Should women in power knit?

Photo from the Women's Weekly magazine

“In terms of knitting for Kate's baby – I knit for babies, in part, because they are smaller projects," Ms Gillard said. "I've got not that much time in my life. You can get them done and there's a sense of satisfaction in having completed it." . . . Critics said the magazine story was a blatant "stunt" and accused Ms Gillard of lacking gravitas and re-enforcing clichéd stereotypes about women. (source: Telegraph, 26th June 2013)

I have been amazed at the negative and somewhat nasty comments in regards to a very recent photo shot of Australia’s current former (and first female) Prime Minister - knitting. The photo appears in this months copy of the Australian Women's Weekly, a popular women's magazine and it has cause quite a kerfuffle. No matter what you think of Julia Gillard, I do like the fact that a woman in such a powerful position does ordinary activities like knitting and isn't afraid of sharing her passion with others.  She is not embarrassed about her love of knitting, she is a proud knitter and is well known for her knitting.  Good on her!!

I want to see more photos of the Prime Minister standing behind a wooden desk looking ass-kicking, razor smart and uber-powerful – because incidentally that’s exactly the kind of woman she is.
(Source: Mamamia)

Some of the other comments have been along these themes:

* This picture is taking women back to the dark ages when they did handicraft, can't have that!

* Others see it as something only our mothers did and certainly not done by a woman in power

* Feminist don't knit, do they, never?

* Stereotypes women into traditional roles?

* Only older women knit

This is just plain silly - why can't a woman in a powerful position in society undertake "ordinary" female activities without being criticised.  Do we criticse men in powerful positions who like to garden as it might "stereotype" them into traditional male roles, no, of course not. So why attack   women for enjoying undertaken traditional female activities such as knitting in their spare time.

What would be an acceptable female hobby that feminist would agree to?  It appears that knitting isn't one of them.

Just my two-cents worth on this topic!!



  1. Agreed. Everyone, no matter how smart & powerful, still has a life to live & it's hobbies that often give joy & satisfaction ~ whatever they are. I can't knit so admire anyone who can make sense of those instructions!

    1. I admire people who can knit too - I can knit, but drop stitches when I shouldn't and get inpatient as its not growing fast enough. My mum was a knitter and knitted everywhere she went.

  2. My cheeky comment: She'll have plenty of time to knit now!!

    As for the rude comments from people - they're the ones living in the dark ages - don't they know that all the (formerly) popular people knit???

    Ok, so that was cheeky too.

    But seriously, there's nothing wrong with knitting - although it didn't look like it "fit" her as it does some other people!! HAHA How stereotyping of me.

    1. She certainly will have plenty of time for knitting now and without the stresses of running a country. Lots of people knit still, its still popular - we have a few people at work who get together at lunchtime and knit. I wish I could knit (without dropping stitches!!) but I don't really have the patiences.

  3. Knitting is a wonderful pastime and very therapeutic no matter who you are and what job you are working. We are going through Canberra tomorrow, so listen out you may hear me calling out HELLO!!!

    1. Certainly will. Hope the weather is nice for you:)). We have some ladies who knit during their lunch hour and chat , very relaxing .


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