Although I have met several men who knit, it’s pretty clear that knitting is a female-dominated field. But my question is, why? If you look at it, knitting has all the hallmarks of a stereotypical hobby for men.
- Men like to work with their hands – Traditionally, men tend towards “handy” hobbies, like working on their cars. It doesn’t get more tactile than knitting.
- Men like hobbies with a tangible result – Traditionally, men like creating something of use as a product of their labors. Think of “manly” hobbies like wood working. The products of knitting are typically articles of clothing, which serve one of the most basic needs of mankind.
- Men don’t like “artsy” hobbies – While knitting is creative, it’s a lot more following a pattern than pure artistic invention. It’s kind of like reading a car manual or putting together furniture; more perspiration than inspiration, more engineering than artistry.
Okay, so maybe men don’t fall so neatly into the stereotypes. But even more reason to knit, then! The only reason I can think of that would explain why knitting is seen as a “women’s hobby” is because, back in the pioneer days, women did the domestic work like sewing, food preparation, and knitting, while men were out working in the fields. But that’s an even more outdated idea then thinking all men like working on cars and doing wood working. And even then, it wasn’t because the men didn’t like knitting, it was because they didn’t have time for knitting. Besides, plenty of modern men feel comfortable with food preparation.
Additionally, there are a few more things for men to love about knitting. Let me talk to my bros for a minute. Dudes,
- It doesn’t require you to move – There are few more sedentary hobbies than knitting. You can even knit and watch sports at the same time.
- It’s easy to impress people – Knitting is easier than people think it is (there are only two stitches!). You also have the advantage of being one of the few men to do it. And when you finish a hat, you get to wear it everywhere, giving you plenty of opportunities to brag.
- You can totally pick up chicks – As I’ve said, knitting is female-dominated. Every knitting group and yarn store you go to, you’re surrounded by women. And it makes an excellent conversation starter.
I think that if men could be convinced to try knitting, they would find it fits with their natural proclivities.