Friday, 30 August 2013

Feminism, Fashion & Finances

Part I:  Feminism and Sewing

There has been a lot said recently about the "youth" picking up "needles" as "sewing makes a comeback" (Metha, online edition).  Last month, a Winnipeg Free Press headline read "Sew Cool" as if advertising the domestic arts (I would like to address that phrase later) to the younger generation. Historically, advertising sewing tools to youth is nothing new.  Singer Sewing Company created a toy sewing machines for "making dresses for dolly" in the early twentieth century (Askaroff).

There are stories of learning to sew at the lap of mothers or at least catching the sewing bug from watching adults engaged in the activity. And yet there is also a generation of men and women who never learned how to sew.

Domestic arts (sewing, cooking, canning) were frowned upon. And they still are, in my workplace I work with a generation of women who dismiss sewing as something that is beyond their skill level. These are university educated women many of who embrace scrap-booking with an unmatched passion.

"I can't sew", I've heard many times.

But what is more telling is their response to my comment that it is a relaxing activity that I compare to doing a puzzle.

"I don't have the patience for that," the common dismissive response surfaces.

Could it be that it is a feminist backlash to the domestication of women's work?

In the nineteen eighties and nineties there was a move away from the "domestic arts" taught in school compared to previous years.

Works Cited

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