Monday, January 09, 2006

Where the Boys Are

Busy as all heck today, so all I have time to throw at you is a quick announcement.

Aidan Gilbert has gone and done it. He's organized a knitting meet-up for Chicago men, yclept Stitches in Britches.

The location:
Argo Tea Café
16 W. Randolph Street
The dates and times:
Second and fourth Tuesdays of each month
6:30–9:30 p.m.
The first meet-up will be tomorrow night, January 10, 2006.

Alas, I will not be there due to a prior commitment. I have to photograph 40 chocolate truffles for a print brochure. (If you can't be surrounded by knitters, it's nice to at least be surrounded by chocolate.)

There's a Yahoo group in conjunction with the meet-up, which you can join here.

A Response to an E-mail

The above announcement ties in with an e-mail I got a few days ago, in which a person who remained anonymous asked the question "If you didn't like the women kicking you out of the Stitch 'n Bitch in your neighborhood, why are you plugging for a men's group? Sounds like you are just as big a sexist."

Dear reader, in response I wish to make the following points.
  1. If you think I'm a sexist and/or hate women, you haven't been reading my blog very long. Please reference this, point 32; or this; or this; or this; or this before typing the letters P-I-G.

  2. The group that told me I was unwelcome as a male had advertised itself as "for all knitters" without any mention of gender requirements. Had the group labeled itself as "for women" I would not have intruded in the first place.

  3. Sometimes, even now, each sex needs and has a right to spaces in which its members can associate in exclusivity. The spaces will take various forms to suit various needs: a locker room, Wellesley College, or a knitting group. But the need is valid and should be respected.

  4. Should you feel the need to explore this issue further, your own blog would be the ideal place to do so. I have no interest. I'd rather talk about yarn and camera lenses.

  5. Oh, and cowboys.


CynCyn said...

Again, I find the anonymous email tactic so cowardly, and unfounded. Has this person read your blog at all?

Congrats on the StichnBritches... it'll be great to see some photos when the group is up and running!

Cheryl:) said...

chocolate truffles..... pictures of you rolling around in them maybe?????

Anonymous said...

Very Cool. I look forward to hearing more about your new knitting group. Shame you can't make the first night.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and now if they flame anonymously they can go to jail?

Christina said...

Git 'em, Franklin! If you're photographing 40 chocolate truffles, does that mean you get to EAT 40 chocolate truffles?!?

Ann said...

Great name for the new group.

Calvin said...

Franklin, you are so well spoken; even when you're telling it like it is! I, as Sean, would like to start an all-male knitting group. I enjoy the guild that I'm in, but I do miss having other males in the group (it's all female). Don't get me wrong, they're very accepting, but I do feel out of place sometime.

Unknown said...

Forty truffles? But I'm betting that they're forty non-edible truffles. Like made of resin or some such material that won't melt under the lights.

I once saw a raw turkey prepared for a photo shoot. It was brushed with brown shoe polish and then shellacked. Mmm mmm good.

See, I'm getting to the point where if someone sends me hate e-mail anonymously, I'm gonna post their e-mail address along with their vitriol. You were much too nice to that skank.

City Wiccan said...

I'm jealous . . . I want to start a men's knitting group here in Toronto. No, let me rephrase that. I want someone else to start a men's knitting group in Toronto . . . and then I can join.
I'm so lazy :)

Ann said...

Very well said---the option to post anonymously is there, but if you truly believe what you are typing into that little text box isn't it worth signing your name?

I can appreciate everyone's need to be with those who understand them best from time to time.


dan said...

Well, I think the blossoming of knitting groups are great. I'm active with the stitch and bitch group here in DC and also the MenKnit group. The more spaces and communities one can be a part of is better -- in my book.
For those who've mentioned wanting to form a knitting group, I hope you'll take advantage of the little how-to info page that's on the menknit site
Just suggestions from our attempts to start our group here in DC. The Chicago group has gotten ahold of us about setting up a menknit email too.
Anyway. I'm psyched to know that Chicago is getting a men's knitting group. I so would've loved it when I lived there four years ago.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. You're a breath of fresh air, and a literate one at that. Love ya!

Rabbitch said...

Ooh, can we talk about cowgirls also?

I'm just askin'. Not out of any personal interest or anything just going for the um, gender equality and political correctness which is what I'm always all about.

Shut up.

Let's talk about alpaca vs. llama, then, shall we?

Francesca said...

I especially like point #3, which seems to me an elegant summation of why and how men and women can congregate in same-sex groups without that necessarily being sexist, even while it is exclusionary.

It is a shame, though, that "all knitters" so often means "all female knitters." The feminist revolution has so far yet to go.

Lanea said...

Truffles and a manly knitting group. I swoon! I swoon so thouroughly. Have a great time.

Cathy said...

The anon emailer definitely has not read your blog.

Enjoy your new group.

Beverly said...

Your response to the comment is wonderful. Our knitting guild would never think of excluding anyone. We have one male knitter who joined last year and it's been great to have a different pov.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't feel that knitting or rodeo is particulary gender-specific...aren't both skills to be learned and enjoyed?

dpaste said...

Bravo. Ever the diplomat.

Anonymous said...


Oh darn, you can't be there? Why don't you just convince the brochure folks to bring the truffles over to the group and shoot everybody? Someone could whip up a quick placemat to put the box on.

Men knitting and eating truffles for a brochure? Now that's OVAH, dahling. I bet their sales would skyrocket!

Anonymous said...

all I could think was that I'm sooooo bored of making those kinds of arguments. I spent a bunch of years arguing about why all women groups weren't sexist and telling men they could go start there own if they thought they needed on. It seems so dumb that now that some men are actually doing this we are criticizing. Anonymously, even. You have been very polite in response, demonstrating much more inner fortitude than I might

Anonymous said...

Franklin, we would be DELIGHTED to see you at the Logan Square SnB!

Maybe this isn't your neighborhood (not mine either)--but it is worth the CTA ride!

Look for us in Yahoogroups under logan2knits .

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...sounds like the stitch and bitchers were actually the sexist party. Glad you got your "britches" meeting together! Sounds fun.

Anonymous said...

Franklin -

May I pass the word on this at Arcadia Knitting?

The blog is fabulous and that pullover you made in the round was absolutley fabulous!

Thanks -

Kathy Kelly
Arcadia Knitting

Anonymous said...

It was SO MUCH POLITER of you to be so {gentlemanly?} to leave the falsely advertized group than it was for them to ask you to that I am flabbergasted. I am afraid their behavior made me so mad I have to go think about why I want to smash things. I do think, in your position, I would have asked for the rest of the group's attention to se if the whole agreed with the two who spoke to you, and then I would have suggested gently that they reword their notice. Then I would have left and come back with a flamethrower and my savage wolfhound and eaten all their knitting.

How many years of feminism will it take to raise their consciousness a) that if they meant _women_ they should say WOMEN?
and b, maybe they should get over being grossed out by your incredibly threatening macho-ness and talked about hoohoos and placentas in front of you and tried to gross YOU out. What BABIES.

I do apologize, or I would if I thought these were real women.

And I am sorry about the woman on the bus (whom it would be very wrong of me to hope she is soon mugged by a white guy in a suit and whose kid should only start dating, soon, people of the wrong ethnic group, preferably tattoo artists who can't keep a job and have funny marks on their arms) and the tourists, but there are reasons everyone hates tourists and if you flashed them no one local would care.

No, not carrying any random anger here, why do you ask?

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