Getting your feminist knickers in a twist…

I recently watched a great BBC Three documentary by Cherry Healey all about how to get a life (clearly looking for some sort of deeper philosophical inspiration there…). Anyway, the programme featured a group of female Cambridge students who had adopted the motto ‘grow it, don’t mow it’ in relation to their armpitty-bits.

Ok, so I’m not about to go that far in the furry area -not because I feel oppressed, honest, it’s just not my thing -but I liked being challenged about why women spend quite so much time obsessing about our appearance, and more importantly, who we do all of that for? I like being groomed, just as my other half can be found sporting some lovely Wiggins-esque side-boards, but is this an expression of who were are, or who we want others to think we are?

Before this got too deep and meaningful, I decided to ponder these issues whilst stitching. Women for centuries have been making excellent use of sewing circles, quilting groups and ‘Stitch and Bitch’ evenings to meet and communicate…This isn’t all about the craft -the craft is a medium by which to interact, share information and stay supported, something which in this world of screen-to-screen interaction (about as tactile as clingfilm) we could all do a little more with. In the UK, the Suffragettes used to hold quilting meetings as a cover for their political planning, and produced some excellent quilts (in purple, green and white) as a result…oh, that and political emancipation… Tracey Emin has sewn some incredible quilts that catalogue her journey through life; not just something to keep warm at night, in fact given some of the frank realisations we may commit to the sewn form, perhaps quite the opposite.

So maybe next time you take up the needles and thread (or razor and shaving cream) we could think about what we are making (or removing) and why…Sometimes a message is no bad thing. x

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