Thursday 6 June 2019

what if Godot comes wearing a kimono?

I should have mentioned yesterday that if anyone listened to the Yann Tierson music I gave a youtube link to, please watch the video, it is absolutely beautiful.

This is my soundtrack for today, which is quite similar the Yann Tierson, quite somber.

A quote from my favorite play

But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot


A reader posted this comment on my FB page today and it’s a great comment, thankyou.

Perhaps small pattern makers are considered friendlier and actually committed to ethics? Thus calling out is a compliment. In re: sexism, I don’t confront men I consider dangerous, but I do call out men who say they want to be allies or seem concerned with ethical behavior.

In response to that – as a small pattern maker I do consider myself friendly and committed to ethical living in both my business and life. In the 8 years I’ve written a blog I’ve often discussed my commitment to feminism, anti-war stance, my support for refugees (aka “boat people”) I have criticised of the exploitation of clothing industry workers, I try to educate people about the wastefulness, damage to the environment and unsustainability of the fast fashion business model. I share pictures of the garments I make to inspire people with what they can make for themselves. I encourage people to buy second hand clothing and textiles by showing how they can be remade into wearable garments. I talk about how I live my own life modestly, in an old and cheap house with all second hand furniture, in the rural countryside with my chooks, 2 rescue dogs and garden, surviving on a very small income.

I don’t know if there are any small businesses who were asked to not use kimono who were allowed to say they didn’t agree with that view and that they would continue to use it. Its hard for me to get information about how “they” have gone about their campaign because the activists refuse to engage with me and actively block me from any forum where the issue is being discussed. Designers who made a name change only publish messages from people who agree with them and compliment their choice. They censor any contributions that express a different point of view by not publishing them. As Aja Barber spitefully hissed “no one is listening to you”.

Do the activists respect people who might have a different view?

If there was or has been a business that continued to use kimono would they allow its OK to have a divergent point of view? On Instagram, where I only started an account 2 months ago, I have few followers and now find myself blacklisted and blocked from joining some groups. Many of the activists have tens of thousands of followers and a high profile as influencers on social media platforms. I am insignificant to the point of being the perfect illustration of a molehill trying to address the mountain. Yet these women have felt its perfectly OK to do everything they can to repress my voice on platforms where they are powerful. Block, delete, write stuff disparaging my point of view from afar. I have had it relayed to me that they are urging people in the sewing community to express their distaste for my point of view by not buying my patterns.

They don’t respect me sufficiently to discuss publicly either on my blog, their blog or other places on Instagram. They had nothing to say when their followers filled the comments sections of Instagram with highly critical and abusive commentary towards small business women using the word kimono.  

Not a one of them has sought to re educate me either publicly or privately. In my opinion its not a very ethical approach to shutting me up that they use their Instagram muscle to sideline me.

This is a coat I made last year which I called a kimono. At the time I was unaware it was a hot potato issue, Even though some Japanese American ladies tell me this is offensive, hurts their feelings and they want me to call it something else I still feel comfortable calling this a kimono.

Some of the comments I’ve had are hilarious, apart from being a troll, white supremacist, imperialist bitch - I was called a Trump supporter, and that is really a fearsome insult these days! It just goes to show how some people will believe that only 2 things about me are important "white, educated" or that anything disparaging said by somebody who disagrees with my view must be true. I'm a demon. 

These people feel they only need to know 2 things about me – white, educated – and you can almost literally hear the clang of the vault door as their minds shut. While that’s happening inside their heads, on the outside the face is doing this....the mouth puckers into a little pussy bum moue and pouts outward, the cheeks suck in, the eyeballs roll back and there is a deep inwards inhalation of breath, which is held tightly until the face reddens, the eyeballs pop and the breath can explode with a great spray of spittle from between the bared teeth. The balled fists are either hitting themselves on the head, making a hole in the nearest wall or if my person is within close enough range they are blackening my eyes.

In an attempt to humanise myself here is a link to short film made about me by Nicky Elliot in 2016.

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