All my sewing and knitting projects are not quite right at the moment.
I’m up to the toe of the socks I am knitting and, well it’s all quite technical, but the toe is not shaping up the way it’s meant to.
I have been putting the collar onto my shirt for at least 6 weeks now (I know, that is slow progress even for me) and it has been, at every stage, incredibly slow and tedious work. And the results are extremely unsatisfying.
I love the handmade nature of my shirt (and the socks). I love that you can see the stitching and that the stitching is imperfectly perfect. But this is beyond that. It feels unloved.
I’ve realised that I’ve actually sewn the collar on in the wrong order…which is why it looks so rough.
What I have been doing, whilst I sew this collar on and whilst I knit these socks is dismantling the patriarchy. It sounds grander than it is. It is a very small pocket of patriarchy that I have been slowly taking apart.
A small but important pocket. In my heart.
For the last month I’ve sat, and I have listened to women talk about their experiences of being a woman.
As I have listened I have been sewing.
The idea behind the sewing was to have a physical representation of my ability and willingness to take responsibility for myself in the world. Domestically, emotionally, financially, physically.
It has not escaped my notice that during this month of listening I have demonstrated some of my worst sewing and knitting. My incompetence at being able to sew and listen, to be able to take care of myself and create space for listening to women, is, surely a tragic metaphor of some sought.
I’m acutely aware of how inadequate this work is as a response to this deep and insidious problem.
But when my mate Matt said to me “Why aren’t you commenting on #MeToo posts on Facebook to show your support for your female friends?” and I started seriously thinking about how I could act to address this injustice…well it's the best I could come up with.
Its small, its flawed and it’s not quite right…but it's a hell of a lot better than doing nothing. It's a step. One that I’m taking with the right destination in mind. Which is a start. And we have to start.
So, I started.
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