Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stymied

-noun a situation or problem presenting such difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it.

I just want to start by saying that I almost never watch the news. By almost never, I mean I might watch ten minutes once a year. I hate watching the news. It's artificial and depressing. Instead, I prefer to get my news from public radio, where people have intelligent discussions about what's going on. Maybe I should be more diverse, but I'm not. I deal pretty well with that.

Anyway, today, I started watching the news because it came on HLN after Clark Howard. They did a quick pre-blurb on crocheted graffiti. Like, Knitta Please style. What stymied me? They said it's "... graffiti that even your grandmother could enjoy...." and "... this ain't your grandmother's crochet circle..." and it's a "...radical approach to an old-fashioned craft..." All in TWO blurbs, not more than thirty seconds, of talking about the craft, BEFORE the actual story. Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE my grandmother. She did, in fact, crochet. As a matter of fact, I'm teaching her to knit. But why does the media make it sound like there's some reform going on to make the crappy-old crafts that our grandmothers did into something hip and glowing and new? Is it not worth talking about unless we make that point? I think the crocheting that my grandmother did was awesome and beautiful and useful and artistic, just like knitting and crocheting are now.

I just saw a commercial on tv that included fishing. Something that men stereotypically do. Older men, in fact. Perhaps our grandfathers. But nobody talks about what our grandfathers do in a demeaning way. I don't even think that most men who fish recreationally, eat those fish. It's certainly not necessary for most people to fish. Why no stigma?

The ladies are here, and I have to forgive the announcer because the ladies used the words "old" and "grandmotherly" in the interview.

I'm not upset that's it's called "grandmotherly," I'm more upset about how they make that sound: not warm, hardworking, nurturing, and artistic, but "cute" and "old-fashioned".

1 comment:

  1. This bothers me too. My grandmother is far from "grandmotherly" (she doesn't have an oven and makes trail mix 'cookies' in her microwave) so I am a bit bothered by that term...especially when I was younger and she was the only grandma I knew, taking me on hikes in Mexico, etc...

    But I continue to be bothered by the 'old-fashioned', 'quaint', and 'useless hobby' stigma that is associated with knitting while old men who stare at old cars for hours on end are...well, normal.

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