Is my apron a feminist issue?

Time to progress some creative plans!  January Resolution a-go-go!

I’m setting up a regular craft and cabaret event (cue enormous amounts of craft research for easy, eyecatching DIY projects online – there are so many out there and so so many proactive people making them that I’m going to have to do a separate blog of my top sites).  A few days ago I had my first intense planning session to explore the idea of the event, possible content, structure and build a new enormous to-do list!

With the very inspiring ‘The Vintage Tea Party Book’ by Angel Adoree at my side I worked my way through a gallon of coffee and a small mountain of baked goods to compile a list of DIY projects I would love to create.  Among the list of lace collars, button artwork, and love-heart brooches (with real love hearts), that tricky little word first appeared; the Apron.

This is pretty much how my thoughts developed about this as a project over the following 5 hours;

Amazing! Let’s make aprons– really simple but with the potential to make them really detailed and personal

Brilliant – here are some templates for different styles – this looks easy enough – it’ll be the hemming and decoration that takes the time…which is perfect for the event really – skills and beautifying

Ooh I could make mine before as a test run and wear it on the day – mine will have pockets!

SEQUIN APRON – and matching lace collar!

What would men make if we made aprons – would they just make manly aprons?  This event is quite female focused isn’t it… but then we are women…work with what you know

Is making aprons a bit sexist and or dated?  Do I mean sexist?

What if we made sexy aprons….is that more sexist that a normal apron…

Comedy apron?

What if the aprons were adorned with things that we love about ourselves and being women…

Would that be a feminist apron? 

Is that weird?  What even is a feminist apron? Do we need such a thing as a feminist apron?

Why have I been musing the sexist or feminist virtues of this item for 5 hours…

I don’t understand it!  Why do I feel so weird about making an apron when I’m so happy with the idea of making fascinators, girly accessories, jewellery, nail art and learning how to knit and make victory rolls in my hair?  If I make an apron no-one’s going to chain me to the kitchen and stop my career are they?  And anyway, I like cooking, and I like making things, and now I’m starting to feel like the act of making an apron and enjoying it is almost rebellious in itself which surely isn’t true!

So maybe I’m worrying about stereotypes?  Because of course we can make anything we damn well choose and it can be girly or not girly, a stereotypical female item or not and this says nothing about what sort of woman I am or wish to be.  The amount of headspace I have already given this issue is causing me huge concerns.

Ultimately it’s all about choice and the dilemma I’ve had seems to be more about how I have surprised myself with my own connotations of apronhood.  Despite my own aesthetic ideas and the bright bold fabric and decorations that I know we’ll make available, in my head we still somehow all end up with grey overall style ‘covers’ that hide the body and drain your energy!

But I’m going to push through these prejudices and run that session and when I do I will make an apron that is me through and through, or a tool belt just because…or a tool belt masquerading as an apron because that’s how I felt when I got up in the morning….or a belt with pockets and a fold down front covered in lace and sequins so I can change daily and hourly depending on mood.

And while we’re on this subject here is an amazing article about female body hair, and whilst I am not going to choose (and choose is the important word here) to do the same as Emer, I think everyone; men, women, should read this.

Hair! (not the musical)


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