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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Obviously, I'm not a girl.

There comes a time in every woman's life where she is faced with the inevitable. A time when her gender and femininity and even her worth are called into question. It often sounds like, "Every girl can sew!"

In this case, it happened in the craft store down the yarn aisle. Miss Pink's friend has taken to knitting during indoor recess. Her friend has made a scarf. Her friend is making a baby blanket to donate to the hospital. Clearly the only thing for Miss Pink to do is to knit her own scarf!

I don't have anything against yarn. It's... soft. Kind of stringy. Pretty, for an inanimate lump of string. And I have nothing against knitting or crochet (no I don't know the difference). It's just that I never learned to do either. I did try, once many years ago in college for a group that was donating baby blankets to some charity or another. I might even have the yarn somewhere. It's just that I don't knit.

Which is what I told Miss Pink.

I helped her find a Knit For Kids kit with hooks and directions. I helped her pick out the yarn for her scarf. I told her I would support her. But I told her I didn't know how to knit.

An older woman somewhere between 50 and dead looked at me over the rim of her glasses. "Can't knit?" She scoffed. "Every woman can knit!"

Really? REALLY???

No one told me I could knit! I was so excited I bought my own yarn! I could knit, because ALL GIRLS CAN KNIT! It's part of our genes! I have a knitting organ hidden inside my body, probably right next to my uterus, and I never knew! My knitting organ was going to waste! It was being an appendix!

Well, we came home and I sat down with Miss Pink to read the book and help her out. We stumbled through the first few steps and then started her scarf. She sat there smiling with all the joy of an eight-year-old who has found a fun new hobby she shares with her friend. I... sat there.

"Isn't this fun, mom?" Miss Pink asked.

I looked at my tangled yarn and my twisting mess of what we aren't even going to pretend may be a scarf one day... "No."

I don't like knitting.

Yes, there's a certain relaxing rhythm to tying knots in yarn, but it's not what I would classify as fun. And I'm pretty sure the mess I made doesn't count as knitting, to be perfectly honest.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I have concluded I am a man. If women can knit, and I can't, I am no woman. The uterus, four pregnancies, my deeply held internal belief that I am female... none of that matters because I can't knit. The laws are clearly defined: if it knits it's a girl, if it doesn't knit, it's a boy. Problem solved!

... Or maybe, just maybe, gender stereotypes are stupid beyond all reason and we should stop assuming that a person can or cannot do something because of the genitalia they were born with. Maybe? No?

Okay. No worries. Books by men sell better in sci-fi anyway.


  1. Love the last line.

    I have to wonder what planet that woman lives on. I'm always shocked to find out someone else can knit. I learned it in part for the novelty of it. My mom is in awe of the skill.

    1. I have crafty skills, it's just that knitting and crochet aren't in my skill set apparently.

  2. Huzzah, and toss the yarn ball for the cat to play with. There was no class I despised more than "Home Economics." Yeah, only the girls HAD to take that course while the boys got "Shop." Cooking wasn't too bad since I really do like to eat, but the sorry excuse for a blouse I made was tossed out by year's end. My knitting/crocheting/tatting/sewing organ obviously never developed either.

    1. Home Ec wasn't a required course so I never took it. I dreaded carrying around the fake baby doll that cries.

  3. I crochet but I don't knit. I have trouble coordinating the two needles as opposed to the one hook. I have taught other people to crochet, including guys. And one of the best knitting designers out there is a guy.

    Btw, there are tons of videos on YouTube that show how to knit, crochet, and do any type of craft you can think of. So if Miss Pink really likes knitting that's the place to go to help her learn new techniques and save the yarn from your tender mercies. :)

    Stereotypes need to be stopped. All they do is make people whose talents lie in different directions feel bad because they can't do whatever the stereotype is about.

    When someone makes a stereotypical comment around me my response is usually "Right, and all birds can fly." When they invariably ask what I mean I tell them they are making an assumption and repeat the three lines my English teacher liked to use to demonstrate mistaken assumptions.

    All birds can fly.
    An emu is a bird.
    Therefore an emu can fly.

    1. I like that response! I may have to steal it. :)