One time I was out to dinner with my grandparents and I used "y'all." Since I've lived in the Midwest my whole life, my grandmother asked what was up. I said that a greeting of "hi, guys" has always bothered me. She agreed. Since she thought "y'all" was silly, I asked her what she prefers. She said that she preferred "Hi, folks!" because "hi, guys" sounded rude. I have to admit that I thought there would be more to it for her, since there's much more to it for me.
My degree is in Women's Studies. The first WST class I took was a philosophy class. I'm smart, but reading philosophy is about as easy for me as reading legalese. The only thing I learned from the class was about language. It's generally assumed that when the old philosophers say "man" and "mankind," they meant "human kind." However, when they talked about women, they were very specific. When they said that women were misbegotten males, they meant just that. Thus, the use of "man" and "mankind" also meant just that.
I also took 3 linguistic classes which included the politics of English, language and culture, and an independent study on language and gender. To greet a group of men, you say "Hey, guys." To greet a group of women you could say "ladies," but it's more common to greet a them as "guys." If you referred to a mixed-gender group as "ladies," the men would consider it an insult. If that group was womanless, the men would totally flip out. I'm well aware that this is a pretty minor example of patriarchy, but I hate it hate it hate it. I believe in the politics of language. People made fun of me for using "y'all," but it was a political choice.
At this point I know you're thinking to yourself "Robyn, what is this political post doing in your new crochet blog?" Well. I think it's high time that crocheters finally get our fair share of attention. I have nothing against knitters, but I am so over the knitriarchal system whereby crochet is the other yarn craft. Just as I'm sick of being "you guys"ed, I'm sick of going to "Open Knit Nights." At first I rebelled against the knitriarchy by meekly calling yarn crafting events "Knit and Crochet Nights" so I could include myself. Then I got a little prouder and switched the order to "Crochet and Knit Night," even though knitters always outnumber crocheters.
I feel that now is the time for the next step. Fellow hookers: if knitters can lump all the yarn workers into the "knitter" category because more concise, why can't we do the same? The only rationale I can come up sounds a lot like why "hey, guys" and "hey, ladies" are not interchangeable, and I think that that is unacceptable.
I hereby pledge to give myself, my fellow hookers, and our craft due credit. While I respect all yarn crafters, it's time for me to respect myself, and my kind, first. I vow to replace knitriarchal phrases with crochet-loving ones. From this point forward, I will focus on myself and refer to all yarn events with phrases such as "Crochet Groups" and "Open Crochet Nights."
Um. I think it's time for me to bind off... this skein is out of yarn.