Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Women, wars, gender issues...

Gender issues are a thing - not just a modern thing, but also a big topic in history and archaeology. Textiles often touch on the gender issue - was textile work just women's work*, as one famous book about archaeological textiles is titled? Or was it split between men and women? These questions, unfortunately, are very hard to answer - not least because the gender ideals of the 18th and 19th century still colour our modern perceptions, and our view of history.

With textile archaeology as a focus topic, the gender issue, for me, is coming to the surface quite often. So I was quite delighted about this essay - it's not about women and textiles, but women in war and fighting troupes. The quintessence? Women have always fought, but that might not be visible in documentation, and it's often just overlooked. I tend to think the same applies to men in textile...


* There are areas (and times) when men dominate textile trade - male weavers, male (professional) knitters, male dyers are all very well traceable. I am thinking more about the "typically female" textile activities like spinning, and the times before we have documentation about these crafts.

4 comments:

Cathy Raymond said...

If memory serves me, there are Indonesian tribes where by custom only the men may weave, but I don't recall details right now. It's an interesting issue--gender prohibitions/links on weaving.

Panth said...

Thank you very much for the INCREDIBLY thought-provoking links. I have written my own thoughts on them here: http://blackcatsews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/women-history-and-default-narrative.html

a stitch in time said...

Thank you Panth! I'm glad you liked it. And I'm very happy to get comments to the blog posts, it's lovely to have some instant feedback!

Anonymous said...

About the Indonesian Tribes: look a these postcards from Sri Lanka:
http://www.uibk.ac.at/urgeschichte/projekte_forschung/abt/spindeltypologie/sri-lanka.html