Links: 05/29/15

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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May 29, 2015

I am not entirely sure what this video is, but I do know one thing: it has David Hasselhoff in it.

And finally: don’t forget that a donation of at least $5 to RAINN gets us that much closer to me reading the entirety of Theodore Beale’s Eternal Warriors™: The War in Heaven™.

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  1. Dolorosa

    I’ve been reading Vyckie Garrison and No Longer Quivering for years now and she’s a smart and incisive woman who has lived this particular life–it’s a shame that many of the mainstream articles I’ve read about this seem to be nearly entirely unaware of her work and are writing like they’re the first ones ever to say that this particular type of religious indoctrination and abuse is wrong.

    Thank you so much for saying this. I, too, have been reading Quiverful/Christian Patriarchy survivor blogs for years (Love, Joy, Feminism has been particularly good in covering the Duggar abuse), and was finding the mainstream reporting to be particularly frustrating, because it ignored or played down the fact that survivors (most of whom are women) have been talking about this stuff for years.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Dolorossa: I’ve just discovered Love, Joy, Feminism and it’s fantastic. I’ve been reading Slacktivist for many years and one of my favorite things about it is how Fred links to a wide variety of sources and–in particular–to women who have survived these situations and come out the other side. I also find more than a whiff of hypocrisy in many of the mainstream pieces, in that many folks have been content to point and laugh at those stupid people who don’t use birth control while watching the program while not appearing to recognize how abusive and soul-destroying this sort of religious indoctrination is. I guarantee you that that the adult Duggars see their television program as a kind of evangelism for Christian Patriarchy and that’s probably a contributing factor to their cover-up of their son’s sex abuse of young girls. It’s not just about money, it’s about ideology and control over women.

      I apparently have FEELINGS about this, boy howdy.

  2. Ros

    I have Thoughts about knitting and the so-called revival over the past few years, as someone who has been knitting well over 30 years, long before it was in anyway popular.

    First thought is: I am really happy that it is now so much easier to buy good-quality, non-synthetic yarn in a wide range of lovely colours. While LYS’s here in the UK are less common, the internet has been a great thing, as have regular big shows where you can get good deals from both indie-sellers and bigger companies. I think that a certain amount of my own stash-acquisition has been a result of entering a time of plenty after living through a period of drought in that respect. I don’t buy much yarn now, mostly as a result of constantly telling myself that it’s fine, there will always be more beautiful yarn out there, so I don’t have to snap it up whenever I find it..

    Second thought is: I don’t think that knitting has ever been a money-saver in my lifetime. In my grandmother’s generation, certainly it was. But cheaper clothes have always been available in high street stores as far as I can remember. Of course, one could always find extreme bargains by reclaiming yarn from thrift store sweaters and so on, but buying new yarn and knitting it is no cheaper (and often more expensive) than buying a new sweater of equivalent quality. And, obviously, the consequence of that is that knitting (and many other crafts) have largely moved into the middle classes. It’s not a cheap source of clothes, and as a hobby rather than a necessity, people will tend towards luxury products rather than functional ones.

    Third thought is: the piece on subculture was really interesting. I see so many people jumping into the world of indie-dying or pattern-designing without proper business planning, or sometimes, without the necessary skills. ‘Do what you love’ is all too often interpreted as ‘If you love doing something, you can make money at it’ which is just not true. I don’t begrudge those who have been very successful, but I definitely think people need to consider whether the 1000th indie-dying company is as likely to be successful as the 1st or the 10th.

    Fourth: I really, really hate the ‘craft industry’ which, in my experience, tends to disempower crafters by insisting on selling all kinds of unnecessary tools and kits and so on, which remove the need for any kind of skill or taste or creative imagination. The papercraft world is particularly egregious in this respect, but I think knitting is moving in the same direction. If people want to monetise their hobby, then they have to find something to sell. Knitted items are never going to make money, so it has to be tools, patterns, expertise – and that means persuading people that they can’t just get on and knit without having your product.

    Fifth: I love a lot of things about Ravelry and one of them is how easy it makes it to get expert help, patterns and ideas for free. I also think that you can find a fairly healthy critical review culture there. People will comment if they found a yarn splitty or knotty or unsuitable for a pattern. They’ll say if the pattern isn’t clear or the instructions are wrong or the yarn requirements didn’t work out. I think all of that is really empowering. Of course we pay for Ravelry through the ads and in that way it inevitably contributes to the industrialisation of knitting, but I am mostly okay with that. I think the good outweighs the bad.

    Sixth: but having said all that, I do hate the constant snobbery about things like acrylic yarn (which is often exactly the right choice for a project) and the excessive, conspicuous consumption of certain yarns (Wollmeise) and needles (whichever those ones with a three year waiting list are). I’ve found it pretty easy to avoid most of this though. I’m only a member of half-a-dozen groups and I am ruthless about muting people and threads which make me cross.

  3. Selki

    I really liked the iron fish article and the roundtable discussion (having read three of those authors added to my interest there).

  4. Maureen E

    Agreeing very strongly with both Natalie and Dolorosa above. I spent several years in the courtship/patriarchal movement, although I’m not Protestant and wasn’t in nearly as deep as most. I’ve been very annoyed by how little the mainstream media has been even marginally aware of the literal YEARS of talking and writing and emotional work people–mostly women–who have come out of this movement have done.

    I also found the knitting as subculture posts fascinating. I’m a knitter & I love creating things–it’s a major form of self care for me, for one thing. But as a culture/movement, it is pretty unaware of how the insistence on using certain yarns/designers/brands can create pressure on people. I do have a few designers whose work I love, but when it comes down to it, I can’t afford fancy yarn all the time, or to buy every pattern I’ve ever wanted, and sometimes that can feel a little lonely.


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