politics&me

Saturday, 23. July 2011

Needlecase

Finally some patchwork again! I made a bag/case for my knitting tools.

strickzeug5

DPN's, circs, scissors, stitchmarkers, extra cables, crochet hooks, darning needles, needle gauge, all fits in there.

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the only bad thing is that the DPN's are falling out if you're not careful. I should have included some kind of flap above them.

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And then, I felt I had to leave a discussion group in ravelry. Even though I know that common sense in the USA is a bit different from here, and that many north Americans are considering our european welfare and medical care systems socialism, I was once more astonished and super uncomfortable reading discussions about this topic. And there's a particular group where such topics keep coming up frequently.
What makes me uncomfortable is the fact that people seem to
- blame the poor for being poor and suggesting that supporting them is not up to society but a service the poor should be grateful for;
- bringing up the taxpayer and his/her pocket when others talk about poor ppl having to go to the ER, talking about how unfair it is if the poor have the wealthier ppl support them.
..and the lack of solidarity in general.
I'm aware that a lot of ppl here in europe are repeating the same phrases, and that makes me uncomfortable just as well, but it's just my impression, (without being able to make a direct comparison), that the majority here believes in the necessity of social welfare programs and that everyone has the right to get medical treatment and a minimum of financial support.

Now, the taxpayer can not even begin to think about paying for the state's expenses, I mean, the state is so deeply in debt that everyone would have to rise millions of Euros to pay all the money back - so I don't get how there is money for warfare and saving big multinational companies and banks from going bankrupt, and because of that there is no more money for supporting the weaker and poorer members of the community. Oh yeah, of course I do get it. It's important to fight wars and pumping money into the companies to stabilize and keep up the economic system while it does not matter that much if the poor have toothaches and low vitamin levels. *sarcasm*
No, really, I hate capitalism. And I thought that said ravelry group was dedicated to developping alternative ways of life which enable ppl to live more autonomously from capitalism, if that's at all possible. Well.
I've been told to be an impulsive person, and as such I should sometimes keep my mouth shut - but some topics really make me "go off". So I guess it's better to stay away from some groups as I don't think I want or could convince anybody.. and heck yeah, I am a socialist compared to some other ppl I guess, and I don't have a problem with that.

Anyway.. have a nice weekend everyone.

Friday, 8. October 2010

World Wide Spin in Public Day

I don't know about you, but I don't see how WWSIPD or WWKIPD (knit in public day) make much sense, apart from giving knitters and spinners a chance to come together and socialize. Something that can always be done, without making it a "worldwide day". I also think there's no need to raise more public awareness about knitters or spinners as a group. Like a queer/LBGT pride parade would aim for.

I guess most people are indifferent about the fact that other people are knitting. Or spinning. Like I'm indifferent about other hobbies that don't interest me so much, collecting stamps, or the like. And that's fine with me. I don't have to change anything about that.

I still hope that everybody who took part in an event had fun, because I feel it makes totally sense if people come together and do fun things together, connect with each other - that's super political in my eyes. :-)

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Tuesday, 18. August 2009

just what is it that makes the poor so patient so quiet?




just what is it that makes the poor so patient so quiet?

Originally uploaded by bluemacgirl


Just came across this photo on flickr, and it's posted under creative commons license, so I can share this here..
It's a graffto in Kreuzberg, photo taken by bluemacgirl.

Sunday, 7. December 2008

Write for a right

Yesterday we, my amnesty international group, did a write-a-thon event in a café. only a few people participated, but we produced about 50 handwritten letters to officials around the world urging them to protect the human rights of prisoners, journalists, activists, in their countries.

If you would like to join the write-a-thon, this is a global event this upcoming week, and you can join in here at this website.

Why, the king of Saudi-Arabia does have a real long postal adress! And the head of judiciary in Iran has a postal adress, that takes 10 minutes to write down!

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Saturday, 11. October 2008

International day against the death penalty October 10th

Yesterday, I had a comeback of sorts. After I didn't have the time last year to participate in the acivities of my amnesty international group, we (me and my mum) painted a banner yesterday and I joined the group at a little demonstration in front of the embassy of Belarus.
This is the banner we made: (textile paint still drying)

transpi

It says something like "end death penalty in belarus" :-)

Belarus is the last country in europe still executing people, although the public doesn't get to know much about it.

Read more: Wikipedia: Death penalty in Belarus
Amnesty international: Death Penalty: 20,000 on death row across the world
Amnesty international on Belarus

Sunday, 20. July 2008

reactionary images conveyed in the craft community?

Today I had a lengthy debate with two friends about crafty weblogs and what image is conveyed by them - about women, mothering and gender roles.
There is this kind of "pink bonbon girlie image" with lots of flowers, little ruffles everywhere, where "everything is sooooo cute and I'm not a woman but a little girl age 30something".
There is this "I am a mother and my home is perfect and everything is in perfect harmony and the sun is shining everyday" kind of weblog... and stuff like that.

I'm not sure if my english is good enough to really explain what I'm trying to say.
In Germany, there is definitely a trend away from feminism and its achievements towards other topics while the role model of a woman being a good homemaker and going "back" to "traditional" values seems to be used to make the backlash taste better for women.
To be a feminist is considered uncool and to my astonishment, it's considered to be a synonym to "prudish". So there are some "new feminists" around whose mission is to prove to the world that they are not prudish at all. Well.

Anyway, I wonder if that was ever an issue to crafty women - what kind of gender cliché is broadcast through the public sewing of many pink litte flower-ribbons-purses-cuties on the internet?
I wonder if the crafters who build up an image about a cute girlie home life are aware of that problem that it's a female cliché. And if they are, I wonder if they see the need to do something about it.
I mean, being cute, doing cute things, wearing cute stuff - why reduce oneself to the status of a child - and that is effectively happening when being cute. Why not stop being cute? or why not being cute and doing cute things and explaining why?

Another friend of mine said that all of this can also be seen as Drag or costume. Everything is drag. Even if you don't know it. So this self-directed movie someone is making about a pink princess in a fairytale sewing happily on her stuff, maybe that's sometimes so overemphasized that you can only call it drag.

I have personally some issues with my own gender role, I find that many things traditionally ascribed to be womens business are also looked down upon in society in general. And for example, doing crafts at home like knitting, sewing and embroidering is looked down upon. Maybe not anymore elsewhere, but here it still is. But as a human being, I don't want to be looked down upon. I want to be respected. So where is respect in calling oneself "girl" - does a man call himself a "boy"? Where is self-respect in doing things that are really great and take skills like crafting and reducing that activity to have a production of basically useless, but cute things? Like: "Oh I have 20 cute handbags already, but this pattern is so cute - I must make it for the sake of cuteness, and because my hobby has not the least bit of prestige anyway, I don't have to think about it if someone finds that crazy."

Of course this is very exaggerated. I think the caricature I am drawing here doesn't exist as a real person maybe, but caricatures are sometimes helpful to make a point, especially if one doesn't speak the language too well and can't express that more subtly.

For me, I found that my hobby is more respected if what I make is useful, like "Wow, you've got the power to make something like pants or a bag and you don't have to buy one!" And if i value it myself a lot.

But maybe that's just old-fashioned Germany. I've heard that (despite having a female chancellor) we are very far behind social developments, as good as this country might be in technical inventions, it's a lousy place for social reforms and doing something to have more equality. Maybe from the german perspective I just find it weird if women actively embrace the cute knitting sewing homemaker image.
Because I know there are famous designers like Amy Butler who make pink pastel flowery cute fabrics and do that with very much success, self-respect and expertise. Maybe there are a lot of self-conscious empowered women who reclaim the color pink and get respected and cute is becoming a cool thing?
And I just don't see it because I live in an old-fashioned country? I mean, women from other countries, scandinavian countries, for example, keep telling me that this is really strange here, how women are still sticking in the same old position and don't even mind it.

My conclusion is: I like this pink doll princess girl - cliche when it's used with an ironic smile, and with humour. That makes it a drag performance, and I like that.
If not - then is just too cute for my taste, I mean, I would use it myself eighter as a humourous statement or I wouldn't use that image at all. Because I'm with Jane Elliot who said in the film "Blue Eyed" that being cute is not helping at all when you are a woman.

I had posted a statement in german on my german blog where I basically said that feminine style is cool and I hate it if people look down on it. Because it separates us women. I'm still of the opinion that "feminine styles" should and can be reclaimed.
A friend of mine commented making these two points:
1. feminine, cute style is to be respected like every other taste and style.
2. copying of a femnine cliché is boring, it's better to include humour and irony, and also it's good if the "doll-image" has got some cracks that make people look, listen and think.

I couldn't sum it up much better!

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