? They didn't mention anything about thinking the men were gay or anything, the viewers made that leap. Which to me says we're equating feminine gender roles with perceived homosexuality. Doesn't that somehow just play into their hands?

I haven't had the experience of being singled out or ridiculed for my perceived gender role, so maybe that's why I have trouble making the connection between their ridicule of a man doing "feminine" activities and being gay. But it seems to me we don't need to feed that same monster ourselves.

I do respect and appreciate the frank discussion though. Thanks.

akkamaddi's picture

I think that homophobia,

I think that homophobia, towards men, is the perception of men doing things that are effeminate, but also emasculating and dis-empowering. I guess the issue is that in my perception (and I know opinions will vary), homophobia is sexism towards one's own gender for taking on dis-empowering behavior. The sexual aspects are secondary.


bobinthebul's picture

I agree, but to take that a

I agree, but to take that a step further, I think it's chiefly about misogyny in a society that holds masculinity as more valuable than femininity. Think about it - if a girl does "boy things," her dad might very well be proud of her, but if a boy does "girl things," then he gets teased. The way that homophobia is applied to men and women is also different - with men it's definitely focused on the femininity and the acts, while when lesbians get bashed, what sort of comments do you hear? "You just need a good man" etc. The subtext is "how dare you see me (and my masculinity) as useless! I'll show you!" One seeks to prove one's masculinity over another's perceived lack thereof, while the other is a reaction to a perceived attack on, or belittling of, his masculinity.

Tom Hart's picture

No one here doubts your

No one here doubts your heterosity, Michael. But even if you had 50 wives and 300 sons, if you showed up at a Tea Party event in that red state of yours wearing a kilt and pulled out your current project I feel sure that not a few people would smirk and snicker behind their hands and think it was a bit queer. And at a function like that I’m sure there would be a few who would suggest that you’re a f**king faggot. I suspect that that is why this discussion became one about homophobia. It’s something a lot of us have been dealing with since we were very little boys. And to see people apparently stalking one of us and pointing and laughing brings it all back.

michaelpthompson's picture

You could be right Tom. I

You could be right Tom. I have never experienced anything other than positive reaction to either my knitting or my kilt, but then again I may be filtering out the negative, letting it roll off me like water off a duck's back, because I don't let the negative be my guide.

I've only got one wife, four sons and one daughter, and I've never been to a Tea Party event, so maybe I'm not as extreme as I think. But I had the most entertaining experience in a long time last weekend. I had just come from one of the biggest Scottish festivals in the Rocky Mountain west, wearing my family tartan kilt and getting ready to meet my family for dinner. Three ladies on the sidewalk spotted me and were intensely curious about the whole "man skirt" thing. I regaled them with jokes and stories, and the took each other's photo with me. Where else does that happen to a paunchy fifty-something?

Yeah, these ladies were stalking and spying on a knitter boy, but it was the people here who made the connection between that and being gay. I guess I can see how a painful history would enable that kind of idea, but to me, that's just feeding the negative. Don't let the bastards get you down!

Tom Hart's picture

The reason I make the

The reason I make the connection between "a man who knits" and "being gay" is that every single man I've ever met who knits is gay. Non-gay male knitters in my experience are pretty rare birds.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Both of you make very good

Both of you make very good points, Michael and Tom. The other part of what I was saying - sorry for not thinking to put it in my earlier post - is that if men could be able to accept themselves for who they are, they could also learn to accept other men for who they are, as well as people in general. Regardless of their gender, etc. I feel it would make for a much happier and peaceful world. -- For the record, Michael seems to be that kind of man already and I hope that he taught that to his own children. Having just heard of some horrible bullying of a Gay young man at the hands of high school girls, including physical violence, this is a message that needs to be told to all young people.

michaelpthompson's picture

Being bullied in any fashion

Being bullied in any fashion is not acceptable, and physical violence just makes it worse. I took a lot of bullying when I was a skinny kid with glasses and it makes me a lot less able to accept it as an adult. I work in a middle school and one of my few joys is telling young people "That's not OK!" when it is not. We've spent so many years trying to let them "express themselves" we forget that some of what they do is not a good thing to express. Bullying is never ok, and I let them know that in no uncertain terms. We all need to speak out more in our worlds about what is right and wrong. We hear a lot about differences and diversity, and I value that more than most people I know, but we also need to hear about what we hold in common, what we all believe is right and wrong. Thanks Joe, for helping me express that. IDIC.

akkamaddi's picture

Being a boy getting

Being a boy getting physically bullied by girls is awful. The teachers will laugh at you in your face, and the girls know if you *dare* do anything back you can get suspended or grounded.

I managed to stop it once when I was backed into a small set of bleachers. I saw what was around me, said a prayer, punched the bleacher above me, and a metal lunch box fell on one of the girl's heads.

brucedow's picture

I would like to give them the

I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt - due to the new DVD by Unconfined Mind Releases - Real Men Knit -
Found the link through the Kaffe Fassett site...
oh, yeah... another real man who knits.

(... but the whispering and giggling kinda give 'em away as a**holes.)

- has anyone written to them at their blog?

scottly's picture

What else do fat, ugly,

What else do fat, ugly, stupid women have to do?

Andy's picture

Well, they do talk about

Well, they do talk about stichnBITCH, which is exactly what they're doing. Clearly unevolved members of the human race, and as such they deserve our pity.

Crafty Andy's picture

Next time you should show

Next time you should show them your pin


BrentGC's picture

LOVE the magnet!!!! Makes me

LOVE the magnet!!!! Makes me grin! :-)

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I second that. Although I'd

I second that. Although I'd modify it to read "Real live Male knitter..."

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Finally got to hear this.

Finally got to hear this. Great discussion over this clip...I'm glad it got posted and generated so much conversation. I wasn't growling negatively by the end but it did confirm my original thought of furtiveness and "Don't let him hear us." Why? They could have turned it into a really positive thing, not schoolgirl silliness.

As Andy points out, knitting is all about creating something, not who does it. I've weathered my share of sexism and homophobia in relation to knitting but I'll continue to knit whatever -and wherever - I want. [Within limits, though - I don't think it good taste to do cock socks in a mosque garden either; although I have knit stockings in church.]

As for LYS's who are rude: By making me feel unwelcome in their shops, they lose out - along with their other customers - because I do know a lot of helpful things that I'm more than happy to share. But they'll never get that opportunity because of their shortsightedness and not looking further than my beard.

Thanks for posting this, Bob.

Gregory Patrick's picture

I was on a train headed to

I was on a train headed to Savannah, whipped out some needles and started to pass the time knitting. The sour faced old lady next to me gave a grimace. I chuckled, "I know it doesn't look very good. I haven't been knitting very long." She responded with her nose turned up, "Its not that. I just don't think MEN should KNIT." I put the needles in my lap and looked at her sternly and said, "....and I don't think WOMEN should VOTE."

Andy's picture

Nice one!

Nice one!

Crafty Andy's picture

You know, it is a peculiar

You know, it is a peculiar video. The don't deserve the web traffic, they are on Facebook as well. From what I read on their blog they are Women who meet in Women's business to Stitch and Bitch. I am so glad I live where I live. I think that they have a lot of issues to deal with, one of them is all that fun fur that I saw on their facebook page, lol.

They have so little content in their website is not even worth looking at it or even comenting on it. The best thing is to comment on you tube if you want to say something, but the best thing is to not let that discourage you. Imagine that You said something derogatory as well, when you said that one Male owner who was obviously very gay and I quote you

"The male owners are almost always great; the only time I ever felt any condescension was from a shop owner who was quite visibly gay. Yeah yeah, stereotypes, but they do have their source in realities. :) '

Quite Visibly Gay , I am going to guess he was either flamboyant or feminine and you assumed he was gay. Maybe he had a T-shirt that said I am not gay, but my boyfriend is? To know if he was gay you need to sleep with him or have sex with him. I don't know if you are gay or not, but saying that someone you saw was being visibly gay sounds very unintelligent and strange to me, how does someone look visibly straight? Stereotypes are stereotypes and based on bias and prejudice, they have little value in reality, because you will always find someone who will not fit your stereotype. I found some of your wordings and postings regretably very unenlightened and bias and that is no stereotype that is what you wrote from your keyboard.

The video is idiotic and not nice. Crafts have no gender, people have gender. You need to focus on creating things that make people come together, crafting isone of them. Trying to divide the world in femimine and masculine is a lot of funI personally don't find knitting feminine nor masculine, I find it creative and that is a very different perspectiveCreativity has no gender and makes noone visibly gay or visibly straight, thanks for the good laugh buddy. I said that ia a very masculine way while scratching myself burping as I am watching baseball game. You made my day !


I hope I did not break any stereotypes

bobinthebul's picture

I am gay; it's interesting

I am gay; it's interesting about gay stereotypes and different people's reactions to them. Every culture also has its differences in male and female speech and mannerisms. A simple sociological fact.

As gays, we also have ways that we recognize each other, don't we? Most of us don't deny the existence of something we call "gaydar," and people who tip off our "gaydar." Sometimes it's more obvious (or stereotypical) characteristics and sometimes it's more subtle. What I find offensive is not those differences or the recognition of them, but rather the idea that a man with characteristics that are more typical for women in his culture is somehow inappropriate. Or that there's something "wrong" about being identifiable in that way.

So to rephrase it, I would say that the man in the LYS tipped my gaydar off big time, and that he displayed lots of characteristics - in speech and mannerisms - that were more associated with women. I have no problem with that, it's just a fact. And I found it ironic that a man who seemed very comfortable in this persona (as he should be) and worked selling knitting and sewing materials, should cop an attitude when a man comes in wanting to buy them.

scottly's picture

We are a sex unto ourselves.

We are a sex unto ourselves. When I really think about it and compare and contrast many gay men, those that are described as effeminate, I don't percieve that they are actully like women, at least not the women I know. They are being gay men. And, yes, there is a speech pattern and mannerism that is common among many gay men but it's not female like at all, it's completely different. We are what we are, not feminine men but gay men...... who like to knit .......and not in the closet for God's sake!

bobinthebul's picture

I had a very interesting

I had a very interesting experience on a Greyhound bus one day that really hit home about male and female speech patterns in English. I heard (but did not see) a man several rows ahead who sounded extremely feminine. And I remember thinking, "why is 'effeminacy' so exaggerated?" Because I'd also thought the same thing; that some "effeminate" behavior is more like a parody of feminine behavior.

Aha---but a bit later I saw the speaker in question, and guess what? It wasn't a man at all, it was a woman with a very low voice. And as soon as I saw it was a woman, the voice didn't sound out of place or exaggerated at all. It brought out very clearly that our reality is very much shaped by our own perceptions, and that when things are "normal" (meaning, "when they fit in with what we are accustomed to), we become blind to differences. It's when something doesn't fit with our perceptions that it stands out.

Crafty Andy's picture

Definitely sounds a lot

Definitely sounds a lot better. People have attitudes about everything, acrylic, pink, blue, cotton, crochet, bamboo ,kilts, tattoos, piercings, and the list goes on. I don't shop where people are rude to me, that is for sure and sometimes I let them know that I did not appreciate thier rudeness, in front of a lot of people that is in the most polite way. I get in line too!!!

Crafty Andy's picture

Definitely sounds a lot

Definitely sounds a lot better. People have attitudes about everything, acrylic, pink, blue, cotton, crochet, bamboo ,kilts, tattoos, piercings, and the list goes on. I don't shop where people are rude to me, that is for sure and sometimes I let them know that I did not appreciate thier rudeness, in front of a lot of people that is in the most polite way. I get in line too!!!

BrentGC's picture

There's so much more on this

There's so much more on this that I could say...but I'm just going to say this one thing. It seems to me (being a gay man also) that men generally don't cop an attitude about things when they are comfortable within themselves, i.e., who they are inside, etc. My partner and I have a lot of straight male friends (most of whom are married to lovely women) who are very comfortable with themselves, and therefore, are comfortable around us, because they don't think we're going to accost them, you those gay men do (stereotype!!!)

Sorry...I live in the South, and deal with these attitudes frequently. :-/


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Good points, Brent. I have

Good points, Brent. I have only a few straight male friends who are truly comfortable being around me. Again, the stereotypes make it so. Other acquaintances are okay in a group setting but have a bit of a struggle in one-to-one situations. Of course, I often am in the same boat [regardless of the crowd dynamics] so it goes two ways. LOL I often wish for a world where men can realize that being an integrated person means accepting your self for who you are...not "society's" expectations. Especially in our country.

brenthaig's picture

I'm so glad I did not run

I'm so glad I did not run into these two when I started. Luckily in 1986 video cameras were much more difficult to conceal.
I have had mixed reactions in wool shoppes but one of the first was an elderly woman who helped me with the neck of my first portrait sweater (Jimi Hendrix). She invited me to come to her knitting circle but warned me that the group was made of women all in their 70's and 80's.

daveballarat's picture

I'm with Bobinthebul... Here

I'm with Bobinthebul... Here in Istanbul where men are men and the sheep are scared ... oh no that's Australia where I used to live ... ummm... where the men are all rugged and from the Black Sea... ah... I find both the men and women here in the shops and wool markets wonderful. I can barely mumble a few words in Turkish but they seem to know what I want. Okay they can't advise me unfortunately ... maybe in a few years that will come ... after a few language lessons. But the point is, from a society with very strong social expectations, an individual crossing the lines of expectation is not criticised here. I was surprised and relieved.
All my friends at work know I knit, an international primary school, very accepting. All my Turkish friends know and chuckled at first but when they saw my stuff ... were pretty impressed ! (sorry couldn't resist a bit of smut) .
Maybe those 2 women are just really crap knitters and feel threatened by the creativeness of 'men who knit'.

bobinthebul's picture

I think it depends on where

I think it depends on where you go, and where your friends are from. :) The shop in question was in Kavacık. They asked "ye yapTIRiyorsun" (what are you HAVING made), and when I said I wasn't having any one make it, I made it myself, they weren't rude at all, they were just...processing it. I'm sure if I went back they'd be very friendly, but the shop was a sea of acrylic. The first place I ever went was Şık Düğme in Kadıköy. I didn't know what I was doing, and the guy sold me some heavy acrylic yarn and something like 11mm needles. :) Maybe I'll actually use them for something one day. But he was very nice. I went back for something else another time and there was another guy there, who was really cold. But going to Galeri 77 and Kürkçü Han is like visiting family any more. We should go there together some time. By the way, the guy in the Alize shop told me that there's a village near Çanakkale where most of the men knit and make their livings from it. (I'd heard that about Kastamonu but he said no, it was Çanakkale).

My friends know I knit and looked at it strangely at first too but on things like this they'll usually say "ama vallahi, tebrik ediyorum!" On the other hand, a friend from Sivas said "If you did that out there, they'd kill you!" (No they wouldn't of course, but it would seem stranger there. Ironically, he and his wife run a felt/wool business and make cute little felt flowers and figures.) ;)

I always thought it amusing that in the neighborhood markets, all the women's lingerie is sold by men. I love the bras artfully crafted into giant bra curtains (or entrap the occasional stray boob?) by their stands!

daveballarat's picture

Bob, is the market behind the

Bob, is the market behind the Spice Kurkçu Han? Sorry no disrespect intended but my keyboard ıs Englısh 99% of the tıme so I got no ıdea where most of the more Turkısh letters are. And with that I flick the switch back to English(Australian). Yes it's a sea of acrylic over here. I haven't been to the market in years because well, I am an exceptionally slow knitter. Ten minutes or twenty minutes per night before I go to sleep. It keeps my blood pressure down. Each Christmas I bring back some interesting yarn from home. I think I would go crazy with all the options there if I were there permanently. Also I have garments that I need to pull out and reknit because there were done so poorly. So wool wise I'm fine for a while, however I would still like to go and have a look ... I'd just have to walk around with my hands tied behind my back... I get soooo tempted to buy something. I managed a few weeks ago to go to the Spice Market and not cave in :) I had someone with me who is not a knitter and it was crowded so my strength came from the inconvenience.
Am so envious of your language ability. I have high hopes but lack discipline. Little by little I am improving ... I think but still it is minimal so maybe it is like Gaudi's cathedral, constant renovation never finishing.
I wish I'd read your response a few weeks ago. The last bayram I went to Canakkale !!! I'm on the computer daily for work so I avoid it at home... work has ruined the pleasure. So I answer emails from MenWhoKnit and once a month check my Facebook. Hence the delay in my response. I don't usually read the discussions, usually I don't find them that interesting but your discussion has been wonderful. Well done. But true to form, this is the second time in about 4 months I looked at the discussions, just too busy.
Yes let's some time do the wool shops/markets. I know a place near Sisli that has interesting stuff. I'd have to check it out again, it has been a long time since I've been there. My little places in Sariyer have acrylic only but are good for accessories. The guys and the women there are good. They'd be very helpful I'm sure if I had any needs and any Turkish :) Anyway, must be away, must walk the dog, do a few minutes Turkish lesson, then to bed and a knit.

akkamaddi's picture

"I love the bras artfully

"I love the bras artfully crafted into giant bra curtains (or entrap the occasional stray boob?) by their stands!"

Cue video with matte lighting and an elderly British announcer. "And here in the outskirts of Kavacık, our camera crew was fortunate enough to film a wild boob. While most travel in pairs, this one has gone rogue, and is potentially dangerous. To deal with this threat, men who are specialized artisans are called in to craft hunting nets out of bras....."

BrentGC's picture

Okay...that's just

Okay...that's just hilarious!!! Thanks for the morning laugh!!! :-)


Britannic's picture

I look at this way. I knit

I look at this way. I knit whenever and where ever I want. If you don't like it, that's your problem, not mine.

When I was younger and less wise (not that I'm all that wise now but I have learned a few things over the years), I used to think like this when I would see really obese people wear clothing that I thought revealed too much of their bodies that I thought really only belong on the thin or athletic. And, then, one day, I had the thought, what do I care? If they have such a positive sense of Self, who am I do decide or think that they should't? Shame on me. Whether or not I like what they look like doesn't matter and good for them for not letting me or anyone else tell them to live in shame of who they are.

So, you can spend the rest of your life worrying about what the people around you are thinking (which, honestly, is none of our business) and never do the things you want to do because of it or you can forge ahead, carry yourself with a strong, positive, friendly demeanor and hope that in time, the detractors will get over their imbecilic immaturity and prejudices and approach and accept you.

But, that's just how I look at it.

bobinthebul's picture

I agree with you 100%. I knit

I agree with you 100%. I knit on boats here in Istanbul and actually have never gotten a rude remark, just some stares. In some yarn stores (usually the ones staffed by women - most are staffed by men here interestingly enough), when I ask about a yarn they ask me, "what are you having knit?" (They use the verb form for having someone else do it, not do it yourself.) :) Usually women are quite surprised at first that a man knits, but then are happy. The male owners are almost always great; the only time I ever felt any condescension was from a shop owner who was quite visibly gay. Yeah yeah, stereotypes, but they do have their source in realities. :)

Generally if people here are uncomfortable with something, they'll just clam up or be a bit distant; outward rude comments are very rare. You'd have to push the envelope pretty far to elicit such behavior. Knitting a cock-sock in the garden of a mosque might do it.

That said, it took me a while to get to the point where I didn't care, and I know a lot of other people for whom it's even harder. So what bugs me about the video isn't so much what the women think in general, but rather their rude treatment of the man/men in question, sneaking around behind them and then broadcasting them on YouTube, and the "haha aren't we being funny" attitude. A general lack of consideration. Oh well, there's plenty of that to go around, no use dwelling on it too much!

kiwiknitter's picture

Yes, their rude behaviour +

Yes, their rude behaviour + sneaking around probably bothers me the most. I imagine those guys don't even know they are the butt of the joke.

Britannic's picture

Definitely, I agree. The

Definitely, I agree. The worse part of the video is the immaturely ridiculous behavior of the women (or should I say girls, since that is how they're acting) that made the video.

BrentGC's picture

Great thoughts.... Thanks

Great thoughts.... Thanks for sharing.


beenieg80's picture

I’ve been to many shops and

I’ve been to many shops and have gotten many rude remarks even got some down-right mean treatment. The closest LYS to me has horrible hours and a poor selection, I have made a couple purchases there and would never dream of knitting there. The last time I poked my head in to buy some yarn for a project the owner watched me like a hawk and asked only once if I were looking for something. The owner proceeded to stand on the other side of the store, small place, and whisper to the other patron. Upon my departure I asked what their hours were, the reply I received gave me the impression that I should never return, to which I never have.
I have received emails and in person comments that were not the nicest in regards to my knitting. I have been told several times that it is just a fad, that I should just put the needles and yarn away and save my money to work on a car, pretty rude considering this person knows I just bought 3 new cars because I know nothing of mechanics, a convertible for the summer, a sedan for the winter and a hybrid for work.
I’ve been told my knitting is sloppy, I don’t do it right, I need to hold my yarn in my right hand, I need to wrap the yarn around my fingers and that my stitches are never correct.
But knitting, as well as sewing, hand embroidery, crochet and quilting are things I enjoy. So let the old ladies say what they want to I just won’t do business with them. I have started to order yarn online from Webs (saw them at Stitches MW and they were very nice) and I will go to one of 2 somewhat nearby stores (The Fold in Marengo IL 30 min drive and Wall of Yarn in Freeport IL 40 min drive) I have always received good treatment at these places and will continue to support them as long as they are in business.
Sorry if I was a bit wordy.

akkamaddi's picture

"I’ve been told my knitting

"I’ve been told my knitting is sloppy, I don’t do it right, I need to hold my yarn in my right hand, I need to wrap the yarn around my fingers and that my stitches are never correct."

Go to the Logo TV channel web site and watch any season of RuPaul's Drag Race. You will find that such events come to a rapid end. "Sloppy? And you go out of the house like that? Really?".

Let's all be honest. A lot of it is homophobia. A man is doing something "feminine" and therefore trying to destroy Civilization. However, a lot of these people rely on their "Righteousness" rather than anything vaguely resembling fact or argument, and expect their lessers to cower. Many do not know how to deal with someone who throws down the gauntlet on the first slap, and will walk away. A few will balk and think they just need to re-assert themselves, but I've never seen anyone who can answer to, "You are being rude. You are being condescending. I will not tolerate it. You should leave me alone."

Now, if they are being honest, and pointing out your stitches are sloppy when your stitches are sloppy, listen to them. There is a big difference between honesty and rudeness. Don't tolerate the latter, but take advantage of the former whenever it is presented. Personally, I found that wrapping the yarn around my fingers really did help a lot, and even helped a bit with speed.

Also, be sure to separate the clientele from the staff. The first LYS (mentioned in another comment), the staff seemed a bit busy, and seemed to prefer the housewife and retired woman clientele. As far as I can tell, one of their trainers is a man. It's the clientele who seem confused that I don't have a girlfriend dragging me around.

Granted, the staff tends to set the mood. In the other store, the three basic rules are, "Do not discuss politics. Do not discuss religion, unless a private conversation. The store is a "safe haven" and will be treated as such." When I was showing up weekly, they said that they liked having a man around, and when a woman would come in husband-in-tow, they would tell him he could sit with the other men and women.


BrentGC's picture

Even though I'm very new at

Even though I'm very new at knitting, I've had some bad experiences in yarn shops. I went into a local one, and was greeted, although with a look of surprise on her face. We discussed a few things, but I felt it was with an attitude of disdain. I was not comfortable there.

Then, my partner and I were coming back from a road trip to Charlotte, NC, when we stopped in Asheville, NC, for lunch. I visited two separate yarn stores, and had two completely different reactions. The first yarn shop was basically the same situation as the first one I mentioned, but the second one even had a guy working the register! He was gracious and kind, and never blinked an eye. I got on their website after I got home, and sent them an email thanking them for their store and the welcoming spirit I received.

Thanks for the video.


BrentGC's picture

One other thing I failed to

One other thing I failed to add (remembering about the time I clicked the "send" button!) The yarn store that I was welcome in even has a men's knitting group that meets regularly. The owners were even gracious enough to invite me the next time I was in Asheville. Unfortunately, it's a good two-hour curvy drive across the Smoky Mountains, or I'd be there!


kiwiknitter's picture

It's funny but I'm far more

It's funny but I'm far more sensitive about negative comments about guy knitters than about anything else. Maybe it has something to do with all the unwelcoming attitudes I've encountered in women-dominated knitting groups. I didn't care for this video at all. It didn't motivate me to look at their website but I did go there just to see if I was wrong. They didn't offer anything about the clip to make me have a positive opinion it.

akkamaddi's picture

One of the two LYS's I've

One of the two LYS's I've been to I've never sat and knit because the women tend to give shocked looks. I stopped at the entrance of the knitting area on my first visit and looked around (mainly at what was scattered around the edges). A group of women near me looked up, and one moved her coffee in front of the empty chair next to her group. My needles (with my first project) stayed in the car.

That actually caused me to wait a few months before visiting the other one. Now that money is uncomfortably tight, I'm sad I can't go every weekend like I used to.

Bill's picture

I couldn't hear any sound on

I couldn't hear any sound on Youtube...just a sense of snickering...
I found it juvenile and offensive.