Bringing it down to earth a little.

February 10, 2007 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Random babble | 1 Comment

I’m wondering, especially in reference to my Knitting and Gender post, combined with my general lack of association to a specific gender category, how much Ms. Knitter really describes me, and how much I should use it. I mean, it’s just a name, it doesn’t have to mean more than I want it to, but the name, in all its textual glory, is the face I am presenting to the online world. They see that “Ms” and instantly assume female, and I’m not sure I want that. How long before the novelty of that joke between my friends and I last before it wears off and I just become trapped, stuck with that name because that’s what people know me as.

For years now I’ve gone by another name online, Winter. Or Ria, derived from my proper given name of Victoria. I relate much more to those names than with Ms. Knitter.

(For those who wonder why I used Ria instead of Vicky, I’ll say that I never was that fond of Vicky, and I wanted a way to discourage people from assuming they can call me Vicky when I introduce myself as Victoria. I don’t like it, and I don’t like being rude and telling people they can’t call me that, when they’re probably just doing it to be friendly. It’s easier if I just tell them I’m called Ria.)

So my question is this: should I change the name of the blog? Should it be Ria Knits, or Winter Knits, instead of Ms. Knitter Knits? Should I be telling the world that I knit, instead of telling the world that some epithet that doesn’t really describe me knits?

It’s common, in the online world, to hide behind names, to invent some nickname for yourself that makes you into whoever you want to be. You’ve always wanted your name to be Alberafidy instead of John? Great, call yourself Alberafidy online, and all of a sudden things are great. But in the knitting world, people seem incredibly comfortable going by their given names. Sometimes you get the odd nickname here and there, but even so, those who have nicknames are still often known by their given name. Something about the knitting community invites a person to tell others who they are, rather than urging them to hide behind the safety of a name noone will ever connect to something beyond words on a screen.

So even if I was to hide behind a name for whatever reasons, should I at least make it a name I can relate to? Ms. Knitter came about as a joke, not as a serious declaration that yes, this name suits me. Shouldn’t I hide behind a name that means something, if I’m going to hide at all? Do I even want to hide?

With that in mind, I should be proclaiming that Ria knits, not even that Winter knits. Winter’s just a pretty-sounding name I chose for myself. I like it well enough, and on some level it resonates within me, as a name should. But it isn’t what my friends call me, it isn’t what my coworkers call me, and it isn’t what I generally call myself.

From here on, this will no longer be Ms. Knitter Knits. This blog will be Ria Knits, since I am Ria, and not really Ms. Knitter. The URL will stay the same, since I can’t change that, but header image will change, and the name I use when I reply to other people’s blogs will change. If anyone reads this and has a link to me on their site or something, feel free to change it accordingly, to Ria Knits.

(The header image will change once I get home from work. Alas, work doesn’t look too kindly on people saving stuff to the hard drive and then messing around with it.)

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1 Comment »

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  1. I have changed the link on my site. I’ve always meant to comment on your Knitting and Gender post, but I never have yet, since it always takes me ages to write posts that are actually meaningful, and I’m lazy.


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