Friday, August 19, 2011
I have a blog post of my own to write, but let's get something straight: I knit so I don't kill people.
I have two Ivy League degrees, and I cover US diplomacy and military strategy for a certain (sometimes controversial) international television network. That means I get paid for putting tough questions to US policymakers and for writing and presenting policy stories to an international audience. I've traveled around the world. I like my scotch smooth and neat -- my men a little less polished.
Damn right I knit. I need the cleansing palette between thinking about military budget talks and diplomatic maneuvering and political shenanigans. Knitting reminds me that I can create in real life, and not just in my rather excellent brain.
I sew too. I think about the women in Southeast Asia and Haiti and China who make almost nothing to produce the suits I wear on the air -- and I try to right the moral balance by making some of my own clothes. I also give money to organizations that help women create their own businesses across the developing world. That's what this "soft" woman with a tough job does with her time and her money.
As for "have women become soft?" My great-grandmother couldn't go to high school; her father told her all she'd only marry and bear children, making the hard-earned tuition a waste of money. She made sure that her one child -- HER DAUGHTER -- my grandmother -- earned two college degrees. Her daughter -- my mother -- earned a college degree. As an African-American woman with this kind of family history, it is ridiculous for me to think that I've become soft. If anything, I've earned the right to do something once afforded only to middle-class and upper-class white women in this country: to control my mind, my bank account, and my time, without interference from anyone else.
By the way -- you need more than Boston Phoenix bylines if you want to be taken seriously as a journalist. It's a fine paper, but really, why aren't you on the NYTimes or WaPo opinion page? That's where the power is in this country. Just a bit of career advice.