Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Knit a Uterus for Congress: Government Free V-JJ


As so often happens in life, apparent serendipity stepped in to play the role of narrator this week.  The day after I published entries on scientific and anatomic knits, the web exploded with a new grass-roots movement among fiber-crafters to protest the new trend towards restricting rights of women in the US. A group was founded in Ravelry called, Government Free V-JJ, which advocated a visibility campaign in which people knit/crochet/craft female parts and send them to their governmental representatives in hopes that giving them their own uterus may help them get their laws off everyone else's.  Thus, my hand knit Uterus in fleshy vintage pure VIRGIN wool.

Under the auspices of "religious freedom," the new political conservatives are attempting to restructure our society to conform to their interpretation of living a religiously sanctioned lifestyle.  Recently in the US, we've had votes attempting to elevate the rights of a fetus equal to those of its mother (in the "Personhood" initiative which aims to define "person" at the moment of fertilization), to allow empower employers to choose their employee's use of contraception based on their own religious beliefs, to allow employers to ask whether birth-control pills are prescribed for the purpose of contraception (and thereafter allowing them the choice to retain or fire said employee), and most recently to amend Wisconson Law "requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."  By contrast, the men who enjoy sex with these women, or who impregnate them, are free to utilize Viagra (and have it covered by insurance) without question...even though their erectile dysfunction could, by their standards, be viewed as "God's Will."  Regardless of one's beliefs, I deeply hope that everyone can see the inconsistencies in this argument and the dangers for ALL WOMEN of walking down this new conservative path.

Though the knitting of a uterus does not ipso facto accomplish anything, it is a brilliant "Visibility Campaign" which helps diffuse the anger so many of us feel by giving us a method to illustrate our beliefs in a humorous way.  At the end of this month, the organizer hopes to have all contributions delivered...many by hand...and filmed - ultimately creating a YouTube video to continue spreading the word.

If you would like to contribute to the movement, first craft a Cervix (pattens here), or a Uterus (the WOMB pattern I used is here on Knitty), join the Ravelry group or Facebook group, fill out the online form, and await instructions.

"Let's knit a uterus for each male rep in congress. If they have their own, they can leave ours alone! Tell the male government representatives: 'Get your pre-historic laws out of my V-JJ! Better yet, here’s one of your own!'"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Anatomic and Scientific Knits for Kids

My sons have grown beyond the age where I could dress them in anything I wish and now eschew sweaters altogether in favor of mass-produced sweatshirts.  How, then, to continue knitting for them without creating conflict at home and disappointment/rejection for me?  The answer lies in knitting to THEIR interests.  Luckily, the web is full of great ideas for projects kids would enjoy.  As my sons (like their physician parents) love science, my searches have found these delightful projects made by some incredibly talented knitters out there.  I hope you will find them as inspiring as I have...and maybe share some of your own science-knits!
Knit Skeleton,

Ben Cuevas'

"Transcending the Material, 2010"
"The Knitted Brain"
Karen Norberg
aKNITomy
The Crafty Hedgehog.  Copyright 2007 Emily Stoneking
Christine Domanic, crochet lungs
New Zealand knitters' Knit the Period Table, in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry.