Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Regressive Concept for a Book Award

goes to this charmer:



an ad for which I picked up at TNNA. Here's the publicity blurb:



Like the patriarchy hasn't done enough?! They have to find a way to make our knitting all about them? To insert angst into a craft that ought to make knitters proud, not insecure? KnitGrrls of the world, unite! Knit whatever you want for whomever you want. And buy yourself your own damn ring if you want one that bad.

35 comments:

anmiryam said...

That is truly offensive. I expect the author and the company are trying to use an old saw to generate sales, but it's an old saw that should be allowed to die a long overdue death.

Sadly, I know enough women who will think it's "cute" and buy the book anyway.

mindy said...

My screen and keyboard are happy that I hadn't made my coffee yet. You tell 'em!

Dave Daniels said...

Yeah, that seems a little...retarded...I can't find a better word at the moment. I'm sure it's not the write that came up with it, it's got to the the stupid publishers. I know two other folks writing books that are having similar "issues" with stupid publishers.
It's NOT going on my Amazon Wish List.

Valerie said...

Wow. I can't even begin to count the assumptions about knitters made by that book. Apparently, all knitters are single, heterosexual women looking for a man to marry?

Sadly, I'm sure it will do well enough. Seems like they're green-lighting just about every knitting book idea out there, doesn't it?

Stacey said...

I almost feel insulted reading that! I'm sure the concept came up as a joke in the beginning, but someone actually ok'd it as a book - they must not have put out feelers to test it - ugh - I need more coffee..

Barb B. said...

My eyes, even though they are bionic, are getting old, and the glasses were a tad grubby this morning. So what I read at first was "before you make that sweater you want to knit for him, make sure you don't come in his mouth" which was kind of intriguing, and I was all set to get the book. Then I figured out what the note really said. Durn!
Barb B.

Dave said...

Patriarchy? They? Them? Looks to me like it was written by a woman. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

The truly sad thing is, I know several women (myself included) who would like a book of non-sweater projects for men. But I'm not buying anything packaged that way.

Anonymous said...

You mean you didn't make this up?
/Monika

Lauren said...

Boooo
says the girl who's knit her boyfriend 5 sweaters.

Carol said...

Well, Dave, perhaps I foolishly assumed that the major publishing companies and their marketing execs are predominantly owned and run by men. Just sayin'.

Lee Ann said...

Have to agree with Dave: this ain't patriarchy, this book author is a woman without a freaking clue. At this point in history, when women write crap like this, I don't know about you, but it's not the men I feel like shaking until their hairspray loses its hold. And Barb B.'s comment made me practically fall off my chair laughing...

Wow. That's so much worse than toilet roll covers, I can't even believe it.

Lee Ann said...

And regarding the major publishing houses, agents, all that, I have to say that for craft books, most of the people I hear about in that industry are women, and I've worked for a bunch of publishers for other topics...also a lot of women there.

I would really like to believe that this book was a bad joke that accidentally made it to the printer, but...

Sigh. I'm wicked cynical.

Carol said...

Aw, c'mon, guys, you're no fun. If we can't blame it on the patriarchy writ large, can we at least agree that it's Dubya's fault? I don't think Al Gore would have allowed such a book to be published during his tenure. ;)

Joe said...

Self-loathing women in the craft industry are just as much a symptom of the disease of a patriarchal society. Look at Laura Bush, for chrissakes...she's a hundred times smarter than her dolt of a husband, but defines herself by him. Codependency issues due to a spoiled, coke-snorting husband perhaps?

I guess I blame both the patriarchy and the president.

Dawn said...

I just googled the author's name and it appears she has several books to her name and is "a founding editor of Interweave knits" In other words she is probably experienced enough and old enough to know better.

Bad taste indeed.

Dawn

Courtney said...

I think blaming W is something we can all agree on.

That publicity blurb makes me want to vomit. Keep your knitting on track with your relationship? I Met his Friends Vest? I really wish that was a joke.

It ought to be called "How to scare your boyfriend off by knitting tons of crap for him and making him think you're psycho."

Elizabeth said...

Wow! That's unreal.

The thing that gets me about the boyfriend-sweater myth is that the slightest bit of scientific method can disprove it in no time. Yet it persists. Ask your average straight female knitter how many boyfriends she has had in her life. Ask her how many of those she made sweaters for. I bet you'll find that NOT knitting has a much higher correlation of failed relationships than knitting. I personally didn't knit for 4 young men and those relationships all ended. The one I did knit for is now my husband.

Carol said...

Oh you, bringing up that old "scientific method" again. Why, I don't need no science to tell me what I know is true. We didn't descend from no apes and if I knit my boyfriend a sweater he'll dump me. Let's stick to truthiness.

Lee said...

I gotta go with Joe on this: being a woman doesn't necessarily prevent anyone from espousing the patriarchal viewpoint (Phyllis Schlafly, Caitlin Flanagan). The patriarchy has been *very* successful at creating a culture in which it isn't just men who hate women. Much easier to keep us down when we hate ourselves.

But knitting as a tool of the patriarchy? Fuck that shit.

diane said...

guess there's a market for everything, as appalling as this book concept is. is there a sock patt? something like "love leg shackle sox"...?

erika said...

When reading this post in Bloglines, the formatting makes it look like the last paragraph ("Like the patriarchy...") IS the publicity blurb.

I read it five or six times, very confused that you found this grrl power statement to be "reprehensible." Finally I thought, "Well, I guess I can't agree with everybody, but I really thought Marilyn was cooler than that..."

Imagine my HUGE RELIEF when I finally clicked through to the post itself, and found that the publicity blurb was "hidden" in Bloglines, and the text WAS your comment! I <3 you.

Carol said...

Who's Marilyn?

Deborah C. said...

Stupid premise, stupid book, it doesn't really matter who wrote it or thought up the title. I'm sure whoever did so thought it "cute." I find it nauseating. If I wanted to knit for a boyfriend (which was extremely rare), I would knit. I would ask first, if they wanted something, and if so, what they wanted, so I knew it was something they would wear or use. I guess the publishers think all knitters have wool for brains and will buy anything with the word "knit" in the title.

Jennifer R said...

I can't believe I'm kind of defending this book, but...

Strictly speaking, a boyfriend can and will dump me at any time, regardless of whether or not I knit him anything. I'm just not spending months making him a sweater only then to get THAT treatment. (Then again, I'm still pissy at my mother for wanting me to knit her a poncho, then turning up her nose at it and whining at me to "fix" it because one of the ends wasn't pointy. Hey, YOU picked the pattern...and the fun fur and Homespun yarn that I sure as hell am not taking out and redoing AGAIN...)

Okay, bottom line is: I'm not spending that much time making anyone something only to not get appreciated, which is kind of what the Boyfriend Sweater boils down to in the end because boyfriends tend to have shorter life spans than friends and family. So, having a book of ah, shorter presents to make someone of the male persuasion isn't a bad idea.

The title, however, still makes me snicker a whole lot that they're so blatant about it. "Get the ring, girls!" You know any guy who finds that around her house is gonna run like hell...

Carol said...

Well, if you pick the right guy, he might not underappreciate your knitting. But I think we all pretty much agree with you that a book of items to make for men is one thing; it's the sexist, archaic approach that bites the big one. What if you want to knit something for -- dare I say it -- a male friend? A brother? What if you are happy in your relationship and don't need a piece of paper from the man? What if you are a lesbian? It's the assumptions that grate. So many assumptions. So many stupid assumptions. And so blatant a marketing ploy.

Erika said...

CAROL, wow, I'm sorry! I had just finished an email to a relative named Marilyn, and I was very groggy and undercaffeinated. Oops. *sheepish* Carol.

Jennifer said...

See....thats why my husban married me, because I didn't force a sweater on him. And why did I marry him? Because I could spend all my time making myself hand-knitted garments and not waste that precious yarn or time on him! =)

Anonymous said...

what I find insulting is that a woman NEEDS a man at all.

I am strong and confident and intelligent to do anything I want on my own without anyone else going along for the ride.

for the record, I am married and straight. but I do as I damn well please, whether he likes it or not.

someone PLEASE kill the "boyfriend sweater" myth and stupid waste-of-trees books like this one.

anne marie in philly

Anonymous said...

maybe there's a pattern in the book for a knitted cock-ring?

Anonymous said...

The cock ring would be an anniversary gift. It's probably in the next book: "You've Got the Ring. Now What?" Also included is the "He's Too Old to Flee" Cosby sweater.
/Monika

Molly said...

I don't know about all this patriarchy stuff, but I know what let's do....I've got a WONDERFUL idea for a cookbook-"Don't Make Him a Turkey Dinner Until He's Paid For The Cosmetic Surgery"...hmm? ideas? inspirations? Let's pitch!

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that a lot of young knitters will think this is the cutest funniest cleverest thing EVAR. Seriously, they're hanging out on Livejournal in the various knitting communities. They frequently mention the sweater curse and act like boy crazy twits. It's nauseating because I'm not much older than them but they make me want to weep for the future.

Gail said...

Oh, good lord.

I actually, um, um.

Okay, I told my now fiance that he doesn't get that Aran sweater he wants so badly until we get married. I've been holding out for 4 years now.

(It started out as a joke, I swear to god. Then it turn into a habit, then a joke, and now I'm just ashamed. ;))

Norah said...

Yes, it's offensive and sad, but getting married still is the goal for many women, and strategies to reach this goal are still popular. Remember how much you heard about those "The Rules" books a few years ago? And how popular many of the "chick lit" books are, where the young women gets married in the end? It wouldn't surprise me if the whole concept of this book was thought up by women. Plus you're still always hearing about "the boyfriend curse" on knitting sweaters for your boyfriend. So sadly this book will porbably be popular for awhile.