Over the past few days I’ve joined a few groups that have been formed in response to Ravelry’s “no hate speech unless you hate Trump and then it’s okay” policy.
I’m sad. I’m sad about the number of people who simply love knitting, crocheting, making stuff, creating beautiful patterns, who have been excluded from a site, simply because they don’t choose to hate the current President.
I never liked Obama. I didn’t like his politics, I didn’t like the way he spoke, had I ever taken a class he taught, I’m sure it would have been torture – I don’t deal well with clipped, jerky speech. My problem, not his, and I didn’t hate him for it, but I didn’t like it. I also didn’t give two figs about the color of his skin. I didn’t like the path he was leading us down, I still don’t like it, and I’m glad, for the most part, that that particular train has been derailed for a while.
Through 8 years of that, I knit. I talked to a lot of people in craft stores because, hey, we all have crafting in common or we wouldn’t be in A.C. Moore or Hobby Lobby, now would we? I don’t think I ever once asked anyone for their party affiliation in all those years.
I joined Ravelry when it first started. I never participated much, if I found a pattern I liked, I would download it, bought a couple, but there were too many other sites that I could use to stick to just one. I guess that’s why this ban doesn’t bother me the way it bothers some people. It bothers me because you can’t say you’re inclusive and then exclude a huge group of people. You can’t ban what you consider hate speech and allow what an entire other group of people also consider abhorrent. I find vagina hats to be the essence of poor taste but I’ll defend to the death your right to wear one. I’ll make fun of you and laugh at you while you’re wearing it, but I won’t tell you that you can’t. It’s your decision if you want to look like a classless idiot.
I ask for the same if I were to make a MAGA scarf or hat. You can make fun of me, but don’t tell me I can’t wear it or share the pattern with people who want it. You just can’t do one and not the other.
I don’t know what happened at Ravelry to start this whole thing. I’m hearing that there were patterns with swastikas, and some nasty posts in some of the forums. I’m not sure that it couldn’t have been better dealt with – ban those people and make it clear that THAT kind of thing won’t be tolerated, but don’t paint every person who supports the President as some kind of deplorable racist idiot.
I joined a few groups on Facebook who were filled with people upset about this decision. I thought it would be nice to be in a group of people who wanted to talk about knitting, and who were so clearly upset about the lack of inclusivity on Ravelry that they would, themselves, be accepting of anyone who wanted to join.
Try that again. Within days, they’ve started sounding almost exactly like the group they’re condemning. When this was brought up, the people who mentioned it were roundly excoriated and told that if they didn’t like the group, they could leave. Hmmm, seems like that’s exactly what Ravelry did.
So I left them all. I’m gonna start my own group – wanna knit? We’ll talk. Wanna make a pussy hat? I’ll tell you how to find a pattern but I won’t ask why you’d want to make such a stupid thing. (My opinion – they’re stupid) If you want to knit a Swastika, or make a noose, your ass is out of my group. Otherwise, let’s all stop labeling and learn to respect each other again.
And I can teach you to knit if you want to learn. 🙂