Wednesday, October 05, 2005

And He Created Them Male and Female

This is being written in haste, kids, so keep that in mind as you read.

Point Number One.

It's a just a stupid t-shirt. Cool your jets.

Point Number Two.

If what male knitters want is no longer to be objects of curiosity (and let's be honest, fellows - don't tell me you don't sometimes enjoy the attention when it isn't condescending), then what we want is a world in which everyone mixes and nobody is excluded.

I designed the original t-shirt for Jon as a present, based on a funny comment C made. Jon loved the shirt. Many people who saw Jon wearing the shirt loved the shirt (though I'm sure the model was part of the reason). Many of those people were women, and many wanted to know if I would do a version for them.

And why wouldn't I?

The thing I like best about the design is that it does work for either sex.

We're all knitters. We all have needles. And none of us should be messed with.

Boys, you'll have your own designs from me by and by, but don't look to me help build a club that keeps out all the girls all the time. I happen to like the girls. The old attitudes are changing and the girls have been mighty nice to me of late.

Point Number Three.

Girls buy shirts. So far, may I add, only girls buy my shirts. And Captain Shortguy needs a new camera. That's capitalism for you.


Anonymous said...

Actually Franklin, what the boys really need is more knitting patterns for boys. And from the sounds of the sweater thing, you are well on your way there.

I am happy, Jon, to do away completely with any and all paraphenalia that says Knit Chick, Knit Queen (what is any woman doing wearing that?!), or similar. I can be identified as a knitter because I have a cool handknit and felted bag that almost always has a half-knit pair of socks in it. And I frequently wear handknit sweaters or can be seen in public knitting them.

Now, a book of Franklin cartoons (or a regular cartoon in say, Knitty, or even, dare I suggest, IK) ....

Franklin said...

Jon and Tricky: I don't tell you guys what to knit or for whom you should knit it.

Stop trying to bully me about what I do with my own creativity.

I am not responsible for the current state of the knitting world. Female knitters get more stuff because there are more of them to buy stuff, which makes producing things for them more profitable. That is how a capitalist economy works. It is not sexism. It is common sense.

Nobody is stopping any man who is upset with the lack of men's knitting patterns and gear from designing his own patterns and gear using his own time and resources.

When I come up with ideas for men, I will market them. When I come up with ideas for women, I will market them. When I come up with unisex ideas, I will market them.

But I will do it in my own way and in my own time. I'm not doing this to suit anybody else's agenda.

Anonymous said...

WELL SAID FRANKLIN!!! I think you should follow your instincts. But I personally find it seems humerous on a man & a bit bitchy on a woman. Those stereotypes will just never go away unless we all knit together. OH----I need some advise on the best digital compact cameras on the market. Any thoughts??? I'd really appreciated them.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think point #3 is a particularly trenchant one. Let's all vote with our wallets...

Cheryl:) said...

Now boys, boys, fight nice!!!
There is a sweatshirt on CafePress that just says FRANKLIN. But I am going to order one of yours... so those two jealous boys will just have to get over it it!!!

Don't forget "Potty Parity"!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Anonymous said...

It's sort of funny that people would be politiking over this. Historically, when men knit they had a guild and made you pass tests to get into it. When women knit, they had to do it while minding the baby, gathering the peat, and walking around town. Men's work was valued over women's work, in knitting as elsewhere.

Now here we are with you fellas arguing about how much and what kind of "stuff" you can get for your knitting.

At least yarn is unisex!

Anonymous said...

I am holding out for the Captain Shortguy t-shirt. I loved yesterday's bio.

Interesting t-shirt debate. Since I'm new here, I'll keep my mouth shut except to say that I don't care if something is made for a man or a woman. If I like it, I'm going to buy it.

Cece said...

Ha. Point 3 is what I was thinking when I was reading yesterday's comments. Money talks!

Marlene said...

Any time a person gets special rights (or is refused them) solely because they belong to a certain race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age group, THAT is discrimination and focuses all attention on our differences rather than our similarities. Can't we just be PEOPLE and get along?

I'm surprised that a group of gay guys are so adamant about creating a separation where none needs to exist. Equality is about inclusion, not exclusion.

Anonymous said...

Franklin, celebrity is a bitch, ain't it?

I understand the female support, and on the capitalist tip, you're rockin'. But I also understand Jon, Tricky and Jove's position, which is why I support (who have shirts, y'all, remember?).

Stereotypes exist on our side too. These "knit chicks" that think they have the knitting boom on lockdown, are primarily STRAIGHT, and they're NOT inclusive at all (or very self-centered). Picture this:

Snow Beverages in NYC has a nightclub knitting event that PROHIBITS MEN. Well, for all the "knit chick, girl-bonding" togetherness, it FLEW OUT THE DOOR when some of my gay-sisterfriends and their lovers, who I told about it, came. The "chicks" became uncomfortable, and some of 'dem bitches was downright homophobic.

One of my girls was a boi that the door guy almost didn't let in. SAY WHAAAT? She was knitting a dress for her knockout wife.

When more men sport gear that, unites them as knitters, then maybe the women will start to move over. Just don't sweat my Franklin for the gear. I need him in good shape for Rhinebeck and to make my personalized, autographed, 3D, action-cartoon shirt, LOL.

BTW, are y'all gonna get upset if I purchase a "Man enough to knit...shirt? I'm gettin the Fiber Snob bag and the MenKnit button. Lemme know now, so I don't get stabbed in the eyes by some knitting man. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think I'd just like a t-shirt with one of those awesome cartoons and "Franklin" underneath. Or maybe "I am a Franklin groupie."

Those would be unisex enough.

Anonymous said...

See, I dig the shirt because of the attitude. Sure, I'm a female knitter, so I'm part of the "club," but I still feel overwhelmed and left out a lot of the time when I see all those frumpy, frilly, girly or just plain stupid patterns and yarns in magazines and stores. Its nice seeing something knitting-related that isn't purple, glittery,fuzzy, or decorated with drawings of cats or women wearing large hats.

I don't think many of the women who like the shirt are thinking about gender when they read it. Most women probably don't even think at all about the flak guys may get for knitting. It's the usual mainstream blindness toward subcultures.

I don't think the answer is to get mad or territorial; instead it might be a great opportunity to educate women about what it's like to be a male knitter -- and to sell some shirts.

Kathy said...

Franklin's right. It's just a T-shirt!! Why on earth would he exclude women. Especially since only WOMEN have bought them.

"Why do women have to have a corner on everything? Why can't they just accept the fact that the shirt applies to men who knit and move on with it? Why do they have to have an equal part in it?"

Wow. Do you hate women or just one in general? Last time I checked, women didn't have the corner on everything. That shirt can apply to men or women. The shirt is for knitters, regardless of gender.

Anonymous said...

I think I just want to sit in whatever corner Franklin's sitting in, is all. He's clever, he's funny, I like him, and he knits. And it's his shop, so if I'm offered a seat, I'll be sitting down, thanks.

goblinbox said...

Well, at least the whole thing is getting you commments. *giggle*

I have to say, I'm not really one to belong to girls-only clubs or to shut out the boys...

...but I'm also not a boy who knits.

So I don't even particularly feel qualified to have an opinion, but I do know that I like yours, Franklin.

Marlene said...

Sorry Franklin, to be commenting in such length to Jon here.

Jon, I'm Canadian. Perhaps Canadians are not so used to people being seperated into little 'not to be mixed' groups. I've travelled very little so can't comment on how it is in the rest of the world, but I HAVE been to Denver Colorado and I was so shocked at the racial discrimination there that I mentioned it to some of the residents of the area who were attending the same conference. They had no idea! I guess they are around it so much that they no longer really see it.

Jon, Denver Colorado IS different! Come to BC, Canada. I'll welcome you into my knitting group, introduce you at the spinners guild (where the, as yet all female, membership wishes more men would participate) and take you on a tour of the LYSs. Wear that bad-ass men's knitting t-shirt if you like. (I'm waiting for a less violent feeling, cartoon t-shirt to come out).

Oh, and Jon? I am a larger woman who buys every bit as much wool to make myself a sweater as I do for my husband. Patterns in knitting magazines are also best suited to the svelt, 20 something ladies so I have to design my own patterns too.

Anonymous said...

I missed this. Amazing what can happen in the space of a few days.

First off, I love the t-shirt Franklin. Nice design -- reminiscent in its own way of an old HIV/AIDS t-shirt I have with a Paul Monette quote. Very graphic and a funny line.

That you made it in a woman's version certainly has a one-off feel to it, but I think its your right to do whatever the hell you want to do with what you create. As someone who lives off poetry and art -- the only things that consistently feed me these days, how could I feel any other way.

I also think its great that the decision has made a conversation flower. This may be an emotional conversation for some, because it is about a thing we love, and there may be ignorance on both sides, but I think its always good to talk things out, if not through.

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