Friday, June 12, 2009

Feminist & an ETSY seller

My political stance is "Just leave everyone the hell alone." People, contrary to all those PSA's, are generally decent individuals who are not going to turn into drug crazed murders with the repeal of a single law about wearing low rise jeans to the mall.

Not only do I have faith that most people will act decent (the internet forums not withstanding --teenagers need something better to do with their time) but I firmly believe that any competent person can make choices about their own damn lives and every person deserves the same rights to make those decisions.

To me feminism means you think women and men are equal. Everyone deserve the same rights regardless if one was born with a Y chromosome or a couple X's.

But some other people out there they think women are only feminists if they live the way they command. The Slate women's blog double X is notoriously against women who dare to stay home or do things the unfeminist way.

They trite out the old argument, but your grandmother fought for rights your wasting so you can't be a feminist. No, sorry dear, but I am exercising those rights if I choose to stay home or not. I generally just pay things like that no mind (for me if I don't agree with you or like you I just ignore you), but now they just came out with probably the stupidest article ever. peddles a false feminist fantasy

To sum up, because Etsy was started by a couple of guys in macho Brooklyn (good to know if you live in Brooklyn you can only be macho, someone better tell the Village People) it's confusing that so many women operate and sell things on the site. The author speculates how strange it is as the site isn't off putting to men (sigh, always about not hurting any delicate male eyeballs isn't it?) and instead of thinking that maybe women have embraced this web 2.0 much more than men (Really how many average male bloggers do you know to women? And how many of those women would comment and leave advice about a great online store for craft goods? Wow, I durn used logic there, I best go lay down) makes a wild jump that women are on it more because Etsy caused them lose their little lady brains and gave them the opportunity to finally become the stereotypical 50's little woman while also making money on the side.

Because every single woman I know who's gotten onto Etsy were secretly hoping to make it big so they could quit their day job to stay at home and knit booties all day long (I can't believe she mentions knitting booties. What is this, the 1800's in a cartoon?). It wasn't because I had a hobby that I thought I could share with the world or had to clear out some backlog of merchanside. A little idea I didn't have the time or money to grow into a big business but thought I could bring some joy to someone else around the world by paying a dollar to a site that will host and allow transactions?

No, it's all because I am secretly hoping to be banished back to the kitchen and cook roasts all day for my family. And it isn't as though I have an history of craft projects in my family. So I'm really just on Etsy because society is demanding I get back to my roots and work with my hands. Please ignore the fact that my mother has worked with pottery most of her life and I have very early memories of running around and playing with greenware. It's really all societies fault for making me wish I lived with Laura Ingles Wilder on the prairie.

The other hilarious half of the article bemoans how Etsy has forced all those little grandmas, who try to sell knit kleenex box covers and carved dolphins, to compete against that big scary wide world. Oh the humanity! They're be eaten alive and it's all thanks to Etsy!

Except we've had a world wide economy for quite a while now. You know, airplanes will do that.

And just think of all the opportunities out there for someone who is actually talented and has an interesting idea when on Etsy. You can make sales with people who would never have seen your work otherwise. I've already sold two paintings to a handful of states and even a couple to Canada. Without Etsy there is about 100% no way I'd ever have sold a wedding dress painting. Silly me coming up with a custom idea and then wanting to find people to paint it for.

The entire article just sounds like one giant bushel of sour grapes. "Well I say that all women should want to be working full time and not want to work part time. I'm not as good as some sellers on there so I say it isn't fair that I have to compete against other people. Damn it! Why won't someone buy mypot holders? See I'm a good feminist because I work and craft at the same time."

Oh but see, Ms. Mosle, I also work full time (as a research technician in this little supposed male field called Science) and I can find and make time to create paintings which I then sell on etsy and I have no plans to turn painting into a full time career. I hope I don't have to turn in my Feminist card because I've got a few old bra's I've really got an itch to burn.

How about you just go home, play with your little paint set while you think how much better you are, and let all those evil non-feminists play at etsy while making some extra income on the side.


EthidiumBromide said...

I saw the article too, but it didn't really bother me. I think it's maybe because all the people I know in real life who have started Etsy shops WERE actually hoping to sell enough to either stop working, or cut back from full time to part time, and to me, that was kind of the point the author was trying to make (not that everyone does it, but enough do that it is almost laughable). By all means, I love Etsy, and if you're using it to off-set the costs of supplies, that's fantastic. If I ever set up an Etsy shop to sell things, that would be my goal -- not to make a profit, but rather just as a way to pay for my own hobby.

I don't think the article was written to say anything at all negative about those who DO precisely that... but rather, geared towards all the people who honestly think that it will provide a decent living salary. When friends of mine have started Etsy shops, intending to make it big, I've always just rolled my eyes at their naivety (if you can make something well enough to make it as your sole source of income.. you should be selling to actual stores, and managing the business side of things.. and then maybe Etsy on the side just to provide to others far away) -- and I took it that the author felt the same way. You're NOT going to be able to quit your day job and support yourself... but for those who are practical and do open a shop just for fun, then go for it!

Linda said...

The article states that men are immune to the fantasy of a part time side job becoming a way to support himself (and possibly his family) full time. Ha! I quick poll of my hubby and male coworkers shows that men are not immune. All of them would love to a hobby to turn into a money maker.
Historically women have been forced to take lower paying or part time jobs either because of child care issues or lack of education. If you could make more money making booties in your home than working a job you don't like, then which would you choose.
I think everyone has a fantasy of not having to work full time or be able to do something they really love.

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Whoa. I have to read that article. Thanks for the heads up on, what sounds like, just more stupid people.

I'll be back.

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Wow. I just read the article and the comments (while changing diapers and making dinner...).

I am going to look into the authors other articles..., I don't know anything about her, do you? Who is she?

The thing I took most offense to was that my daughter won't benefit from my being a stay at home mom. The way I look at it, I enjoy meeting her off the bus and taking care of her, and her 2 year old brother. Shouldn't she be proud of that? I didn't hire some stranger to do it for me?

This whole thing reminds me of what my mom has told me. Back in the 60's when she decided to be a "SAHM" her "feminist" friends dropped her like a ton of bricks. My mom still considered herself a feminist (and still does) but didn't understand why her friends abandoned her for her decision. Afterall, wasn't that what they were fighting for? The Right to Choose for yourself?

Bride in Exile said...

Is it just me, or do 90% of Slate articles (including the Slate XX blog) have the same thesis? "Here's something everyone thinks is awesome. But intelligent people, like Slate writers, know it SUCKS. Let me explain why it sucks in a condescending tone of voice."

Seriously. Even their freaking wine column suffers from the Slate "you are so dumb, I am so smart, S-M-R-T" syndrome.

magickal_realism said...

I was pretty irritated to, and did my own writeup:

The few valid points the article had to make were buried under condescending rhetoric. In a nutshell: business is hard work. But that doesn't make a controvery generating column, thus the pseudo-feminist drivel.

Mrs. Newlywed said...

Common sense FAIL.

One of the worst articles I have ever read.

I shall now go back to my 1950s housewife ways by cooking breakfast for my still sleeping husband.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I used to work a full-time job and during the first two years of my marriage to my husband, it was our only source of income. The economy, it's rough all over baby. It was exhausting having that pressure on me all the time. Anyway, my health began to decline (I have Cushing's) and my job became more than I could do. Fortunately around that same time, my husband finally was able to find work. So I left my job and have been at home for the last several months. At first I thought I'd hate it and get incredibly bored. The truth? I love it, it feels wonderful. I have time for myself, time with my spouse, time to get done all the things in life I wanted to be able to do but didn't have the time or energy for when I was working. At some point when I'm better I'll probably go back to work, but I'm happy now and so is my husband and not because we're in our "proper" gender roles. Does that mean I have to turn in my feminist card? If so, you're gonna have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands ;)