Have you seen the Twitter hashtag Not okay (#notokay)? I came across it via a friend’s link on Facebook and clicked through from a mixture of anti-Trump sentiment and prurient curiosity about other womens’ experiences. Yes. I admit it. I was smugly voyeuristic as I read through horrifying account after horrifying account, each of them summed up into a neat 140 characters or fewer, because I was one of the rare, the lucky few, who had never been assaulted.
There’s something special about taking part in a craft group, whatever kind of craft you do, due largely to the return to the female space that it offers. This is something that is so hard to come by in our modern life. Except for baby or toddler groups (where the topic of conversation tends to be limited to the one, rather narrow, subject of children) we don’t often get the chance to spend time working together with other women in a way that would have been the day-to-day norm for our forbears. Whether poverty stricken field workers doing the laundry and spinning together, or upper class ladies all sewing on their samplers, we would have occupied this same, busy, feminine space where we could just ‘be’ and work together. Much like those heart-to-hearts parents and children find so much easier in the car; removing the sense of observation and confrontation makes it easier to be open.