When I first heard on the radio Ravelry’s decision to ban support of President Trump on their website, I thought it had to be a joke, so I went to Ravelry and found their post.
“We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy.”
I just slowly shook my head and looked over at my yarn and thought, “Oh, you poor skeins….you were not spun to be weapons.”
So, I deleted my account because their decision to ban support of Trump only helps to perpetuate this massive hysteria that has overwhelmed this craft for a long while now.
Which tells me that they are missing the point behind this craft.
These skeins, these needles, these movements of beauty that shift from knit to purl and back again to build something beautiful may be the only thing in this divisive time that some of us have in common. But, at least with all our differences, we have at least THAT we can build from, that we can use to communicate to each other with, learn from each other. Through knitting we should be hoping to build alliances with our alleged enemies through the majesty of our shared craft.
Not all of us got to knitting from the same place, but we’re all here now, and we should be more anxious than ever to hear from someone so different from us through the language we share of our needles clicking and clacking together to create something of comfort.
I so wish Ravelry had a change to their policies that said, “Everyone come to the table, bring your projects and lets talk.” But, instead they insisted that some of you aren’t welcome here. AT ALL. And I really don’t want to be a part of that attempt to continue to divide people on every level possible. I mean, really. This division between us is growing at a rapid rate and instead of helping to reign it in, pull it back, and find a way to get us BACK to the table, Ravelry decided that keeping us separate worked better for them as a company.
And I just don’t believe their company policies have anything to do with knitting anymore.
For years now I have used this blog to foster knitting as a method of contemplation, of meditation, and for myself, prayer. I have always thought that in it’s purest form knitting allows time for personal reflection, allowing us to turn to the quiet part of our soul and listen without all of the maddening noise that we’re constantly barraged with. And God knows we need that NOW more than ever.
It never ever occurred to me that a knitting group, the largest on the planet (I think they have 8 million members) would ever opt to say that only some people are allowed here.
My decision to leave Ravelry was not politically motivated. I just knew that that Ravelry had made it perfectly clear that no bridges would be built on their platform. They were not interested in allowing us to come together as knitters and start healing. No, their decision clearly screamed a desperate attempt to keep us at each other’s throats. Don’t believe me? Just see what happens when someone says they’re leaving Ravelry over this. A hurl of insults will come flying at you because obviously you disagree with their new policy because you’re a (fill in any derogatory slur you can think of). Yeah….
Being a gay man who knits in this community is nothing novel. I’m received with open arms. Being a conservative gay man who knits in this community is forbidden. But, I didn’t come to this community to be any of those things. I came here to KNIT.
Ravelry doesn’t seem to be fostering a healthy environment, but a segregate one. And I just don’t want to be involved in that. I’d rather be in the group that is doing its best to find ways to bring us BACK together rather finding new and unique ways to keep us as far apart as possible. And I, for one, find that a very poisonous thing to do to a community.
I cannot, in good conscience, be a part of a company that would rather push people away, have them spy and attack each other, rather than bring them closer to the reason we even knit in the first place: to share the sense of peace we gain from knitting with others.
And that is why I deleted my Ravelry account.
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