So I’ve been thinking about this a LOT since it happened to me Sunday before last (November 8th). Hubby and I were at a church meeting, and this boy (he was about 10 years old) sitting across from us asked what I was doing. I told him I was knitting a scarf, and he expressed interest in learning to knit. I of course, invited him to come to the knitting class, when it resumes in the Spring. Then his father sat down at the table. He listened to what I was telling the boy, and then told him he would not be coming to the class. In a nutshell- the dad said that knitting was women’s work (like sewing and cooking- his words, not mine); and that he wanted his boy to be a man and do manly professions (pretty much anything involving grunting and power tools), and playing manly sports, and that he wouldn’t have time for things like knitting.
He then went on to say that if his daughter wanted to learn to knit, that she would be allowed to. But not his son. That was the way the dad was raised, so that’s the way he’s raising his son. (Btw- the daughter, who was about 7 years old had absolutely no interest whatsoever in learning to knit.)
This situation is absolutely frustrating to me. First- because I have to abide by the father’s wishes. The boy is a minor, therefore his father is completely justified in trying to control the boy’s influences and actions. Second- Knitting takes practice, and it’s crystal clear that the boy will not be able to practice at home. This does not mean that I think (or feel) the father was right. I think that as long as the profession is LEGAL, and not hurting anyone, that a person should be able to do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s professional cheerleading, or construction work, or flower arranging, or fishing.
This boy could become the biggest knitwear designer out there. He could make millions every year, just designing FABULOUS things for models to wear, and the rest of us to knit. He could let his parents retire early and take care of THEM. All off of knitwear. Or- he could just knit scarves to relax after a long day of construction work. The point is not what he could do with learning to knit- it’s the adamant way that his father forbade it.
Knitting is not women’s work. Knitting is for everyone. I just hope that once the boy gets older and moves out, that maybe that interest in knitting will still be there, and maybe he’ll find someone to teach him (or teach himself). That’s all I can do right now- is hope.