I settled in, happy as ever, to read an article with a title that was clearly directed at me: “Krysten Ritter Is Such a Knitting Champion, She Designed You a DIY Scarf Kit.”
I knew Kristyn Ritter was a hardcore knitter. Look at her Instagram, for example. She even tries to convert reporters to the knitting lifestyle, like she did in this article on Vulture. So, I was ready to read this People magazine article with great delight. Instead, the very first sentence filled me with rage:
When she’s not fighting evil as Marvel’s badass heroine Jessica Jones, Krysten Ritter has a totally docile off-duty hobby: Knitting.
DOCILE? TOTALLY DOCILE? Are you kidding me?
Knitting in this quote is clearly in contrast to the “badass heroine.” Ritter may play someone who can literally throw a bad guy against a wall, but in real life, she’s so feminine and simple-minded! Isn’t that comforting to all of your gender stereotypes? This is especially insulting, given that in the show, Jessica Jones, the character’s trauma is that her mind was controlled by the villain.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many knitters who are “ready to accept control or instruction; submissive.” In fact, most of the knitters I know are taking their sharp needles and wrangling yarn into beautiful designs and lace. They are not obediently sitting in the corner doing nothing; they are making themselves useful while others idle in front of the TV or in a waiting room with nothing to do!
I want to give the author the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she meant this definition from dictionary.com:
Anyone learning to knit may beg to differ. While I love knitting, it took me quite a while to “easily manage” it. I also think when I’m yelling at my yarn for not cooperating, knitting is far from docile.
Also not docile:
Knitting should not be put down because the art of making things with fiber is considered “women’s work” and, as such, less valuable. Language has such a strong impact on how we see the world, and we need to be critical of it in the media. I admittedly love a fluff article on my favorite celebrities, but satire like this reminds me that much of what I’m reading is so gendered.
Knitters are smart. Knitters are powerful. Knitters are control freaks who use their power for good. Knitters are badass heroines.