I am feeling a little upset right now. You could say I am feeling some of the knitterly discrimination that we all hear so much about. I have at many points in my life felt embarrassed of my knitting, I have felt that I looked a little geeky, or something like that. I have never experienced though what I am feeling right now.
I have just been asked by an important professor at my school not to knit in class. I thought at first, ok maybe she feels that it looks like I am not paying attention and is disrespectful. While I don't agree with this, I can understand where someone might be coming from if they thought this. I was not prepared though for her reasoning as to why she didn't want me to.
She told me that years ago occupational therapists used to meet to do planning and coordinating when the profession was just beginning and a lot of them would bring their knitting. You should know that when occupational therapy started a lot of the therapy that was done involved teaching veterans of the first and second world war how to do various crafts such as pottery, leatherwork, knitting and sewing. She said that people started to see what occupational therapists were doing as a knitting group and not a group that talked about social change and community development and were therefore de-legitimized by the academic world.
She said that they fought hard to change this image and by my knitting I was talking away from the professionalism that we have tried so hard to change. She said it made people see OT as a woman's profession that does not have as much to contribute to society and the academic world.
I am really hurt by this. I don't mind being told not to knit, but to be told not to knit for this reason is really hurtful. I don't see why just because I am upholding an art that was once seen as women's work what I have to say about society and the world should have any less meaning.
Not only that knitting really helps me concentrate in class! It keeps me from feeling the need to fidget and walk around the room. I think it is really unfair that something that really helps me learn and increases my enjoyment of class should be taken away from me. Especially if the reasoning is that it makes me look more like a woman doing woman's work who doesn't have anything worthwhile to say.