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“My Aunt is Angry That I Introduced Her Son to a ‘Girly Hobby!’”

A teenage boy has turned to the internet for advice after his uncle’s new wife took issue with the hobby he had introduced her son to. Her issue? Apparently, he hobby is for girls!

I am a 14yo male. I live with my grandma and she really likes to knit. I learnt to knit from her when I was little and I really enjoy it. Just when I’m bored or have free time I’ll knit. My family doesn’t care and it has caused no problems so far.

My uncle got married and he has a stepson who is 7 years old. We’ve all been getting on quite well. I gave him a beanie for his birthday that I knitted and he was really interested in how I made it. So I told him what knitting was and he was really excited and wanted to try it too.

The next time we met I brought my old knitting needles and told him I could teach him. His mum heard and wasn’t very happy and asked what I was doing. I told her that he wanted to learn to knit and she was a bit upset about it and said that he didn’t need to learn it and took away the knitting needles.

I thought it was some age problem like he’s too young to handle knitting needles but my uncle told me that she was upset about it because she thinks that boys shouldn’t have these kinds of hobbies and that she wasn’t happy with me introducing a girls thing to her son. I was kind of offended but I didn’t say anything. The next time there was a gathering she sternly pulled me aside and said that now her son wouldn’t stop asking for knitted things and wanted to learn how to knit, and scolded me for introducing it in the first place. I felt kind of wronged so we had an argument about it and I don’t know if I was in the wrong for it. Amitheasshole?

 

The good people of Reddit came in droves to reassure the teen that he had done nothing wrong, and that his aunt was way out of line to tell him off and think that knitting was gender specific.

NTA 

Granted I’ve never actually learned to knit, but from what I know about it, the vagina isn’t actually a part of it. I mean, I could be wrong! Maybe it’s to hold the yarn? 

I’d be trying to get an adult, possibly my grandma, to intervene on my behalf. You’re 14 and she’s out here being accusatory to you. Tell your grandma the whole story that you posted here and ask her for her help, either to tell this woman to back off or maybe even set her straight, depending on what your grandma thinks. (Beneficial_Local1012)

In fact, several people pointed out that many famous men were well known to knit.

You can also tell his mom that there are male celebrities that knit, if she’s so worried about it being “girly”. Russell Crow, David Arquette, and Ryan Gosling are very well known for their knitting hobby. Russell Crow and David Arquette have even posed in photo shoots with their work, David Arquette was even in a celebrity knitting book for charity that was sold for patterns. Ryan Gosling learned for a scene in a movie and had said in interviews that he had a lot of fun learning the little that they showed him that he decided to learn more on his own and really enjoys knitting. George Lucas was also photographed knitting at a Starbucks. Kurt Cobain crocheted, and so does Rosey Grier, a former NFL player.

Fiber arts aren’t for a specific gender, you know back in the day when people Knitted and Crocheted for warmth due to not having access to buy blankets and clothes men also Knitted or crocheted for those items. The military also used to teach men to sew and knit or crochet as well because it was a useful skill. Tell his mother that show her pictures online of men doing fiber arts. The men I listed have pictures of them online knitting or crocheting. She’s so worried of it being to feminine yet Russell Crow is known for all his action movies that would be considered manly and he knits as well. (Cara1888)

 

Tom Daley – Olympic diving gold medallist. Famously knitting in the stands during the last Olympics and making bags for his medals (Hungry_Anteater_8511)

NTA. Bullshit that knitting is for girls. Tell your uncle and his wife that in the Middle Ages, there used to be knitting guilds, and knitting was a skilled trade that was carried out by men. There’s loads of info online about the history of men and knitting. (mmfn0403)

Other pointed out that the benefits of knitting and how it could help both male and females to improve hand-eye coordination, improve focus and reduce stress.

My brother is 64. His 3rd grade teacher taught all the kids to knit as it helped develop the coordination needed for learning cursive writing. (Gracieonthecoast)

 

NTA one bit. Knitting is very good for dexterity and such. I’m a pretty large person (6’5″ and 290lbs of mostly not fat) so learning to knit and crochet helped me a lot in learning how to use my gigantic hands in a more nimble manner. Not only that but it’s a pretty nice creative outlet that also helps you learn some focus and a different type of discipline. I’ve almost always done fast paced stuff in my life so learning to slow down and just do one thing taught me as much as playing hockey or racing cars has. (RacecarDriverGuy)

 

It was clear to the majority of commenters that the mother’s prejudice was likely to do far more harm to her son than learning to knit!

This is what toxic masculinity (also) looks like and a perfect example of how it not only harms women and girls, but men and boys as well.

Labelling hobbies as girl’s or boy’s hobbies (with the implication that girl hobbies are somehow inferior for boys) is the dumbest thing ever. Not allowing your cousin to learn to knit is cutting him off from a hobby that can bring him a lot of joy and which also has proven mental health benefits.

You are not in the wrong in any way. Knit away! (HeatCute)

What do you think? How would you feel if someone taught your son to knit?

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Jolene

Jolene

Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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